New collective for NZ musicians

Holly Mathieson.
Holly Mathieson.
A former Dunedin conductor and composer has launched a new organisation in Germany aimed at performing New Zealand compositions using New Zealand musicians living in Europe.

Horizont Musik-Kollektiv director Holly Mathieson hopes the new Berlin-based performance group will present the greatest compositional and performative talent coming out of New Zealand.

''Our aims are to be a platform for celebrating and integrating the best of New Zealand's composers with great works of the 20th and 21st centuries, and to provide performance opportunities for all of the brilliant New Zealand musicians and singers living in Europe.

''We are passionate about New Zealand composition and have undertaken a mission to play as much of it as we can in the heart of Europe.''

Dr Mathieson said Horizont Musik-Kollektiv would be one of the first projects to be hosted by the New Zealand Arts Foundation's new crowd-funding platform, Boosted.

The funding campaign aimed to raise $NZ7500 towards the cost of the group's first concert in Berlin.

Dr Mathieson said she had crafted a programme of chamber music from five of New Zealand's most talented composers - Ross Harris, Michael Norris, Dylan Lardelli, Samuel Holloway and Chris Gendall.

Their works would be set among carefully selected works by composers from other countries on the periphery, including Chinary Ung (Cambodia), Esa-Pekka Salonen (Finland) and Saed Haddad (Jordan).

''This pilot concert aims to engage the support of major financial and artistic partners in Germany and New Zealand, with a view to establishing a regular concert series in Germany to integrate and develop the work of New Zealand composers and players,'' Dr Mathieson said.

The Dunedin-born conductor is also director of Rata Ensemble (Berlin), and co-directs the Reuleaux Ensemble (London).

Last month, she worked with members of the Berlin Philharmonic and other top German orchestras in the acclaimed Dirigentenwerkstatt des Kritischen Orchesters, and had her American assisting debut with the Charlotte Symphony.

Later this year, she will be a guest conductor with the Vanbrugh Ensemble in London, and St Matthew's Chamber Orchestra, in New Zealand.

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