Our Musicians

Stroma’s core group of performers include some of the most experienced and excellent chamber musicians in New Zealand.

Bridget Douglas

Flute/Alto Flute/Piccolo

Bridget Douglas is the Principal Flute of the NZSO. After completing studies at Victoria University, Bridget went to New York and Chicago for further studies. In the USA, Bridget won several competitions including the Artists International Award, resulting in a debut recital at Carnegie Hall. Bridget is also a member of the harp/flute duo Flight with Carolyn Mills (NZSO Principal Harp) and the contemporary ensemble Stroma. She has released two CDs with pianist Rachel Thomson (Syrinx, French music for flute and piano, and Taurangi, music by New Zealand composers) and a Flight CD with Carolyn Mills.

Patrick Barry


Born in Washington State, Patrick took up his position as Associate Principal Clarinet in 2000. He is a recent graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he studied with David Neuman and Luis Baez. During his studies, he had the opportunity to perform with members of the San Francisco Symphony and the remaining members of the Grateful Dead in a performance of John Cages music circus, Renga with Apartment House 1776. He was also involved with the debut performance of the Lawrence Peck Dance Company, a modern dance troupe committed to collaboration with living composers. Patrick was winner of the 1994 Corbett Concerto Competition and was awarded a fellowship to the Tanglewood Music Centre in 1997. Patrick performed the Mozart Clarinet Concerto at the age of 17 with the Oregon Symphony Orchestra in the United States.

Peter Dykes

Oboe/cor anglais

Peter Dykes studied oboe under Stephane Rancourt and Stephen West at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, having been awarded the MacFarlane Woodwind Scholarship, graduating in 2000. During his time in Scotland, he made regular guest appearances with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestra of Scottish Ballet. Peter was also a member of the Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra, touring extensively in Europe and America, and has made concerto performances with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the European Union Chamber Orchestra. In 2010 Peter moved to Wellington to take up his new position as Associate Principal Oboe with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. He continues to perform as a member of the Canterbury Wind Quintet, where he has participated in the Akaroa International Summer Festival, and is also a member of the Wellington contemporary music group Stroma.

Richard Haynes

Clarinet/bass clarinet

Richard Haynes is a member of ELISION Ensemble (Australia), PRAESENZ (Switzerland/ Germany) and Stroma (NZ), works as a freelance musician with 175 East (NZ), CIKADA (Norway), Ensemble Modern (Germany), Klangforum Wien (Austria) and musikFabrik (Germany) at festivals such as Paris Autumn Festival, Warsaw Autumn, MaerzMusik Berlin, Ultraschall Berlin, Festival Musica Strasbourg and the Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne International Arts Festivals; as an improviser and on solo projects (Listen my secret fetish and Ramparts of the Heavens) at festivals in Auckland, Hong Kong, Leipzig, Liverpool, London and Melbourne. With Stroma and 175 East, Richard has performed as a soloist in works by Richard Barrett (knospend-gespaltener), Aaron Cassidy (asphyxia), James Gardner (a study for voicing doubts), Gy?_rgy Kurt??g (Kr?_o Gy?_rgy), Michael Norris (tesser?_...interstices), Giacinto Scelsi (Kya), Jeroen Speak (Epiesodos and Silk Dialogue VI), Iannis Xenakis (??change) and Isang Yun (Piri), has been part of first performances of works by Helen Bowater, David Downes, Samuel Holloway, Jenny McLeod and John Young, including those during the 2007 Asia-Pacific Composers??? League Festival (Wellington) and NZ Music Month 2009, as well as performances in Auckland and Christchurch. Richard has been a featured artist at the 2008 Sound Invention Convention, Auckland.

Robert Weeks


Robert Weeks played frequently with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Victorian Philharmonic and various freelance groups before accepting a position in the Victorian Wind Quintet. In 1987 he moved to Perth, Western Australia, where he worked as Associate Principal Bassoon with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra until 2000 when he returned with his family to live in Napier. After several years freelancing with all of the New Zealand orchestras, Robert was appointed as Associate Principal Bassoon in the NZSO in 2007.

Edward Allen


Edward Allen was appointed principal horn of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in 1984. Since then he has appeared as a soloist with the NZSSO frequently, performing works of Mozart, Strauss, Burch and others. In addition, he is a member of the New Zealand Chamber Orchestra and has been a soloist with them performing works of Britten, Telemann and Mozart. He has performed concertos with most of the regional orchestras in New Zealand including the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, Dunedin Sinfonia, Wellington Sinfonia and the Auckland Sinfonietta. Other solo and chamber music recitals have been given with Bruce Greenfield, Diedre Irons, Tamas Vesmas, Wilma Smith, Michael Houstoun and Philip Walsh. Recordings for Concert FM have included many solo pieces and chamber works. In addition to orchestral music, Edward performs with several smaller ensembles including the New Zealand Soloists, the Twentieth Century Classics Ensemble and the New Zealand Wind Quintet.

David Bremner


David Bremner is Principal Trombone of the NZSO, a position he has held since 2002. Prior to that, he was Principal trombonist of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. He was awarded the prestigious Patricia Pratt Scholarship to study at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with Mark Lawrence, winning the Shenson Young Musician???s Competition and performing with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. He was the guest soloist with the National Youth Brass Band of NZ on their international tour of 2003 and is a past winner of the Junior and Open Champion of Champions??? Solo competition at the NZ Brass Band National Contest. A versatile musician, David has recorded with the New Zealand rock band Crowded House, is a founding member of the Bonanza Trombone Quartet and a member of the contemporary ensemble Stroma. His interest in music education is demonstrated in his role as Director of Education for Brass Bands New Zealand, as an Artist Teacher at the New Zealand School of Music and in conducting the Pelorus Trust Onslow Brass Band. David is seen regularly on television as a member of the Dancing with the Stars band

Andrew Jarvis


Andrew Jarvis was appointed Principal Tuba of the ???National Orchestra??? of South Africa in 1987 and was also conscripted into the Light Horse Regiment Band as part of his military service. He taught at various institutions and regularly performed with the Contemporary Brass Ensemble and the Transvaal Chamber Orchestra. In 1993 Andrew immigrated to Australia where he freelanced with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Philharmonic and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. While in Queensland he was appointed part-time Lecturer in Tuba at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University. In 1997 he was a guest soloist at the Brisbane International Brass Festival and in 1999, premiered a work by Paul Dean at the Tubamania International Tuba Conference. In 2000 Andrew was guest soloist for the Queensland Symphonic Winds tour of China. Andrew was appointed Principal Tuba of the NZSO in 2001. In 2004 Andrew premiered ???Labyrinth??? as soloist with the NZSO

Thomas Guldborg


Thomas Guldborg received his MMus in Percussion Performance from the Academy of Music in Aalborg. After graduating he went to Boston to study at New England Conservatory of Music, where he received his GradDip in Percussion Performance. While in Boston, Thomas worked extensively with acclaimed avant-garde pianist Stephen Drury. Together they performed Stockhausen???s Kontakte. Thomas was also the first recipient of the John Cage Memorial Award for New Music at New England Conservatory. In 1999 Thomas was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Centre, where he worked with Tan Dun and George Benjamin amongst others. In 2008 he joined the NZSO as associate principal percussion.

Jeremy Fitzsimons


Jeremy is principal percussionist for the Vector Wellington Orchestra, has played regularly with the NZSO since 1993, and has been freelancing in Wellington for the last 20 years. He has recorded CDs of marimba and percussion music by Gareth Farr and John Psathas, toured with Chamber Music NZ, and was a founding member of Strike Percussion and Gareth Farr???s Drumdrag. Recent projects include being a guest soloist at a marimba festival in Portugal, ensemble soloist with the APO and percussionist with the Pink Floyd Experience. A 1996 Fulbright Scholar, Jeremy has a Bachelor of Music with first class honours from Victoria University of Wellington as well as a Masters and an Advanced Performance Certificate from Northwestern University in Chicago where he studied with Michael Burritt and James Ross. He is a graduate of the Leigh Howard Stevens International Marimba Seminar in New Jersey and the Music Academy of the West in California.

Emma Sayers


Emma Sayers studied in NZ with Judith Clark, completing her BMus at Victoria University. She then travelled to Hungary thanks to the generous support of a TVNZ Young Achiever???s Award and studied at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, primarily with Rita Wagner. She also holds a MMus degree from Massey University. Emma loves playing new music and has been a member of Stroma since its inaugural concert. She has given many premiere performances of works by NZ composers, including Anthony Ritchie???s 3rd Piano concerto which was written for her and has been performed with both the Auckland Philharmonia and the Manukau Symphony Orchestra. Emma teaches at the NZ School of Music in Wellington.

Vesa-Matti Leppänen


Vesa-Matti Lepp?_nen is Concertmaster of the NZSO. After completing his studies at the Turku Conservatory and Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, he joined the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the oldest symphony orchestras in Europe. At only 16 years of age, he won the prestigious Heinonen National Violin Competition for young violinists and the same year joined Concordo String Quartet, which went on to win a special prize at the 1989 Tulindberg International String Quartet Competition. Since moving to New Zealand in 2000, Vesa-Matti Lepp?_nen has toured the country as NZSO Concertmaster, soloist and chamber musician, working alongside internationally renowned soloists such as Pinchas Zukerman, Hillary Hahn and Lang-Lang. Lepp?_nen has also performed as a featured soloist with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia and Christchurch Symphony and his solo engagements in New Zealand have included concertos by Mozart, Sibelius, Lalo and Prokofiev.

Rebecca Struthers


Rebecca joined the NZSO in 1991 and remembers her first concert playing Bruckner 9 with Franz-Paul Decker as a stand-out experience of her orchestral life. Originally from Nelson, Rebecca graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in London in 1985 and went on to freelance around the UK and Europe before returning home.

Anne Loeser


Anne studied the violin at the Musikhochschule Frankfurt. She was a member of the Orfeo Quartet which won a scholarship from the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) for a year's post-graduate study in Budapest. With the Quartet she toured throughout Europe and in South America. Anne has played in the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn and Hesse State Theatre Orchestra Wiesbaden in Germany. Anne made the major decision to leave Germany and joined the NZSO in 2000.

Kristina Zelinska


Kristina Zelinska studied violin at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Kiev. While studying at the Conservatory, she played with the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine and Kiev Chamber Orchestra, and toured Europe and Asia. Her family moved to Christchurch, New Zealand, in 1995 and Kristina and her husband decided to join them in 1999. In Christchurch, Kristina continued her studies at the University of Canterbury with Jan Tawroszewicz, gaining her BMHons degree as well as giving numerous solo and chamber music recitals. In 2001, she took up the position of the third chair of first violins with the Christchurch Symphony and in 2005 moved to Wellington to join the first violin section in the NZSO.

Emma Barron


Emma studied violin with Natalia Morozova at the Rotterdam Conservatorium of Music and with Jan Tawroszewicz at the University of Canterbury, completing a Bachelor of Music degree with first class honours in 1997. During this time she participated twice in the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, enjoying masterclasses with artists such as Charles Castleman, Dong-Suk Kang and Dene Olding. Emma has led the Christchurch Youth Orchestra, the University of Canterbury Chamber Orchestra and worked as a first violinist in the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. After graduating she undertook further study in Lubeck, Germany and in Italy. An Alex Lindsay Award recipient, Emma was appointed to the NZSO First Violin Section in May 2002.

Andrew Thomson


Andrew studied violin performance at Victoria University and at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He is currently Principal 2nd Violin in the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and plays viola for Felix the Quartet, as well as performing in the New Zealand Chamber Orchestra.

Robert Ibell


From 1986 to 1992 Robert Ibell lived in London, studying cello with Tanya Prochazka, Derek Simpson and Christopher Bunting. He played at music schools and in masterclasses (where his teachers included Alexander Baillie, Steve Doane, Anner Bylsma and Steven Isserlis), taught, gave recitals and played in professional and amateur orchestras. Since 1993 he has been a member of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. He is also a member of the Nevine String Quartet and the New Zealand Chamber Orchestra.

Rowan Prior


English-born Rowan has been a member of the NZSO cello section since 1996. She studied cello in Hampshire, England between the ages of 6 & 11 before moving to Christchurch, New Zealand, where she studied with Ellen Doyle and played in the Christchurch Symphony. At the age of 18 she won a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music in London. At the R.A.M, she won several prizes and commendations for solo and chamber music performance, including the prize for ???Most Promising Student??? in her first year. Once Rowan graduated she spent several years touring Europe, Asia, and New Zealand as part of the Prelude, a duo of violin and cello. Rowan returned to New Zealand in 1990, where she played with the Wellington Sinfonia before joining the NZSO and the New Zealand Chamber Orchestra. She has also appeared as a soloist in the Christchurch Symphony and the Wellington Sinfonia subscription series, as well as performing many solo and chamber music both for radio and CD???s.

Alexander Gunchenko

Double Bass

Alexander Gunchenko was born in Kiev, Ukraine in June 1978. He studied at Lysenko School of Music in Kiev, Ukraine, and at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory (now Academy of Music) 1997-1999, Kiev, Ukraine. At the same time he worked with the National Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra (1997-1999) and National Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra of Ukraine (1998-1999). In 1999, Alexander immigrated to New Zealand where joined Christchurch Symphony and took the position of Associate Principal Double Bass section in 2002. He participated in the NZ National Youth Orchestra in 2001 as an Associate Principal and in 2002 as Principal of Double Bass section. In 2003, he completed his BMus at University of Canterbury with Dale Gold and Edith Zaltzman, and freelanced with major orchestras throughout Australasia before joined the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in 2007. Alexander undertook masterclasses with Paul Ellison and was invited to study with Jeff Bradetich for the Elite Soloists Masterclasses in 2011. He is a member of the contemporary ensemble Stroma, as well as an active chamber music and solo recital performer.

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