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Red Contributor

James Tennant


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“Your trio has a one-off cocktail of virtues – huge expressive power and range of colours, a rare artistic courage to go all the way and never using this arsenal in a way which is not totally sincere.”
Dr David Dolan: Head of the Centre for Creative Performance & ClassicaI Improvisation; Guildhall School of Music & Drama

The New Zealand Chamber Soloists (NZCS) have established themselves as the premier ensemble of their kind in New Zealand since their formation in 2006. A collaboration of composers and musicians, the core trio of American born cellist, James Tennant, pianist Katherine Austin and violinist Lara Hall have solidified the reputation of the ensemble with consistently successful local and international concert tours, master-classes and two acclaimed CD’s. The NZCS’s most recent CD, “Elegy” spent six weeks at number one the NZ classical charts, an unprecedented first for a chamber music ensemble.

In 2008, the NZCS recorded a collection of works written for members of the Soloists by leading New Zealand composers. Award nominated CD, Ahi featured works by Michael Williams, David Griffiths, Martin Lodge, Gareth Farr and John Psathas. Collaborators included the Ogen Trio, distinguished baritone, David Griffiths and Clarinettist, Peter Scholes. Elegy (2010) returned to the traditional routes of the piano trio and featured fresh and insightful interpretations of Russian composers.

The NZCS maintain an active performance schedule. Engagements include festival performances, show case and invitational concerts, master classes and concert tours to all major centres in New Zealand for Chamber Music New Zealand. In 2009/2010 the trio again represented that the tradition of classical music is alive and well in a tour to concert halls in Paris, London, Cambridge, Dublin, Michigan and Colombia.

The NZCS have included a range of distinguished instrumentalists in collaborative work including David Griffiths, Peter Scholes, Ingrid Culliford, Rachael Griffiths, Lara Hall, Jessica Shaw on recorder, Dimitri Atanassov and Victoria Jaenecke. Collaborations have included performances of diverse works such as Messiean's Quartet for the End of Time, Schumann and Dvorak Piano Quintets, Bartok's Contrasts (violin, clarinet, piano), Baroque concerts (baroque violin, recorder, harpsichord, cello) and concerts of works for flute, piano and violin. In August 2008, the core trio debuted the triple concerto, Convergence, written for them by, Michael Williams. Originally performed with the Opus Chamber Orchestra, the work was later performed and recorded with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

The contributions of the New Zealand Chamber Soloists reach far beyond the concert hall as they continue to extend the boundaries of New Zealand music as lecturers at the University of Waikato, arts innovators and international ambassadors of New Zealand chamber music.

Recordings (1)