Graham McPhail has been at the forefront of historical performance practice in New Zealand since his return from study in Holland with Sigiswald Kuijken in the 1980s. Graham is a member of Extempore, one of New Zealand's first ensembles devoted to early music performance. Graham has worked extensively with other early music players in New Zealand including Bronwen Pugh and Robert Petre (www.restorationensemble.co.nz), and has led Bach Musica NZ and Pipers Sinfonia in Auckland, who explored baroque style on modern instruments under his guidance. In 2004, along with Helen Brinkman, he formed NZ Barok. Graham has been artistic co-director for NZ Barok and his creative leadership has been pivotal in the success of NZ Barok’s 15 years of concerts throughout New Zealand, radio New Zealand broadcasts, and their three CD recordings. Graham has taught most of New Zealand's current generation of baroque string players, many of whom contribute to the success of NZ Barok including Miranda Hutton, Lara Hall, and Amelia Giles. Graham is now Senior Lecturer in music education at the University of Auckland, Faculty of Education and Social Work.
Miranda Hutton is one of New Zealand's leading early music specialists. After gaining 1st class honours in modern violin performance at the University of Auckland, Miranda was initially inspired to specialise in baroque performance practice by Graham McPhail. She continued her baroque studies at the Royal Conservatorium in The Hague, the Netherlands, spending nearly eight years overseas in total. Miranda studied the baroque violin with Ryo Terakado and took masterclasses and performed under musicians such as Sigiswald
Kuijken, Gustav Leonhardt, Anner Bylsma, Ton Koopman, Roy Goodman and Rachel Podger. She performed with orchestras and chamber groups throughout Holland, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland and as far afield as Iceland. Highlights include recording several CDs with the New Dutch Academy, winning first prize with her classical period quartet at a competition in Mannheim, leading a fully-staged seven-week season of Molière's Le Malade Imaginaire in Utrecht and performing Purcell's Fairy Queen and King Arthur as interactive plays for children. Since her return to New Zealand, Miranda has enjoyed a busy schedule including working alongside Graham McPhail as co-artistic director of NZ Barok, as well as performing with Affetto, Chamber Music New Zealand, New Zealand Opera, Opera Academy and leading Auckland Choral’s orchestra Pipers Sinfonia. Recent highlights include performing OrphEus, a Dance Opera at the Auckland Festival and NZ Festival with the New Zealand Dance Company and Michael Parmenter. She also travels across the Tasman to perform with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and Pinchgut Opera in Sydney. Miranda teaches baroque violin at the University of Auckland, is a trained Suzuki violin teacher, and alongside her home studio, works with state primary school students in schools to give them musical experiences of the highest level.
Baroque specialist Helen Brinkman is a vital figure in the New Zealand Arts scene. Founder of Kowhai Baroque (2000) and Co-founder of NZ Barok (2004) Helen combines her expertise as a baroque cellist, performer, producer and arts manager to enable the baroque music scene in New Zealand to thrive. Helen is a graduate of Victoria University of Wellington having completed an honours degree in both baroque and modern cello performance. She continued her studies in baroque performance, completing a postgraduate diploma at the Royal Conservatorium in The Hague, The Netherlands having received Creative NZ, Rotary and Dutch Government Scholarships (NUFFIC). Helen studied baroque cello with Jaap ter Linden and took masterclasses and performed under musicians including Sigiswald, Wieland and Barthold Kuijken, Ryo Terakado and Wilbert Hazelzet. Helen played continuo for many soloists and ensembles whilst in the Netherlands, a highlight being a tour of Europe with the baroque opera Thésée (Lully) conducted by Sir William Christie. Helen co-founded NZ Barok with Graham McPhail in 2004 and has been the principal manager and producer of the orchestra over the last 15 years, having recently moved into the role of Executive Producer. She has played continuo for and performed with many leading soloists, music ensembles and choirs within New Zealand and overseas including Andreas Scholl, Penelope Spencer, Lara Hall, Pepe Becker, Jayne Tankersley, Rowena Simpson, Musica Sacra, Auckland Opera Studio, Kowhai Baroque (Founder 2000-2003), Extempore, Bach Musica NZ, Piper's Sinfonia, Baroque Voices, Paul Plunkett, John Holloway, Cantoris Choir & The Wellington Baroque Players. Alongside her performing career Helen is a cello tutor (Associate - IRMTNZ) for the Tironui Music Trust.
Bronwen Pugh has been a core member of NZ Barok since 2006. She completed studies in philosophy, education and music in New Zealand, before three years’ full-time study of the baroque violin with Sigiswald Kuijken at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. During her time in Europe she became a member of several baroque orchestras and ensembles in the Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain and Italy, and has returned most recently to participate in Kuijken’s masterclasses at Collevecchio in Italy. Bronwen is a founding member, with harpsichordist Robert Petre, of the ensemble Restoration, which has toured throughout New Zealand with visiting international artists, including performances at the International Festival of the Arts. Restoration has recorded for Radio NZ Concert, in London on the Meridian label (Musick Al’Italliana) and an acclaimed CD of Rameau’s Pièces de clavecin en concerts. Since 2017 Restoration has been working with guest Australian violinist Lucinda Moon, including touring a Bach programme in 2018. Bronwen founded and co-directed St Paul’s Baroque, an orchestra in residence at the Wellington Cathedral of St Paul, and has worked with other local ensembles including Tudor Consort and Extempore Plus. Many years of work and research with colleagues into the connections between baroque music and dance led to her invitation by the world’s foremost authority Wendy Hilton to become music director at her annual workshop in Baroque Dance and Its Music at Stanford University, USA, between 1990 and 2005. Bronwen’s work in this field was also recognised with a Fulbright Cultural Development award for travel and research into baroque music and dance.
Wen Chuan Lin is active as a professional viola player with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and Auckland Chamber Orchestra, having graduated from the Royal Conservatory of Music of Brussels, Belgium, where she obtained 1st Prize and Superior Diplomas on viola and in chamber music performance. She discovered her interest in baroque music playing on original instruments with Graham McPhail, and has been a regular member of NZ Barok since the group was founded in 2004. Wen Chuan has played with NZ early music ensembles Extempore and Age of Discovery. She has participated in the Peninsula Summer Festival in Melbourne for French operas, a CD project with the Australian Haydn ensemble and a masterclass with Early Music pioneer Sigiswald Kuijken in Collevecchio, Italy. Wen Chuan also travels to Australia to play with period instruments orchestra ARCO - Australian Romantic and Classical Orchestra under the direction of late Richard Gill AO and Rachael Beesley. She also tours with Formosa Baroque in Taiwan, with whom she was invited to perform at Forbidden City Early Music Festival in Beijin and Tianjin (2019) She has performed with eminent musicians such as Pierre Hantaï, Marc Hantaï, François Fernandez, Luis Octavio Santos, Ryo Terakado, Marc Mauillon, Patrick Beaugiraud, Rainer Zipperling. Photograph by Adrian Malloch.
Emma Goodbehere completed her modern studies in cello at Victoria University of Wellington, and then travelled to The Hague in the Netherlands to study baroque cello with Jaap ter Linden. Since her return to New Zealand, Emma has collaborated extensively with other Wellington-based early music specialists as well as performing with NZ Barok. In the Chamber Music New Zealand series, Emma toured with the Wallfisch Band (2010) and Barocca(2013). She has also performed Handel's Acis and Galatea with NZ Opera (2013). Recently, Emma has performed and toured with Wellington-based ensemble Restoration. As well as performing, Emma teaches Suzuki cello and has set up a Suzuki Early Childhood Education programme in Wellington.
Violinist, violist and baroque specialist, Fiona Haughton now lives in NZ after several years studying and working in Canada. Fiona gained a BMus(Hons) from Victoria University under Helene Pohl and from there won a Commonweath Scholarship, completing a Masters of Music in violin performance at UBC in Vancouver, Canada. Her passion for the baroque violin was sparked during a Tafelmusik summer institute and through performing with Marc Destrubé and Pacific Baroque. Fiona has subsequently contributed widely to the baroque life of NZ, touring with Chamber Music NZ and NZ Barok. In addition, Fiona works with the Auckland Chamber Orchestra, Bach Musica, Auckland Choral and when possible plays with the philanthropic orchestra Wairua Sinonietta. Also in demand for her viola playing skills, Fiona sometimes performs as part of the NZSO viola section. A trained Suzuki violin teacher, Fiona is passionate about giving all children the opportunity to experience high quality music making. She teaches children of all ages in schools and from her private violin/viola studio in Auckland.
Catherine Polglase is a freelance violinist, violin teacher, conductor and the Orchestra Planning Manager of Orchestra Central Trust in Hamilton. She studied violin at Auckland University with David Nalden, completing a BA in Music and History and studied baroque violin with Graham McPhail (Catherine is a founding member of NZ Barok). Catherine is the leader of the Hamilton ensemble Vox Baroque that performs monthly cantatas as part of St Peter's Cathedral Cantata Vespers. In 2017 Catherine was selected to be part of CMNZ Nelson Bach Residency working with Julliard 415 under Maasaki Suzuki. Catherine is a Suzuki violin teacher and also runs a Suzuki Early Childhood Education music class in her Hamilton studio and is the writer, music selector and narrator of NZ Barok’s highly successful Baby Baroque Free Kids’ Concerts.
Alison Salmons began studying historically informed performance during her music degree at Auckland and Victoria universities. After graduating from Victoria University of Wellington, she gained valuable experience playing the baroque viola with Extempore Plus for several years whilst working as a freelance violist with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, the Auckland Chamber Orchestra and for various Broadway shows. Alison moved to Melbourne in 2000 and took up a job as a school music teacher at Sophia Mundi Steiner School, staying there for seven years. Upon her return to NZ she joined NZ Barok. Highlights of playing baroque viola for her have included travelling to Portugal to study with Jürgen Kussmaul. When not playing the baroque viola, Alison works as a music teacher in Auckland.
Originally from Hawkes Bay, Janne Ensor completed a BMus in violin performance, studying at the University of Otago (with Tessa Peterson and Donald Maurice) and then at Victoria University in Wellington (with Helene Pohl). While at Otago, she also completed a BSc majoring in physics, and was awarded the Beverley Scholarship in Physics and the Alice Kirschner Prize in Music. She has performed in various orchestras throughout the country, including the Dunedin Sinfonia, Wellington Sinfonia, the Auckland Chamber Orchestra, Bach Musica NZ, NZ Pops and Pipers Sinfonia. Janne has also worked as a secondary school teacher at St Cuthbert's College, and as an Acoustical Consultant with Marshall Day Acoustics. In this role she worked in both environmental and architectural acoustics and continues to be interested in the acoustics of concert halls and theatres. Janne is now a freelance musician based in Auckland. Her first experience in playing the baroque violin was at Victoria University and she is currently studying the baroque violin with Graham McPhail.
A versatile musician who is active in both the New Zealand instrumental and choral communities, Amelia began learning violin at the age of three through the Suzuki method. Tertiary studies led to baroque violin lessons with Dr Graham McPhail resulting in a M.Mus in both Modern and Baroque Violin Performance. In 2005 Amelia changed careers and trained as a primary school teacher. From 2008 - 2018 she worked at St Cuthbert’s College, Auckland where her role encompassed Y6-13 classroom music teaching, string specialist work, and direction of orchestras, a choir, and chamber music groups. Amelia has recently completed further study in Australia and Hungary gaining international certification in Kodály Concept Music Education, and Choral Conducting. In 2019, she began a new adventure in her music education career as the sole-charge full time music specialist at Royal Oak Primary School in Auckland. When she is not in the classroom Amelia has continued to perform in a wide range of both project-based, and long-term ensembles, including New Zealand’s Baroque Orchestra ‘NZ Barok’ (of which she is a founding member) and as a pool member of the national chamber choir ‘Voices NZ’.
Rosana Houthuesen graduated with a violin performance diploma from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, in 1977. She subsequently studied Suzuki violin teaching in Europe and Japan and has been a busy Suzuki teacher ever since. As well as bringing up a family and teaching, she played in various semi-professional orchestras in England and co-founded a baroque group playing on original instruments. Emigrating to New Zealand in 1991 (and now a citizen), Rosana has a very active and varied musical life. She has led and co-led Bach Musica NZ, Pipers Sinfonia, the Handel Consort & Quire, and the Manukau Symphony Orchestra and played with Auckland Chamber and Opus orchestras in the past. As a freelance musician she plays regularly with NZ Barok, Ensemble Polymnia, Wairau Sinfonietta, Pipers Sinfonia, Bay of Plenty Symphony and Dunedin Symphony Orchestra as well as Norwich Baroque in England.
Orchestral musician, bassist and baroque specialist Eric Scholes recently returned to NZ after several years in the USA and Europe. Eric currently divides his time between performing with the Auckland Chamber Orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, retro rock 'n' roll quartet The Rocking Roller-Coasters and ten-piece soul/funk outfit Mister Speaker. Son of eminent NZ composer, conductor and clarinetist Peter Scholes and violinist Katherine Harris, Eric began his musical studies on the violin at the age of 5. He switched to electric bass at intermediate school, developing his passion for the instrument in school jazz bands. Eric subsequently completed a Bachelor of Music at the University of Auckland with John Harrison, Michael Steer and Evgeny Lanchtchikov, won a six-month fellowship position in the Auckland Philharmonia bass section, and studied at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore with Ira Gold, gaining a Graduate Performance Diploma. Eric’s move towards historical double bass performance was sparked when he first began playing with NZ Barok in 2014. During his time in the USA he built on this experience, taking lessons in viola da gamba and violone with John Moran and performing regularly with the Baltimore Baroque Band. Eric traveled to summer festival academies including Akademie für Alte Musik Bruneck, Italy, the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute in Toronto and the Amsterdam Early Music Summer School. As featured soloist with NZ Barok, Eric performed Dittersdorf's concerto No. 2 in May 2019 to great acclaim.
Dr Martin Griffiths is a cello teacher and examiner for the New Zealand Music Education Board and principal cellist of Opus Orchestra (NZ). He is a member of Vox Baroque with whom he regularly appears alongside wife and harpsichordist Dr Rachael Griffiths-Hughes. Martin has performed with the Auckland Philharmonia, Auckland Chamber Orchestra, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, Bay of Plenty Sinfonia and the Handel Consort and Quire. Since 2013 he has presented the music of Arnold Trowell (1887-1966) in Hamilton, Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington and most recently Krakow, Poland. A biographer of Katherine Mansfield, his research is published in the Katherine Mansfield Society Journal.
Yuhka Nagai is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, London and the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance also in London where she was awarded scholarships and gained a teaching qualification, LRAM. In Japan Yuhka completed a MA Music degree from the Musashino Academia Musicae in Tokyo where she obtained a teaching license and was selected as leader of the Musashino Academia Symphony Orchestra for 3 years. Her piano Quartet “Blüte” won third prize at the 1st Memorial Tokyo Art Chamber Music Competition.
In London, her quartet, the Kodo String Quartet was under the Caducci and Wihan String Quartets' mentorship and was a finalist in the Richard Carne Intercollegiate String Quartet Competition 2015 and also won the John Thompson prize from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Yuhka studied mental training with Dr. Shuichi Tsuji and the Alexander Technique with John Crawford. Arriving in New Zealand in 2017 Yuhka completed the Manchester fellowship programme with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and has continued working with the APO as a contractor. Yuhka has studied baroque violin with members of NZ Barok and viola with Richard Crabtree in London. She currently teaches both violin and viola.
Historical trumpet and cornetto specialist Peter Reid is in demand in both NZ and Australia. Founding member of the baroque ensemble Affetto, formed in 2010 with critically acclaimed CD (2017), Peter regularly performs with NZ Barok , has toured twice with Chamber Music New Zealand and plays for the Queen’s Closet in Wellington. His Australian work includes performing with La Compania and Ludovico's Band in Melbourne, Australian Baroque Brass and the Choir of St James in Sydney. Peter also collaborates with Renaissance Dance troupe Capriol. On the modern trumpet Peter performs with Bach Musica and freelances with other Auckland orchestras and ensembles. After completing music studies at the University of Auckland Peter accepted a place at the Trinity College of Music in London, developing his passion for period performance and subsequently performing in the UK and Europe.
The New-Zealander choral conductor, harpsichordist, organist and music pedagogue, Rachael Griffiths-Hughes, completed a Master of Music degree in harpsichord and organ performance with the late Anthony Jennings. Then she won a scholarship to study in America, where she completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the State University of New York. Early music specialist Rachael Griffiths-Hughes combines her teaching work at the Conservatorium of Music with a busy schedule of performing and choral conducting. She is Senior Lecturer at the University of Waikato Conservatorium of Music, where she teaches Music History, Harpsichord and Organ and Musicianship. She is director of the University Chamber Choir, Director of Music at St. Peter’s Cathedral, Hamilton. Rachael Griffiths-Hughes is a member (harpsichord & organ) of Affetto - NZ Baroque Music Group. In 2014, she formed the ensemble Vox Baroque, a 12-voice choir who perform 17th and 18th century cantatas once a month, with a small band of instrumentalists. She has also recently performed and recorded with NZ Barok, and is working on a project with Lara Hall, investigating and recording 18th century English music for violin and harpsichord. As well as passion for Baroque music, Rachael Griffiths-Hughes has research interests in Choral Music. For 15 years was conductor and Music Director of the Hamilton Civic Choir. Recent works performed with this group include: J.S. Bach's B minor Mass (BWV 232); Benjamin Britten's cantata St. Nicolas; Missa Criolla by Ramirez; Tempus et Moutere by Michael Williams; L.v. Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Auckland Philharmonia, and a gala performance of George Frideric Handel's Messiah, performed on period instruments. She can also be heard every weekend at St. Peter's Cathedral, Hamilton, where she is Organist and Director of Music.
Whina Te Whiu has worked in the library, archives and museum sector for over twenty five years in the public, tertiary, iwi and private sector. Currently Whina is the curator and manager of the regional museum in Kaitaia, the Museum at Te Ahu. Whina has recently taken on the role of Maori advisor to NZ Barok. She worked closely with writer/narrator Catherine Polglase and producer Helen Brinkman in regards to the Baby Baroque stories and waiata, helping them to achieve a truly bi-cultural concert experience for the Baby Baroque audience.