Past Winner Updates


Katherine Austin

In 1982  Katherine Austin was the winner of the Pianoforte National Young Performer of the Year Award.

Top New Zealand pianist, Katherine Austin, performs regularly around New Zealand as concerto soloist, chamber musician, and solo recitalist. She tours frequently for Chamber Music New Zealand, and is a National Recording Artist, broadcasting regularly for Concert FM. Performances in many of the country’s main festivals include the International Festival of Arts in Wellington, the Nelson International Chamber Music Festival, and the yearly Rotorua Millenium Chamber Music Festival, of which she is a co-founder. Katherine Austin is a founding member of the Tennant-Austin Duo who have performed in Europe and the USA, and the Ogen Trio, with whom she performs standard repertoire and new contemporary works throughout New Zealand.

Katherine holds a Master of Music in Piano Performance from Auckland University, where her teachers were Janetta McStay and Bryan Sayer. She was winner of the 1982 New Zealand Young Musician of the Year and the NZ National Piano Award in the same year. Seven years of study and performance in London and Europe included a full scholarship at the Royal College of Music London studying with top Russian pianist and teacher Irina Zaritskaya, as well as postgraduate studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Katherine won Top Duo Prize in the 1987 Stresa International Chamber Music Competition in Italy, performing with cellist Vincenzo Giuliani. She returned to New Zealand in 1991.

Katherine Austin tours throughout New Zealand frequently for Chamber Music New Zealand, most recently in 2005 with the Ogen Trio, and in 2003 with duo partner cellist James Tennant in the Tennant-Austin Duo. The Tennant-Austin Duo toured in the UK and USA in 2004, receiving accolades and standing ovations in each centre they performed including London and Michigan, with return invitations which they will take up at the end of 2006. In 2005 the Tennant-Austin Duo performed the entire Sonatas of Beethoven for Cello and Piano in one concert, which extraordinary concert they will tour nationally in 2006 and 2007. In 2004 and 2005, with the Ogen Trio and clarinetist Peter Scholes, Katherine Austin has given a number of performances of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, which has received outstanding reviews for every performance. Critic Ian Dando, interviewed by Concert Fm said of their Christchurch performance “better than any performance I have ever heard, live or recorded”. Katherine Austin also performs regularly as concerto soloist with the Auckland Chamber Orchestra and the Opus Chamber, specialising in the concertos of Mozart and Beethoven.

“..[Katherine Austin] is mercurial, alert and a supreme colourist. I’d put her among the top six pianists in the country and almost unrivalled as a chamber ensemble pianist” Ian Dando”, “Katherine Austin…possesses a musical gift given to few”, The Listener 
“Her charismatic temperament, underpinned by technical neatness, gives her that x-factor of a true soloist”, The Christchurch Star






“…Mozart’s concerto K456, with soloist Katherine Austin wrapping up every note with elegant high spirits and positively lighting up the music. Thanks to her natural understanding of Mozart’s light and shade, his sudden turns into unexpected keys, and his unashamedly operatic verve, she ignited the musicians behind her into a crackling performance that ..would have impressed Mozart himself with its gleeful abandon”,”Katherine Austin’s dazzling pianism is a continuous tower of strength”, The NZ Herald


Madeleine Pierard

The 2004 the Vocal National Young Performer of the Year Award was won by Madeleine Pierard.

In 2005 she became the Lexus Song Quest winner. Madeleine is originally from Napier, Hawke’s Bay (New Zealand). A twenty-four year-old ‘zwischenfach’ soprano, she is one of a large family of musicians and, with intentions of becoming a concert pianist, studied pianoforte from an early age before gaining her Associate Diploma with Trinity College in 1999. Madeleine completed a Bachelor of Music at Victoria University in both performance and composition (under Jack Body and John Psathas) in 2004, and in 2005, received First Class Honours in performance studying under Jenny Wollerman.

Madeleine began singing during her secondary school years with national choirs and has been a member of the Wellington semi-professional vocal ensemble, ‘Sings Harry’, the TOWER New Zealand Youth ChoirTOWER Voices New Zealand, Baroque Voices and is now a member of the Tudor Consort. She has been a soloist for a number of oratorios and choral concerts around Wellington and New Zealand, including the Orpheus Choir’s Gorecki Ave Maria and Fauré Requiem, the televised Mozart Coronation Mass on Christmas Day, the Bach St Matthew Passion in Napier, the Mozart Requiem with the Southern Sinfonia and in August of 2006, the Mozart Requiem with the NZSO. In December 2006, Madeleine will return to New Zealand from studies in the UK for two performances of the Handel Messiah in both Auckland and Christchurch.

Madeleine has an extensive vocal range, singing both mezzo-soprano and soprano repertoire of many genres. Along with opera, she has a reputation as an interpreter of contemporary works due to her interest and involvement with composition. She has performed with the contemporary music ensembles, ‘Gateseven’ and ‘Stroma’ and most recently, ‘Felix the Quartet’. With these groups, Madeleine has premiered many New Zealand works by established and emerging New Zealand composers and has been a regular guest performer at the ‘Nelson Composers’ Workshop. In June 2006, Madeleine is premiering Symphony No. 2 by New Zealand composer, Ross Harris with the Auckland Philharmonia.

In 2004, Madeleine received the Rotary Scholarship for excellence in the study of music and won the PACANZ National Young Performer of the Year Award. In 2005, along with the Lexus Song Quest, she won the Napier Computer Systems Aria and was awarded the Moyra Todd Scholarship, the Ariadne Danilow Music Prize and an Aotea Centre Performing Arts Trust Award. .Madeleine has also been offered a scholarship to enter in the final post-graduate year of vocal studies at the Royal College of London.
Madeleine’s recent and forthcoming opera roles are Pamina in the Victoria Opera’s production of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, First Flower Maiden in Parsifal with the NZSO, the lead role of ‘Josephine’ in The Daughters of the Late Colonel by Dorothy Buchanan, Anne Trulove in a concert performance of Stravinsky’s Rake’s Progress with the NZSM Orchestra and Prince Orlovsky in Die Fledermaus with Opera Hawkes Bay. Madeleine is also in the Chapman Tripp Opera Chorus for the NBR New Zealand Opera. Madeleine’s 2006 concert engagements include appearing alongside Jonathan Lemalu and Margaret Medlyn as a soloist in the Skycity Starlight Symphony, a major national fundraising event, in ‘An Afternoon in Provence’ with the Vector Wellington Sinfonia, on tour with the New Zealand String Quartet in May and in recital, such as a concert at Tiromoana in Gisborne for Professor Jack Richards. In September 2006, Madeleine commences post-graduate studies in Opera under Lillian Watson at the Royal College of Music in London.


Ty King-Wall

After winning the 2002 PACANZ Young Performer of the Year Ty King-Wall was accepted to study and train at the senior school of the Australian Ballet School in Melbourne.

Whilst there he was awarded the Gary Norman Achievement Prize for Excellence 2003, the McAllister Award for Excellence in 2004, and in 2005 the Australian Ballet Society Scholarship. He graduated from the three-year course with honours and the Dux Award in December 2005.

The school also selected him to represent them on an exchange to the American Ballet Theatre and National Ballet School of Canada during 2004, and in 2005 Ty won the silver medal at the prestigious biannual Asian Pacific International Ballet Competition.

  • Ty won the Lissa Black scholarship in 2009

He joined The Australian Ballet School at the age of 16 and in 2006 The Australian Ballet Company offered him a contract prior to graduation, and he started dancing with them becoming Soloist in 2010 and Senior Artist in 2011. He has rapidly risen through the ranks and is the youngest soloist to be promoted to senior artist.

King-Wall won the Telstra Ballet Dancer Award for 2010, jointly with Dana Stephensen. It was the first time in the award’s eight-year history two dancers have won the prestigious title. They each win (Aus)$20,000. Telstra spokeswoman Deena Shiff said it was impossible to choose between the two dancers. They both gave “exciting and dynamic performances” and were “equally impressive with their commitment and overall contributions to The Australian Ballet”, she said.  He was also a nominee in 2008.


Jason Bae

 2008 Pianoforte winner

Jason Bae was born in Daejeon, 1991, in South Korea where he began studying piano at the age of 5. He is currently in his Bachelor of Honours in piano performance at the University of Auckland in New Zealand under the tutelage of Ms. Rae de Lisle. In 2007-2011, he has attended the prestigious Aspen Music Festival and School under the tutelage of Ms. Ann Schein.

In 2008, Mr. Bae won 1st prize in the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano competition in New York, which gained him a performance at the Carnegie Hall Weill Recital Hall in May 2008. In the same year, he was awarded the New Zealand Young Performer of the Year. In 2009, he won 2nd prize at the Lev Vlassenko International Piano Competition in Brisbane, Australia, where he also received the prize for the best performance of a work by Chopin. In 2010 he won the University of Auckland Gala Concerto Competition, performing Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1.

Mr. Bae was soloist with the 2010 New Zealand National Youth Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Mr. Rossen Milanov, performing Stravinsky’s Concerto for Piano and Winds. He has also made concerto appearances with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra of Australia under the baton of Mr. Marco Zuccarini, Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra, Auckland Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Youth Orchestra, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Sir. William Southgate and Bach Musica. He has given recitals in New York City, Auckland, Wellington, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Aspen.

He has performed in the master classes for Claude Frank, John O’Conor, Joan Havill, Piers Lane, John Perry, Noriko Ogawa, Christopher Hinterhuber, Marcella Crudeli, Natasha Vlassenko, Oleg Stepanov, Guillermo Gonzalez, Bryan Sayer, Michael Houston, Tamas Vesmas, Ian Munro, Judith Clark, Read Gainsford and Stephen de Pledge.

Watch: ”Playing for Keeps” – Jason Bae feature on Asia Down-Under Tv


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