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Adam Summer School Alumni Spotlight – Liam Wooding

Updated: Oct 19, 2021

The Adam Summer School has provided string players and pianists from across New Zealand and beyond with the opportunity to learn from the very best. Up to 25 students are chosen each year to fully immerse themselves in intensive coaching and masterclasses, culminating in two finale concerts at the stunning Nelson Centre of Musical Arts.

In anticipation of the 28th annual Adam Summer School in 12-20 February 2022, we decided to catch up with a few of our alumni to see what they're up to now and how the summer school has impacted their career. Click here to read our Q&A with fellow alumni: Davina Shum, Ben Booker, and Arna Morton.


Liam Wooding, pianist

Years Attended: 2013, 2014, 2018

Liam Wooding looking down at the tablet he's holding with two hands, wearing a dark denim t-shirt, standing in front of a pale lime background.
Photo from Liam's first trip to the Banff Centre in 2018

Liam Wooding is one of New Zealand’s leading emerging pianists. A graduate of the Australian National Academy of Music, Liam studied with Timothy Young, supported by a Creative New Zealand scholarship. Recent appearances include the Auckland Arts Festival, Wakatipu Music Festival, Melbourne Recital Centre, and University of Western Australia. Currently based in Perth, Australia, Liam manages a busy performance schedule.

Who or what motivated you to apply for the Adam Summer School?

It looked like a lot of fun and I wanted to get stuck into some chamber music, so I was very keen to apply.

How has the Adam Summer School shaped you to be the musician you are today?

It’s all part of the journey, one thing leads to another. I’m glad the Summer School was a number of several stepping stones. We need them.

A colourful and eclectic room full of audience members, with Liam and Luca both smartly dressed playing together on a wooden grand piano.
Liam's residency at Four Winds in 2019. Here, Liam is mentoring Luca, a local piano student.

Tell us about your most memorable moment from the Adam Summer School.

Stephen de Pledge gave a legendary performance during a workshop. An improv 'through the ages’ where he took 4 notes and played a mash up in the style of a renaissance madrigal through Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, to Phillip Glass and more.

What have you been up to since the Adam Summer School?

Finished my studies and moved to Australia. I’m still very much playing music though!

What inspires you?

Music! The more I play, the more I realise the composers are geniuses. I haven’t come across much chamber music that I was disappointed by.

Liam performing at the 2014 Adam Summer School Final Concert

What would you like to say to students who are on the fence about applying for the Adam Summer School?

Don’t be on the fence, you’ve got nothing to lose. Spending a week playing with your friends, hanging out with the quartet, and having all your meals taken care of… can’t think of anything better!


Applications are now open for the 2022 Adam Summer School!

Presented by the New Zealand String Quartet and generously sponsored by the Adam Foundation, Adam Summer School provides the opportunity for up to 25 talented young string players and pianists to commit themselves to eight days of intense chamber music-making under the guidance of the New Zealand String Quartet and guest pianist-in-residence, Diedre Irons.

Applications close on 29 October. Click here for all the info on how to apply.

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