Ashley Brown (cello), Amalia Hall (violin), Somi Kim (piano)
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 stage presence. Any preconceptions of classical music being stuffy or intimidating are smashed by edgy repertoire, venue ambiance, and post-concert manaakitanga. Bringing together three incredibly accomplished artists: Amalia Hall (violin), Ashley Brown (cello) and Somi Kim (piano), every NZTrio performance powerfully reaffirms the importance and cathartic nature of a live musical experience in today’s digital world. Expect to be affected.
A respected ambassador of contemporary New Zealand music, NZTrio holds a remarkable track record of over 75 new commissions to date (more than 2/3 from NZ composers). They showcase those commissions across many of their recordings and in concerts around the country and overseas, matching them with other fascinating contemporary works and familiar masterpieces. The trio has proudly featured at least one New Zealand composition in every concert throughout its 19 year history.
NZTrio has established two mentorship programmes that reach out to young musicians and composers: NZTrioLive! a high schools programme that gives young people a behind-the-scenes practical introduction on how to turn their passions into a profession, and the biennial NZTrio Composing Competition for tertiary composition students in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin.
Critical acclaim for the group extends to 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, as well as an ever-expanding catalogue of recorded work. Recent CD releases under the Rattle label include Lightbox (2015), Sway (2016), and Vicissitudes (2016) – a jazz-meets-classical collaboration with the Mike Nock Trio, and a finalist for Best Jazz Album in the 2017 New Zealand Jazz Awards. A debut album featuring the new members of NZTrio is due out this year.
They enthusiastically welcome collaborative opportunities, with many projects past and future spanning the spectrum of visual arts (Simon Ingram, 2021), animated film (David Downes, 2009), contemporary dance (New Zealand Dance Co., 2012/13; BalletCollective Aotearoa, 2021), theatre (Massive Co., 2013), voice (Simon O’Neill, 2016) as well as cross-cultural musical works with masters of Māori taonga pūoro, Chinese guzheng, and Cambodian traditional instruments. They have captivated music-lovers throughout New Zealand, Australia, Asia, South America, the USA, Europe and Scandinavia – two highlights being a poignant tour of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time with UK clarinettist Julian Bliss (2016/18) – re-touring in 2021 with Chamber Music New Zealand and clarinettist Jonathan Cohen, and a significant cross-cultural project to record and extensively tour 9 new piano trios by Chinese composers (2017/18).
Photography by Garth Badger