Every NZTrio performance is an intimate, dynamic and engaging ride - sometimes calm and tranquil, sometimes wild and intense. The group epitomises the relevance of live music in this digital age. Described as a ‘national treasure’, NZTrio often collaborates with international artists and toys with the borders between different cultures and genres. They smash old preconceptions of classical music being 'stuffy' or 'intimidating' by presenting it in a fresh, approachable and meaningful way. Listeners from all walks of life find themselves powerfully caught up in the music-making of a live performance.
Having worked together for 14 years, with three Doctorates of Music between them, violinist Justine Cormack, cellist Ashley Brown and pianist Sarah Watkins are seamless in their ensemble dynamics. Their artistry is world-class and their warm, down-to-earth kiwi personalities have captivated loyal music-lovers throughout New Zealand, Australia, Asia, South America, the USA, Europe and Scandinavia. Recent international highlights include a return tour to China and debut performances in Cambodia, sharing a ground-breaking collaborative work inspired by tragic political events, as well as several performances at Denmark’s Aarhus Festival.
In 2014, the trio received rave reviews for their sold out Loft Series at Auckland’s Q Theatre and for their two successful collaborative projects – an interactive stage production titled My Bed My Universe with New Zealand theatre company Massive, and the classical meets jazz hit mash-up Vicissitudes, with jazz legend Mike Nock and his trio at the Christchurch and Nelson Arts Festivals. NZTrio’s courage and enthusiasm for collaborative projects has seen them involved in a vast spectrum of artistic and multi-cultural ventures over the years, from contemporary dance and film, to taonga puoro (traditional Maori instruments) and more. Critical acclaim for the group extends to their ever-expanding catalogue of recorded work, with three of their CDs nominated for Best Classical Album at the NZ Music Awards since 2006. There are two new CDs set to launch this year.
The trio actively commission works by both leading and emerging composers from home and abroad, adding a unique panache to their trademark eclectic programmes. With a strong commitment to new commissions, a burgeoning secondary schools programme and a new NZTrio Composing Competition for tertiary students, NZTrio is regarded as a driving force in the New Zealand music industry.
It is their shared vision to champion New Zealand music within a vast and vibrant repertoire, uniting sound and soul for people around the globe.