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Another Exceptional NZSM Chamber Music Intensive Weekend

A large group of people, most secondary school students and some adult tutors, stand in a group facing the camera and smiling.
Participants and tutors of the NZSM Chamber Music Intensive Weekend pose for a photo after the closing performances of the weekend.

We are thrilled to reflect on the recent success of the New Zealand School of Music Chamber Music Intensive weekend. Over King’s Birthday weekend, 12 secondary school chamber music ensembles came together for three days of intensive chamber music coaching by members of the New Zealand String Quartet and fellow NZSM professors, Jian Liu, Martin Riseley, and Hamish Robb.

The weekend was filled with a range of activities aimed at nurturing the students' musical talents and fostering a sense of collaboration. The ensembles participated in intensive group rehearsals, receiving personalised guidance and feedback from the experienced tutors. These intensive lessons allowed the students to delve deeper into the intricacies of their performances, refining their techniques and interpretations.

Helene is mid-jump while three secondary school students play string instruments around her.
Helene is caught mid-air while coaching a workshop.

Beyond the music, the weekend served as a wonderful opportunity for the ensembles to bond and connect as a group. The shared passion for music created a vibrant and supportive atmosphere, where friendships were forged and artistic collaborations flourished. The feedback from the students was overwhelmingly positive, with many expressing their gratitude for the inspirational weekend and the chance to learn from such esteemed musicians.

The weekend culminated in a final concert in the Adam Chamber Room, allowing each ensemble a chance to showcase their progress in front of a live audience. This concert was livestreamed and the recording is still available to view online for those who missed the concert. Click here to watch the full concert, completely free!

For many of these talented ensembles, the Chamber Music Intensive served as a crucial stepping stone towards their participation in the upcoming NZCT Chamber Music Contest. With regional finals scheduled for the end of June and national finals in August, these young musicians are eagerly preparing to showcase their growth and talents on a larger stage. The NZCT Chamber Music Contest holds a special place in the hearts of New Zealand's musical community. Since its inception in 1965, it has provided a platform for thousands of secondary school students to experience the joy of chamber ensemble performance. As the largest and longest-running event of its kind in the country, it continues to inspire and encourage musicians at various stages of their development.

Rolf sits with his back to the camera while seven young cellists sit with their instruments in a semi-circle around him. They are listening intently as Rolf demonstrates something.
Rolf coaches a group of young cellists.

As we reflect on the exceptional NZSM Chamber Music Intensive weekend and look ahead to the forthcoming NZCT Chamber Music Contest, we celebrate the dedication and passion of these young musicians. We wish them all the best as they continue their musical journeys, confident that they will leave an indelible mark on New Zealand's vibrant chamber music scene.


To find out more about the NZCT Chamber Music Contest, or to book tickets for an upcoming performance, head to

Don't forget to watch the final concert and see for yourself that the future of New Zealand Chamber Music is in safe hands. Watch the concert here!

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