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. Along with Sally and James Tibbles and Margaret Cooke, Graham formed Extempore, one of New Zealand's first ensembles devoted to early music performance (Sons of Bach recording). Graham has worked extensively with other early music players in New Zealand including Bronwen Pugh and Robert Petre (Rameau - Pièces de Clavecin), 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 taught most of New Zealand's current generation of baroque string players, many of whom contribute to the success of NZ Barok. Alongside his performing career, Graham taught secondary school music for twenty years and contributed to music education at a national level through his work for NZQA and the New Zealand Suzuki Institute. 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 completing an honours degree in modern violin performance at the University of Auckland, Miranda was initially inspired to specialise in baroque performance practice by Graham McPhail and James Tibbles. 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 with NZ Barok, Age of Discovery and Affetto as well as for Chamber Music New Zealand and New Zealand Opera. She also regularly travels across the Tasman to perform with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and Pinchgut Opera in Sydney. Miranda is the leader of baroque programmes for Auckland Choral's orchestra Pipers Sinfonia, and is a Suzuki violin teacher.
Helen Brinkman (nee Polglase) 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 where she studied with Jaap ter Linden. Helen co-founded NZ Barok with Graham McPhail in 2004. She has played continuo for and performed with many leading soloists, music ensembles and choirs within New Zealand and overseas including Andreas Scholl, Pepe Becker, Jayne Tankersley, Musica Sacra, Kowhai Baroque (Founder 2000-2003), Extempore, Bach Musica NZ, Piper's Sinfonia, Baroque Voices, Cantoris Choir & The Wellington Baroque Players. Alongside her performing career and raising a family Helen has worked as a team leader managing libraries and a teacher/facilitator for Playcentre and SPACE. She continues to perform with and help manage NZ Barok and works as a teacher aide for West Harbour School in Auckland.
Bronwen Pugh completed studies in philosophy, education and music in NZ, followed by three years at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague studying baroque violin with Sigiswald Kuijken, during which she became a member of several baroque orchestras and ensembles touring Europe. Returning to New Zealand, she was a founding member, with harpsichordist Robert Petre, of the baroque music ensemble Restoration, which has toured throughout New Zealand, including performances at the International Festival of the Arts. Restoration has recorded for RNZ Concert, in London on the Meridian label (Musick Al'Italliana), and an acclaimed CD of Rameau's Pièces de clavecin en concerts (2008). Bronwen has worked with numerous international guest artists and local ensembles, including St Paul's Baroque, the Tudor Consort and Extempore Plus, and with orchestras and chamber ensembles in Australia. From 1990 until 2005, she was music director at Wendy Hilton's annual Workshop in Baroque Dance at Stanford University, USA, and was awarded a Fulbright Cultural Development grant to travel and research baroque music and dance. In 2012 and 2013 Bronwen travelled to Italy to participate in Sigisiwald Kuijken's masterclass at Collevecchio, working on Haydn and Mozart operas and symphonies.
Wen Chuan Lin is active as a professional viola player with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and with chamber ensembles, 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 also played with NZ early music ensembles Extempore and Age of Discovery. She has been invited to play as principal viola and participated in chamber music programmes with Sydney's period orchestra, ARCO (Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra). In 2016 she was invited to play with the Australian Haydn Ensemble and with Formosa Baroque in Taiwan. She has participated in a masterclass in Collevecchio, Italy, with Sigiswald Kuijken, and collaborated with musicians such as Martin Gester, Roy Goodman, Francois Fernandez, Marc Hantai, and Francois Guerrier. 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. Recent highlights of her musical career include touring with the Wallfisch Band's 2010 Chamber Music New Zealand series. As well as performing, Emma teaches Suzuki cello and has set up a Suzuki Early Childhood Education programme in Wellington.
Fiona Haughton is a freelance violinist and violin teacher who has been working in Auckland for the last eight years. After spending her childhood in Auckland she moved to Wellington, where she completed a BMus(Hons) in violin performance at Victoria University. From there it was on to Vancouver, Canada, with the help of a Commonwealth Scholarship, where she completed a Masters of Music also in violin performance. After returning to Auckland in 2008 she established a studio teaching violin to students using the Suzuki method and began playing for various orchestras including NZ Barok. In the past eight years she has also undertaken much professional development on teaching using the Suzuki method. The majority of her time now is taken up being a busy mum to four children, including a set of twins, with occasional breaks during the week to teach violin or play in NZ Barok.
Catherine Polglase is a freelance violinist and violin teacher. She studied violin at Auckland University with David Nalden, completing a BA in music and history. She later studied baroque violin with Graham McPhail. She is the leader of the Hamilton based Cantata Vespers and Vox Baroque ensembles. Catherine is a Suzuki violin teacher and also runs a Suzuki Early Childhood Education music class in her Hamilton studio. She is the Waikato Co-ordinator of the parenting programme 'Space for you and your baby'.
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. She returned to NZ in 2007 and 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.
Eric began learning the violin at the age of five and then switched to the electric bass in Intermediate school. Playing in school jazz bands he developed a passion for bass playing and picked up the double bass at the age of 18. From there he began a Bachelor of Music at the University of Auckland with John Harrison and completed under Michael Steer and Evgeny Lanchtchikov. After completing a six-month fellowship position in the Auckland Philharmonia bass section, Eric moved to the USA and completed a Graduate Performance Diploma at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore with Ira Gold. There he took lessons in viola da gamba and violone with John Moran and performed regularly with the Baltimore Baroque Band. Eric has participated in several summer festival academies including Akademie für Alte Musik Bruneck, Italy the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute in Toronto and the Amsterdam Early Music Summer School. He has been performing with NZ Barok since 2014 and plays casually with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Auckland Chamber Orchestra and other groups throughout New Zealand.
German-born Anne Loeser studied violin at the Frankfurt Musikhochschule and joined the first violin section of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in 2000. Before emigrating to New Zealand, Anne played in the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn and Hesse State Theatre Orchestra in Wiesbaden. She was also a member of the award-winning Orfeo Quartet, which won a scholarship for a years post-graduate study with Sandor Devich of the Bartok Quartet in Budapest. With the Quartet she toured throughout Europe and in South America. During her teenage years Anne's principal violin teacher and mentor was Prof. Helmut Heller, Wilhelm Furtwängler's concertmaster in the Berlin Philharmonic. More recently she worked with many inspiring musicians, among them Norbert Brainin of the Amadeus Quartet, Thomas Kakuska of the Alban Berg Quartet, Hermann Voss and Peter Buck of the Melos Quartet, Shmuel Ashkenasi of the Vermeer Quartet and members of the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. Anne's love for chamber music has seen her play in various ensembles, ranging from baroque on authentic instruments to modern, throughout Germany and New Zealand. Recently Anne joined NZ Barok and in July 2016 performed with the Darmstädter Barocksolisten and L'arpa festante, Munich, in Germany. Anne is a member of the Koru Piano Trio and concertmaster of the Days Bay Opera Orchestra. As soloist, Anne has appeared in various cities in Germany, New Zealand and in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Rosana Houthuesen graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, in 1977. She subsequently studied Suzuki violin teaching, 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 in the past. She is now playing regularly with NZ Barok, Auckland Chamber Orchestra, Opus Orchestra, Ensemble Polymnia, Wairau Sinfonietta and Pipers Sinfonia. She greatly enjoys and appreciates the many musical genres from the 17th century to the present day, and the opportunity the musical world has given her to experience new places, food and good company.
Amelia Giles began her violin studies at the age of three through the Suzuki method. Amelia completed a BMus(Hons) in violin performance under David Nalden in 2001. In that same year she began baroque violin studies with Graham McPhail. Postgraduate studies with Justine Cormack and Graham McPhail led to the completion of a MMus in both modern and baroque violin performance. In 2003 she was awarded a one-year internship with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra as part of their Sir William and Lady Lois Manchester internship programme. In 2005 Amelia changed careers, training as a primary school teacher. She currently works at St Cuthbert's College as a full-time classroom music specialist, string specialist, and orchestra and choir director. When not in the classroom Amelia performs with NZ Barok (of which she is a founding member), and as both an orchestral and choral musician in a wide range of other ensembles including Pipers Sinfonia, Bach Musica NZ, Auckland Chamber Choir and, when her teaching schedule permits, the national chamber choir Voices NZ.
Iselta Allison grew up in a musical family in Christchurch. She studied violin performance at Victoria University in Wellington, and at the Hochschule für Musik Köln/Wuppertal. She began playing baroque violin in Germany in parallel with modern violin, and joined NZ Barok on her return to New Zealand. Iselta also plays viola with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra as associate player. She is currently taking time out to focus on her new challenge of motherhood.