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The Alex Lindsay Award, which is a registered charitable trust, was founded in memory of former New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster, Alex Lindsay, who died in 1974.

Since its inception in 1975, the Alex Lindsay Award has granted funds in excess of $200,000. Previous winners have included Wilma Smith, Donald Armstrong, Ashley Brown, Martin Riseley and Alexa Still.

Alex Lindsay playing

NZSO National Youth Orchestra Special Prize
In 2000, the trustees introduced the NZSO National Youth Orchestra Special Prize. It is awarded each year to an outstanding member of the NZSO NYO who demonstrates performance excellence and potential. The winner is chosen by the trustees after consultation with the NYO Conductor, the Education Manager and NZSO principals.

Giese Flute Grant
A new grant for a promising young NZ flutist, in memory of former NZSO Principal Flute, Richard Giese, will be awarded annually from 2015. The Giese Flute Grant is administered by the Alex Lindsay Award Trustees, all current NZSO players.

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Michael Monaghan Award
Michael Monaghan was a first violinist in the NZSO who recognised the need to provide performance opportunities for young musicians. Michael passed away in 1996 and later that year the Michael Monaghan Foundation (MMYMF) was formed in his memory. Led by Peter van Drimmelen (NZSO violist 1987-2014) the MMYMF encouraged young talented musicians in the Wellington region to audition for an opportunity to play as a soloist with a professional orchestra made up of volunteers from the NZSO and Wellington Orchestra. Peter van Drimmelen, Peter Walls and Ken Young conducted these concerts. This opportunity was given to over 100 teenagers over 14 years of MMYMF concerts. The last concert was in 2009 and in 2015 it was decided that the remaining funds were to be transferred to the Alex Lindsay Award, administered by NZSO players. From 2016 the Michael Monaghan Award will be granted to a promising orchestral instrumentalist to assist them to undertake further study.

How the Awards are Made

The Alex Lindsay Award trust is administered by seven trustees, all of whom are current players in the NZSO. They convene each year in August to assess the applicants’ recorded auditions and to review any supporting written materials. This closely resembles the audition process for a position in a professional symphony orchestra.

Awards of up to $10,000 are granted annually. The number of recipients and monetary value of the awards may vary from year to year.

Bridget Douglas – Section Principal Flute Chairperson
Brian Shillito – Sub Principal Viola Treasurer
Peter Dykes – Associate Principal Oboe Secretary
Vesa-Matti Leppanen – Concertmaster
Andrew Jarvis – Principal Tuba
Lenny Sakofsky – Section Principal Percussion
Robert Ibell – Cello