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