Violinist takes Graduation Gala prize

By Vaimoana Tapaleao

Hilary Hayes played the Dvorak Violin Concerto to win the graduation gala contest. Photo / Dean Carruthers
Hilary Hayes played the Dvorak Violin Concerto to win the graduation gala contest. Photo / Dean Carruthers

A young Auckland violinist has won the top prize at this year's Auckland Graduation Gala Concerto Competition.

Hilary Hayes, 20, wowed the audiences with her rendition of Dvorak's Violin Concerto in A Minor at a packed Auckland Town Hall.

The young musician, who grew up in Hamilton but now lives in Mission Bay, played with the University of Auckland Symphony Orchestra.

She is in her final year of study towards a bachelor of music with honours, majoring in classical performance.

"To have the opportunity to perform one of my favourite pieces with orchestra was an incredible experience and winning the competition was a wonderful outcome for me," she said.

"I am so grateful for the huge amount of support I received from my teacher, Stephen Larsen, and also all the dedication put in by Associate Professor Uwe Grodd and my friends and colleagues in the orchestra."

The competition is an annual musical contest that takes place during the university's autumn graduation week. Other performers were Hye-Won Suh, who was second with her flute performance, and Kento Isomura, who took third, playing Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No 3.

The acting head of the university's School of Music, Dr David Lines, said this year's competition once again showed off some of the university's top musical talents.

"The Graduation Gala Concerto Competition is an exciting and vibrant event in the life of the School of Music," he said.

"This year's event was no different with three brilliant soloists - and an exceptional orchestra and choir."

- NZ Herald

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