NZ Orchestras Appoint First Assistant Conductor-in-Residence

Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra is delighted to announce the appointment of New Zealander Vincent Hardaker as the first ever Assistant Conductor in Residence for the group of professional orchestras of New Zealand.

The programme is an initiative across a consortium of orchestras to nurture the next generation of professional conductors in New Zealand. It is a collaboration between the APO, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra (CSO), Orchestra Wellington, Dunedin Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO).

“This position means so much to me as a Kiwi musician and I can’t wait to continue my exploration of classical music and the conducting profession, alongside the great musicians of the APO and the other participating orchestras,” says Hardaker.

Three conductors, selected from a longlist of 43, auditioned before a panel of musicians and management from participating orchestras on Friday 15 November.

“The Assistant Conductor Programme was created to develop the depth of conducting talent in New Zealand and to expose conductors to the professional orchestra environment and give them the opportunity to grow in their practice,” says APO Chief Executive Barbara Glaser.

“New Zealand has produced many wonderful musicians over the years and the Assistant Conductor Programme is one more way in which the orchestras can support the development of the next generation of conductors. We’re very much looking forward to working with Vincent and welcoming him to the CSO,” says CSO Chief Executive Officer Gretchen La Roche.

Hardaker will gain a wealth of knowledge and experience from a structured development and performance programme led by the APO’s Music Director Giordano Bellincampi, supported by input from music directors and guest conductors of other New Zealand orchestras and professional musicians.

“It has been a great experience to meet with colleagues across the orchestral sector to see these three young conductors in action and discuss the many ways in which orchestras can assist in the development of young talent. The NZSO looks forward to this initiative being in place from 2020 and to contribute towards the continuous development of young musicians,” says Lucrecia Colominas, NZSO Head of Artistic Planning.

DSO General Manager Philippa Harris says: “The Dunedin Symphony Orchestra is thrilled to be part of this collaborative project to develop professional conducting skills. As Creative NZ and all five of NZ’s professional orchestras are contributing to the scheme, it is a ground-breaking national investment in the country’s future musical resources.”

Professional development opportunities include conducting rehearsals and concerts across the orchestras’ 2020 seasons, working collaboratively with the music directors and guest conductors of each orchestra, gaining a wider knowledge about how orchestras work, benefitting from development opportunities such as coaching sessions and masterclasses, and participating in ancillary activities such as mentoring community conductors and participating in education and outreach initiatives.

“Orchestra Wellington is delighted to support the APO’s exciting initiative to nurture and develop the next generation of New Zealand conductors, and we congratulate Vincent on his appointment. We look forward to working with him in 2020!” says Kirsten Mason, General Manager of Orchestra Wellington.

Hardaker will commence the one-year residency in January 2020.

About Vincent Hardaker

Vincent Hardaker is one of New Zealand's promising up-and-coming conductors and will graduate from orchestral conducting studies in the Soloist Class of the Royal Danish Academy of Music (DKDM) in June 2020, where he is studying under conductors Giordano Bellincampi and Michael Schønwandt. Upcoming experiences include musical leadership of Postcard from Morocco with students from the DKDM and Opera Academy, and his graduation concert with the Odense Symphony Orchestra.

In recent years he was the NZSO Conducting Fellow, through which he assisted Jose Luis Gomez for the NZSO National Youth Orchestra, and worked with Vasily Petrenko, Pietari Inkinen, Simone Young and Simon Trpčeski. Significant conducting masterclasses include the Odense, Aarhus, Sønderjyllands, Tasmanian, Adelaide, West Australian, Auckland Philharmonia and New Zealand Symphony Orchestras with conductors such as James Judd, Marko Letonja and Nicholas Carter. He was assistant for Opus Orchestra in 2014 and Orchestra Wellington in 2015-2016. His opera experience includes being music director for a world-premiere production with Opera Otago and assisting a production of Don Giovanni.

Through his studies he has accumulated a multitude of professional experience from the professional orchestras in Denmark: Odense Symphony, Aalborg Symphony, Aarhus Symphony and Copenhagen Phil.

In 2014 Vincent graduated from the New Zealand School of Music with a Bachelor of Music in conducting under Kenneth Young and viola under Gillian Ansell.

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