Welcome to NZTrio’s Website


Both versatile and genre-busting, NZTrio epitomises the relevance of live music in a digital age. This group smashes preconceptions of classical music being stuffy and intimidating by engaging their listeners with intimate and dynamic performances.


Each concert is a unique experience. Mixing musical cultures and genres, and often involving collaborations with a diverse range of international artists, NZTrio inspires people of all walks of life to see classical music, both old and new as approachable, essential and meaningful.


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Great article about our O Cambodia tour to Cambodia and China.


After the concert, Ashley Brown spent the night in his hotel room fretting, nervously parting the curtains each time a car idled outside his window. He expected to see men in dark coats silently tread inside to take him and his band mates away. He knows it sounds silly now, but the NZTrio cellist wasn't sure the musicians would make it back from their China tour anytime soon...


Click here to READ MORE on Stuff.co.nz.




June 2014 High Notes Newsletter

CLICK HERE to read our latest newsletter with news of our upcoming concerts around the country and an update of our incredible trip to Cambodia and China in May...and more...




Our Next Concert

NZTrio 2014 Loft Series: Ritual Triptych

14 September 2014
Loft at Q, 305 Queen Street, Auckland


Beethoven: Piano Trio in G Major, Opus 1, No.2

Salvatore Sciarrino (Italy): Piano Trio No.2


John Elmsly (NZ): Ritual Triptych (NZTrio commission)

Mendelssohn: Piano Trio No. 2 in c minor, Opus 66




Will Yeoman - Limelight Magazine, Australia
07 November 2013


Stuart Greenbaum - 800 Million Heartbeats - ABC Classics: NZTrio’s passionate interest in contemporary and world music makes them the ideal interpreters for Greenbaum’s eclectic music. They don’t disappoint in a series of works which deftly juggle particulars and universals.



Andrew Buchanan-Smart - Waikato Times
16 May 2013


NZTrio performed an excellent concert, with repertoire that traversed the divide between the old world and the new world; between Western classical music and Oriental classical and folk music...Magnificent music making!



Stephen Fisher - Manawatu Standard
13 May 2013


NZTrio performed the works with great panache and style, acute ensemble awareness and a great empathy with their music, in a performance characterised by sheer energy and vitality...deeply satisfying concert.



Celeste Oram - Craccum Magazine: The University of Auckland Student Magazine
15 April 2013


NZTrio could easily, un-facetiously be dubbed the rockstars of the New Zealand classical music scene. It’s not just that Justine Cormack (violin), Ashley Brown (cello) and Sarah Watkins (piano) are eminently marketable bright young things dressed by WORLD that earns them this plaudit: they are one of New Zealand’s top chamber groups that offers audiences some of this country’s most adventurous programming, as well as being fierce exponents of new and New Zealand music...


...Within a generally sparse and delicate texture [of Victoria Kelly's Toi Huarewa], we were at liberty to enjoy the richly colourful sounds of both the taonga puoro and the unusual noises of the piano trio which beautifully complemented the array of Maori instruments. Sometimes the trio writing imitated the sounds of the taonga puoro, although the relationship between the two moved beyond mere mimicry and developed sounds and textures that were greater than the sum of their parts.



Claire Cowan - The Big Idea
27 March 2013


...Spellbinding from start to finish, the mix of western instruments with Maori was beautifully crafted...


...I marvel at the subtle changes to technique each player makes to make their western instruments sound more Asian folk than European classical.  It is through their skillful use of articulation, vibrato and bowing that changes the tone completely...


...By the end of the show there was no doubt we had witnessed some of NZ's greatest composers and performers at the top of their game. The integrity and skill of both composers and performers was highly admirable, the music fresh and original, and for me, the show was the highlight of the festival.



Gail Tresidder - Nelson Mail
08 February 2013


It was Cafe Music that gave this concert its whoopee-wow factor. From the fast, slow, fast light hearted and joyful ragtime start of the Allegro, with a wonderful sense of humour in the music, we were in awe at the adaptability of these classical musicians. They really put the swing into swing!



Peter Mechen - Middle C online review
31 October 2012


I came away from this concert with renewed appreciation of the Trio’s compelling and wholehearted response to everything the group performs, and of the skills, energies and sensitivities the three players readily convey to their audiences – a wonderful occasion.



Faith-Ashleigh Wong - Keeping Up with NZ
25 July 2012


A cold and wet evening soon became the beginnings of a breathtaking musical journey as soon as the NZTrio’s silky orchestral sounds filled the air. Somehow magically the skies seemed to lighten and the Q Theatre’s cosy Loft studio space started to feel warmer with each passing minute...


...NZTrio is chamber music at its best. You really have to be there in order to truly experience how incredibly skilled and talented this group are. The chemistry between them is palpable; you can tell they’ve been playing together for a long time in the intuitive way they play off each other when they perform. It really is a truly remarkable sight to behold.


So do your ears a favour, go see this trio work their magic. You will come out of it feeling astounded, emotionally moved and just bloody impressed! Do not be intimidated by the fact that it is chamber music; you do not have to be a classical music enthusiast to enjoy this concert – their music is unpretentious and highly accessible. NZTrio perform their final concert of this series in October.



Garth Wilshere - Capital Times, Wellington
21 March 2012


A short and intense concert of true excellence with 20th and 21st century pieces to capture your imagination closed the musical offerings at the Arts Festival...NZTrio are a New Zealand treasure their repertoire choices astute and adventurous...The whole was innovative, imaginative wonderful playing and performances.




John Button - Dominion Post
19 March 2012


This festival-ending concert...packed a mighty punch in repertoire of ear-tingling sounds...a concert of real substance and reward, blessed with superlative playing from all concerned. None of this music is easy to play, yet everyone displayed a virtuosity that allowed the music the freedom to speak. And speak it did.