Percussion


Timpani


LAURENCE REESE
Section Principal

American-born timpanist and percussionist Laurence Reese is a graduate of The Juilliard School in New York and The Royal College of Music in London. Larry has performed in the US and abroad as principal timpanist with such ensembles as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, The Washington Chamber Symphony, The London Philharmonic Orchestra and The Hallé Orchestra. He has been principal timpanist of the NZSO since June 1998. Larry, a Yamaha Performing Artist, is on the faculty of The New Zealand School of Music and is a visiting professor of percussion at Auckland University. In 2007 he gave the world premiere of John Psathas’ Planet Damnation: Concerto for Timpani and Orchestra under esteemed Dutch conductor Edo De Waart. Larry and his double-bassist wife Jessica have two daughters, Madeleine and Olivia. Larry is an avid motorcyclist and revels in the riding challenges that NZ has to offer.


THOMAS GULDBORG

Thomas Guldborg joined the NZSO as associate principal percussion/assistant timpani in 2008. Prior to this he worked as sub-principal percussion with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, a position he held for nearly 6 years. Before moving to Malaysia, Thomas worked in his native country of Denmark, where he held contract positions with several orchestras, and briefly held the position of principal percussion with the Aalborg Symphony. Thomas received his Master of Music from the Aalborg conservatory of Music, and his Graduate Diploma in Percussion Performance from New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he was a student of Will Judgins of the Boston Symphony. While studying in the USA, Thomas was a member of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra under Music Director Benjamin Zander, as well as a member of the Callithumpian Consort. He performed regularly with the Rhode Island Philharmonic, and New World Symphony under MD Michael Tilson Thomas. In 1999 Thomas was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, and in 2000 he received the inaugural John Cage Memorial Award for new music at NEC.

Thomas lives in Miramar with his wife Margaret, and three daughters Natalie, Danielle and Amelia. He has a passion for food and bicycling, and when not practicing he can usually be found in the kitchen or on his bike around the bays of Wellington or in the hills of Makara.

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Percussion


LEONARD SAKOFSKY

Section Principal

Leonard joined the NZSO as Principal Percussion in 2006. Prior to this he had been Principal Percussionist of the Auckland Philharmonia since 1997 and has gained a reputation as an outstanding player both as a soloist and in ensembles. He studied at the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College Division, then the Cleveland Institute of Music where he studied with Principal Percussionist of the Cleveland Orchestra, Richard Weiner and with Principal Timpanist, Paul Yancich. There he received a Bachelor of Music degree and received the Bruce Koley Award for Excellence in Percussion. At only 17, he was a finalist in the New York Philharmonic Concerto Competition for Young Artists, and appeared with the Cleveland Orchestra in the Kraft Concerto for Four Percussion and Orchestra at age 19.

Since coming to New Zealand, he has appeared as a soloist in the 1998 International Chamber Music Festival, and with Manukau Symphony Orchestra, New Plymouth Orchestra, Auckland University Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia and St. Matthew’s Chamber Orchestra. He performed in the 2000 New Zealand Festival playing a concert of music by John Psathas (‘Psathas Portrait’) with Dan Poynton. He was also a member of 175 East Contemporary Ensemble for six years. Lenny performed ‘View from Olympus’ in the Australian premiere with Michael Houston, Marc Taddei and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra in 2005 and with the Auckland Philharmonia in 2006.


THOMAS GULDBORG
Associate Principal

Thomas Guldborg joined the NZSO as associate principal percussion/assistant timpani in 2008. Prior to this he worked as sub-principal percussion with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, a position he held for nearly 6 years. Before moving to Malaysia, Thomas worked in his native country of Denmark, where he held contract positions with several orchestras, and briefly held the position of principal percussion with the Aalborg Symphony. Thomas received his Master of Music from the Aalborg conservatory of Music, and his Graduate Diploma in Percussion Performance from New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he was a student of Will Judgins of the Boston Symphony. While studying in the USA, Thomas was a member of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra under Music Director Benjamin Zander, as well as a member of the Callithumpian Consort. He performed regularly with the Rhode Island Philharmonic, and New World Symphony under MD Michael Tilson Thomas. In 1999 Thomas was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, and in 2000 he received the inaugural John Cage Memorial Award for new music at NEC.

Thomas lives in Miramar with his wife Margaret, and three daughters Natalie, Danielle and Amelia. He has a passion for food and bicycling, and when not practicing he can usually be found in the kitchen or on his bike around the bays of Wellington or in the hills of Makara.

 


BRUCE McKINNON
Section Principal Emeritus

Bruce became Principal Percussionist with the NZSO in 1989, and Emeritus Principal in 2007. As a soloist with the NZSO he has performed the Bartok Piano and Percussion Concerto with Michael Houstoun, Dierdre Irons and Nicolai Albulescu. He performed Leroy Anderson’s ‘The Typewriter’ and was the marimba soloist for the soundtrack to the Nicky Caro movie Memory and Desire, with music by Peter Scholes. 2008 saw four performances of Scholes’ ‘Bonk for Metal Percussion and Orchestra’.

Bruce began his career at the age of 10 in the Mt Roskill Brass Band and went on to tour the world with the National Band of New Zealand when he was 15. He was the first New Zealand percussion student at Victoria University – graduating in 1974. Between 1980 and 1988 he was Principal Percussionist with the Auckland Philharmonia. He was also a busy session musician and regular performer with the Mercury Theatre.

Bruce toured New Zealand with several international acts including Danny La Rue, Kamahl and the Great International Circus; as well as with musicals. He played percussion for Johnny Mathis, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Gene Pitney and Thys Van Leer at their New Zealand concerts. In 1988 he toured Denmark and Holland playing New Zealand folk music. Bruce’s National Radio series Lightly Percussive – for which he was arranger, musical director and performer – ran between 1976 and 1985. He also arranged for television, including Radio Times and Twelve Bar Rhythm and Shoes. He was a performer in the Auckland Radio Orchestra in the ’70s and then arranger and conductor in the ’80s. He was a founding member of CadeNZa and occasionally plays with Stroma.

Bruce has taught at Cambridge Music School and Auckland University and currently teaches percussion at the New Zealand School of Music. He has a strong interest in Cook Island drumming and in 2000 took percussion ensemble Strike and Cook Island drummer George Upu to Europe.


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