The Dame Malvina Major Foundation has appointed renowned bass singer Martin Snell to mentor and support young performing artists training in Europe.
Otago born and raised but now based in Switzerland, Mr Snell has more than 20 years’ international experience in professional singing, and has received many awards and scholarships, including winning the 1993 Mobil Song Quest.
He says he is only too pleased to advise and encourage younger musical talent in their quest to pursue both study and a career within and beyond New Zealand’s shores.
“It is an opportunity to give something back, albeit intangible and non-monetary in value, just as I have been similarly freely advised by many professional leaders. With the passage of time and through my own natural curiosity, I have gathered considerable knowledge through experience of the music profession and related travel in a number of countries.”
Mr Snell says the scarcity of public and private financial resources at home must be balanced against the not insubstantial financial requirements of postgraduate studies, particularly in these trying times amidst the shifting sands of access to the employment market beyond those studies.
“I encourage aspiring young artists, not limited to singers, to chase every chance that may present itself or seek to create any opportunity that they can for themselves. Ultimately, it comes down to being in the right place at the right time combined with the individual’s and tutors’ abilities but tempered by realism.”
Dame Malvina says the Foundation was looking forward to working with Martin to provide support and advice to the Foundation’s young artists who are studying away from home.
“While funding is critical for these young New Zealanders training offshore, success is founded on a lot more than financial investment. We are very holistic in our view of how we can help grow the next generation of talent.”