Cham­ber trio takes off

Central Leader - - News - By Janie Smith

They’ve only been play­ing to­gether for six months, but a trio of Auck­land mu­si­cians have al­ready won two ma­jor awards.

Auck­land Univer­sity stu­dents John-Paul Muir, So­phie Wil­liams and Amalia Paul, who make up the cham­ber trio Scin­til­la­tum, won the Royal Over­seas League Arts in­ter­na­tional schol­ar­ship.

The $50,000 prize in­cludes a trip to Lon­don and Scot­land with con­cert tick­ets and the chance to per­form at in­ter­na­tional venues.

“We were ab­so­lutely thrilled,” says vi­o­lin­ist Amalia, 18.

They also came first place in an Auck­land Cham­ber Mu­sic So­ci­ety com­pe­ti­tion.

Pi­anist John-Paul, 21, says the stan­dard was high for the fi­nal of the in­ter­na­tional schol­ar­ship con­test.

“All the groups were pretty out­stand­ing, it could have gone to any­one. In that way we were quite sur­prised, but we knew we had a chance.”

North Shore res­i­dents Amalia and John-Paul played cham­ber mu­sic to­gether at high school be­fore 22-year-old cel­list So­phie, from Re­muera, joined them this year.

The three say they will spend some time re­lax­ing and pur­su­ing their own mu­si­cal in­ter­ests for a while, be­fore start­ing prepa­ra­tion for the July trip.

“We have to pre­pare lots of work to take over,” says So­phie.

None have been to the Lon­don be­fore, where they will have lessons and in­ves­ti­gate op­por­tu­ni­ties for more study.

“It will be re­ally full-on,” says John-Paul.

This is the sec­ond year the Royal Over­seas League has run the com­pe­ti­tion for cham­ber mu­sic en­sem­bles in New Zealand.

New Zealand di­rec­tor Lyn Milne says the trio put on a pas­sion­ate and pol­ished per­for­mance.

“They are in­cred­i­bly young for where they are at.

“They will meet mu­si­cians from around the world and get an idea of the big pic­ture. They will be con­tribut­ing as well as ob­serv­ing.”

Photo JA­SON OXENHAM

Tal­ented trio: Amalia Paul, John-Paul Muir and So­phie Wil­liams make up cham­ber mu­sic trio Scin­til­la­tum and re­cently won a top award.

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