Amalia Hall (violin), Ashley Brown (cello), and Somi Kim (piano) are three of New Zealand’s most highly regarded musicians. Described as a “national treasure” and “New Zealand’s most indispensable ensemble” (William Dart, NZ Herald), NZTrio is renowned for its eclectic repertoire, outstanding talent and warm kiwi presence. This ensemble holds an essential point of difference in the classical music landscape as a respected industry driver for new NZ composition, having championed a remarkable 50-plus new commissions to date – proudly featuring at least one NZ composition in every concert they’ve ever performed and taking these to the world stage.
NZTrio has two well established education programmes in secondary and tertiary schools that aim to turn passions into professions and give budding composers a leg up. And they enthusiastically welcome collaborative projects that bring classical music into new and exciting contexts.
Critical acclaim includes a Tui for Best Classical Artist at the 2017 Vodafone NZ Music Awards, two citation awards: the KBB Music/CANZ citation (2012) and the Lilburn Trust Citation (2017) – both for outstanding services to New Zealand Music, and finalist for Best Jazz Album in the 2017 New Zealand Jazz Awards for a jazz-meets-classical collaboration with the Mike Nock Trio titled Vicissitudes (2016).
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Concertmaster of Orchestra Wellington, Amalia has received widespread acclaim for her ability to move audiences with her “sumptuous and sweet tone”, inherent musicality and natural facility. At the age of 9 Amalia made her debut with the Auckland Philharmonia; by the end of her teens she had won all of the major national awards in New Zealand, and has further won multiple laureate prizes at important international competitions, including the Joseph Joachim Competition and Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians. On top of being a regular soloist for orchestras in New Zealand and abroad, her extensive performance repertoire experience includes concerti, recitals and chamber music throughout Europe, USA, Asia, South Africa, Mexico and NZ and recording chamber music for Bridge Records and Atoll Records. Amalia has held teaching positions at the University of Waikato and given masterclasses at universities and conservatories in Italy, England and Mexico. Born and raised in New Zealand, Amalia studied at the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music with Pamela Frank and Joseph Silverstein, preceded by studies at the University of Auckland with Dimitri Atanassov. Amalia plays on the “Baron Knoop” Vincenzo Rugeri violin from c. 1700, generously on loan from a private benefactor.
Somi Kim – piano
South Korean born New Zealand pianist, Somi Kimhas established herself as one of today’s most highly regarded young pianists with a string of competition successes and an extensive concert experience. An Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, Somi graduated with an Advanced Diploma in Performance with DipRAM, receiving the HRH Princess Alice the Duchess of Gloucester’s Prize. Somi is a winner of the Gerald Moore Award for Accompanists and the Royal Over-Seas League Accompanist Prize. Sought after as a chamber musician, song accompanist and répétiteur, Somi is a Samling Artist and a Yeoman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians. Somi is an official pianist for the International Holland Music Sessions, International Vocal Competition ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Gisborne International Music Competition and the New Zealand Opera School. In recital, Somi’s recent and future appearances include Het Concertgebouw, Slovak Philharmonic, Wigmore Hall, St. John’s Smith Square, Cadogan Hall, Bridgewater Hall and the Edinburgh Fringe and Oxford Lieder Festivals.
Ashley Brown – Cello
Acclaimed as a musician of “unimpeachable artistry” (William Dart, NZ Herald), Ashley Brown is one of New Zealand’s leading soloists, collaborators, chamber musicians and recording artists. He is a founder of NZTrio and a passionate advocate for New Zealand music. His teachers have included Alexander Ivashkin, Aldo Parisot and William Pleeth helping him to success in auditions, competitions and awards, both local and international. His musical curiosity has led him from an Artist Diploma at Yale to a Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Auckland exploring the collaborative relationship between composer and performer, and onward to sharing the stage with composers and artists as diverse as Dame Gillian Whitehead, Moana Maniapoto, Michael Houstoun, Kristian Jaarvi and Neil Finn. He continues to enjoy a musical career that leaves no colour of the musical spectrum unexplored. Ashley plays the 1762 William Forster ‘Liberte’ cello.