Our annual Adam Summer School for Chamber Music is always a hothouse for New Zealand’s young musical talent and, for many, it’s a seminal experience they will carry with them in their future music-making. Earlier this month, 28 young performers from around the country spent an intense 9 days together rehearsing and exchanging musical ideas in the lead up to a concert performance in Old St John’s in Nelson. They were fortunate to have the combined wisdom, experience and musical insight of our NZSQ members and pianist Diedre Irons, at their disposal and the students made the most of the opportunities on offer by way of coaching sessions and masterclasses.
Kauri May, a student at Mount Albert Grammar School in Auckland, was a first-timer at the school and was the winner of the Donald Armstrong Award for the student who made the most outstanding progress over the course of the week. She had this to say at the end:
It was an amazing experience – I learnt such a lot about ensemble playing. Being at the summer school has inspired me to do a lot more chamber music this year, in my final year of high school. I’ve never entered the NZCT Chamber Music Contest before but I hope to put a group together to enter this year. I definitely want to come back to the Adam Summer School in the future!
In a departure from other years, the Adam Summer School collaborated with the Adam Chamber Music Festival to offer one of the seven ensembles the opportunity to work on a professional basis in the week following the school, giving performances in the Nelson region as part of the Troubadour Quartet programme. Francis Yoon, cellist with the Troubadours, said of this opportunity:
The Troubadour programme has given us the chance to perform in a lot of very different environments and to reach out to audiences in schools, cafes, museums and even a car showroom! The Adam Summer School is a fantastic experience in itself because of the wonderful coaching from the NZSQ and Diedre Irons, and having the Troubadour Quartet opportunity on top of that is a great initiative that we’ve all gained from enormously.
The Adam Summer School offers the opportunity for some of our NZSQ supporters to develop a relationship with the next generation of young musicians, through donating to our Adam Sumer School Scholarship programme. Many of the scholarship donors have become regular attendees at the masterclasses throughout the week and wouldn’t miss the Finale concerts for the world. One of our most faithful supporters, Terry Holden, wrote to us saying:
It was, as always, a wonderful week, and the concerts were brilliant. The future of classical music is indeed in good hands, which is so satisfying. This event is the highlight of my musical year, without a doubt. I am already looking forward to next year's event.