Sound Wave Cropped Left


Ashley Brown

Section Principal


Chair Donor
Anne Lankovsky & Alan Clanachan

Founder of NZTrio and passionate advocate for New Zealand music, cellist Ashley Brown is in demand as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral principal and recording artist. His teachers, including Alexander Ivashkin (Canterbury), Aldo Parisot (Yale) and William Pleeth (London), directed him to international competition success, while his natural curiosity led to a Doctorate exploring the collaborative relationship between composer and performer, and to sharing the stage with artists as diverse as Dame Gillian Whitehead, Moana Maniapoto, Phil Dadson, Krzysztof Penderecki, Michael Houstoun, Kristjan Järvi and Neil Finn. He continues to enjoy a musical career that leaves no colour of the musical spectrum unexplored and is acclaimed as a musician of “unimpeachable artistry”.

Ashley plays the 1762 William Forster cello named ‘Liberté’.

As a youngster Ashley played principal cellist in the local and national school and youth orchestras, Dunedin Symphony, Christchurch Symphony and Yale Symphony. While studying at Yale he also snagged a coveted spot in the New Haven Symphony Orchestra cello section. At the dawn of this millennium he spent two years as Acting Principal Cellist here at Auckland Philharmonia before moving on to start up NZTrio. More recently, Ashley has often been here as guest Principal Cellist and was appointed to the role in 2023.

Beyond cello, Ashley enjoys family time with his wife, composer Victoria Kelly, and three school-age kids. Any time left is spent running on Auckland’s volcanoes and bush tracks.

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