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More than $30,000 for talented young performing artists across NZ

DMMF Arts Excellence Award recipients 2023
From left, top row: Sarah Rathbun, Abhinath Berry, Anastasia Bell, Chris Everest. Bottom row: Olivia Pike, Erica Paterson, Larissa Kent, Katherine Winitana, Ellis Carrington

Five sopranos, a pianist, a trombonist, a flautist and a classical guitarist have shared in more than $30,000 as part of the Dame Malvina Major Foundation Arts Excellence Awards for 2023.

The Foundation’s Arts Excellence Awards support young New Zealanders of outstanding ability in the classical performing arts who are preparing for a professional career. This is the first year they have been offered nationwide.

Dame Malvina says the awards, administered by local volunteer committees across the country, recognise the talent and potential of young New Zealand performing artists at grassroots level.

“The calibre of applicants has yet again impressed and inspired us, we are thrilled to be able to give these young people a foot up to take their talent even further.”

The recipients of Dame Malvina Major Foundation Arts Excellence Awards for 2023 are:

Upper North Island (north of Taupo):

  • Ellis Carrington, soprano – towards a Master of Music in Voice Performance at the Royal Welsh College of Music
  • Katherine Winitana (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngaariki Kaiputahi), soprano – towards an audition tour in the United States including the Merola Opera Program and Ryan Opera Studio

Lower North Island (Taupo south, including Hawke’s Bay):

  • Larissa Kent, soprano – towards a Master of Music in Classical Voice Performance at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music
  • Chris Everest, classical guitarist – to participate in Camino de las Artes international workshop for classical guitar in Carrión de los Condes, Spain
  • Sarah Rathbun, trombonist – towards a Master of Music in Orchestral Performance at the Manhattan School of Music

South Island:

  • Olivia Pike, soprano – towards a Graduate Performance Diploma in Voice Performance at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee
  • Erica Paterson, lyric-coloratura soprano – towards a Master of Music in Vocal Studies at the Royal College of Music in London
  • Abhinath Berry, pianist and composer – towards an audition tour of the United States, including Shepherd, Jacobs, Yale, and Cleveland schools of music
  • Anastasia Bell, flautist receives the Cecily Maccoll High Achiever Award, funded by a legacy from the late Cecily Maccoll – to attend a flute summer intensive programme at the Michigan University School of Music, Theatre and Dance

Thanks to the Toi Foundation, the Dame Malvina Major Foundation Taranaki Committee offers funding opportunities to Taranaki youth involved in the performing arts twice a year, with applications closing on 31 March and 30 September.

Read more about DMMF Arts Excellence Awards


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