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Talented young Kiwi musicians scoop prestigious awards

Three young aspiring professional musicians from Auckland will be able to further pursue their dreams after each winning the 2017 Alex Lindsay Award.

Many previous recipients have gone on to play in professional orchestras in New Zealand and overseas. 

The 2017 recipients of the award, founded in memory of New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster Alex Lindsay, are clarinettist Kenny Keppel, 21, oboist Noah Rudd, 20, and flautist Zoe Stenhouse Burgess, 19.

Two further awards were also announced. The $1500 Giese Flute Grant was awarded to 23-year-old Gisborne flautist Anna Cooper and the $1500 Michael Monaghan Award to 19-year-old Wellington violinist Claudia Tarrant-Matthews.

Chairperson of the Alex Lindsay Award trustees, NZSO Principal Flautist Bridget Douglas, says it had 22 applicants this year and all were of a high standard. “These five fine young musicians have already made a big contribution to musical life in New Zealand and we're glad to be able to support them to continue their studies or buy instruments. We hope that we'll see them all back playing professionally in New Zealand one day.”

Keppel completed his undergraduate degree in performance at the University of Auckland. He has been an NZSO Fellowship student, an Auckland Philharmonia Scholar and a member of the NZSO National Youth Orchestra.

In 2016 he graduated from the Australian National Academy of Music's Professional Performance Program. He has just begun study towards a Master of Music Performance at the Norwegian Academy of Music. He will use his $3000 Alex Lindsay Award to help with this study.

Rudd plans to put his $1700 Alex Lindsay Award towards the purchase of a cor anglais. Currently in his second year of a Bachelor of Music at the University of Auckland, Rudd is a member of the Auckland Youth Orchestra. He was principal oboe in the NZSO National Youth Orchestra earlier this year and has twice been a member of groups taking part in the finals of the Chamber Music New Zealand Schools Music Contest.

The need to buy an instrument also motivated Stenhouse Burgess to apply for an Alex Lindsay Award. She will use the $1700 to help her to buy a piccolo. Having started the flute when she was eight years old, Stenhouse Burgess is now studying at the University of Auckland.  After she graduates she is considering studying for a Masters in Orchestral Studies in Melbourne.

Tarrant-Matthews is studying at the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington and plays in Orchestra Wellington. She is also an NZSO Fellowship student. She will use her award, founded in memory of former NZSO First Violinist Michael Monaghan, to help with the costs of a trip to Europe later this year to audition for further study.

The Giese Flute Grant, a grant for a promising young New Zealand flautist, was established in memory of former NZSO Principal Flute, Richard Giese.

Cooper, from Gisborne, has an honours degree in music from the University of Auckland. She took part in the NZSO’s Fellowship programme in 2016 and was a member of the NZSO National Youth Orchestra in 2014 and 2016. She is now based in Auckland as a flute teacher and will use her award to study for a Masters in Performance Flute in Europe next year.




For further information, please contact Bridget Douglas, ALA Chairperson, 027-475 7326, e-mail



The Alex Lindsay Award, administered by players of the NZSO, aims to support young musicians studying with the aim of pursuing an orchestral career. The Giese Flute Grant and Michael Monaghan Award are also administered by the trustees of the Alex Lindsay Award.

The Alex Lindsay Award is a registered trust and 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 totalling more than $200,000. Previous winners have included Wilma Smith, Donald Armstrong, Ashley Brown, Martin Riseley and Alexa Still.
For a list of previous recipients, along with other information about the Alex Lindsay Awards, visit the NZSO website.