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Fri 10 Jul 2020, 10:30am–12:15pm

Where: Ellerslie War Memorial Hall, 138 Main Highway, Ellerslie, Auckland

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Members: $15.00
  • Non - Members: $20.00
  • Additional fees may apply


Listed by: bryce_chris

Our interviewee is Michael Houston. He was born in Timaru, New Zealand in October 1952. He began piano lessons at the age of five and under the guidance of Sr Mary Eulalie and subsequently Maurice Till he moved through the grades of the Trinity College of London examination system (ATCL 96%, LTCL 97%). At the same time he won all the major piano competitions in NZ and began playing with orchestras.

In 1973 at the age of twenty he entered and placed third in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. This led to a year of study with Rudolf Serkin at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

In 1975 he placed fourth in the Leeds International Piano Competition and then in 1982 sixth in the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition.

After living overseas for six years - including a valuable period of study with Brigitte Wild in London - he returned home in 1981 where he has enjoyed his life as something of an 'Artist in ResideNZ', performing recitals, concertos and chamber music all over the country year in year out.

Most years he performs one or two new programs and consequently has built a very large repertoire spanning from J S Bach to the present day. Included are many compositions by NZ composers and quite a few commissions.

Houstoun has twice presented the complete Beethoven sonatas in seven-concert cycles. More recently he has performed the 48 Preludes and Fugues of Bach's 'Well-tempered Klavier' in two-concert events.

Since 1999 he has recorded for Rattle Records ( with five of his albums winning Classical Record of the Year awards.

He has honorary degrees from Massey and Victoria universities, is a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit and a Laureate of the Arts Foundation of New Zealand.

He is Advocate of Chamber Music New Zealand, and Patron of The NZ Institute of Registered Music Teachers, the NZ Music Examinations Board, the Kerikeri International Piano Competition and the Nelson School of Music.

Michael will play Beethoven's 1st Piano Concerto with the APO on Thursday 9 July and this concert is already sold out.

At 1030 we will have a programme of music from Tim Sutton APO Bass Trombone Principal. Tim was appointed bass trombonist of the Auckland Philharmonia in 1990 right after his completion of a Bachelor of Music degree from Victoria University of Wellington. After his appointment Tim went to study for his Master of Music at De Paul University (Chicago) in the studio of Mr. Charles Vernon and more recently with Robert Hughes in London.

Tim has played at the Pacific Music Festival 1991 under Leonard Bernstein, the Music Academy of the West summer school in 1993, the Asian Friendly concert (Kyushu Symphony Orchestra). He is a founding member of 175 East (contemporary music ensemble, www.175east, BonaNZa (New Zealand’s premier trombone quartet,, The New Zealand Dominion Centenary Concert Band, and has also performed with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, the NZSO and the Vector Wellington Orchestra.

Tim takes an active role in Auckland’s musical culture. He can often be heard performing free improve at Vitamin S nights at the Wine Cellar (K Rd), has performed as soloist with the Auckland Wind Orchestra and Manukau Symphony, can be heard on the sound track to the movie Toy Love, and albums ‘Scorpio Righting’ (Garageland), ‘Triumph in the City’ and ‘For ANZAC Day’(album’s by the Dominion Centenary Concert Band), ‘Burnt Friedman and the New Dub Players’ plus the Waiteata Collection of New Zealand Music – Volume VIII.

Tim enjoys spending all the rest of his time with his family and putting out fires as a volunteer firefighter.

The morning will start with a short formal AGM at 10 am and conclude with a light finger-food lunch.

Restaurants to book near Friends of the APO Inc - Meet The Artist: Michael Houstoun