Welcome to the website of the Auckland Sinfonietta Trust
Soprano/ MIN JI KIM
Minji Kim began studies in voice from a young age. She was trained at Sunwha Arts Middle School and Sunwha Arts High School.
Then she entered the Korea National University of Arts followed by studies at The Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Italy which is one of the oldest musical institutions in the world. She continued her studies for BIENNIO (corso superior).
Minji Kim’s musical career is extensive and she has won several international competitions including Mattia Battistini Opera Competition and A.GI.MUS Competition, 2nd prize of Rolando Nicolosi competition and ANEMOS competition as well as Vissi d'Arte, Tommaso Traetta, Martini, Mario Lanza, TIM, Rome Festival International Competition.
Minji Kim’s debut took place at San Luca Theater in Italy where she established her career as an opera singer. She won several main roles in operas such as 'L'Elisir d'amore', ‘La Bohème’, ‘Falstaff’ and ‘Die Zauberflöte’ etc...
She has been invited performances from Netherlands Concert Gebauw, Russia Mariinsky Theater, Ecador Sucre National Theater, USA, Colombia and Asia.
She was an artist of I. U. M. A Management in Italy until she moved back to Korea.
Minji Kim has appeared regularly as a soloist in various concerts such as Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Opera gala concerts, the main roles in ‘Rigoletto’ and ‘Carmen’ with the National Opera of Korea. She actively performs with many orchestras including Mariinsky Orchestra in Russia, Budapest Symphony Orchestra in Hungary, KBS Symphony Orchestra, Prime Philharmonic in Korea, Johann Strauss Chamber Orchestra, Latina Philharmonic and Rieti Philharmonic Orchestra in Italy.
Grand Prize in the vocal singer category in 2018 from the Korean Cultural Management Grand Prize.
Alongside her busy performing schedule, Minji Kim is enjoying teaching voice and Italian diction at the Korea National University of Arts as well as Czech Brno Conservatory and Lecturer in Sejong University, Seoul, Korea.
Collaborative Piano/ ROSEMARY BARNES
Rosemary is known throughout New Zealand as pianist, vocal coach, music director, opera translator, concerto soloist, chamber music collaborator, and adjudicator. After studies at the Royal Academy of Music, she combined her music and language skills and spent 25 years based in London, working mainly in opera at English National Opera (music staff 1980-88), Musica nel Chiostro (Italy), Opera Northern Ireland, Glyndebourne Touring Opera and Opera Rara (assistant conductor on many recordings). Returning in 1993, she worked on Der Fliegender Holländer (NZOpera), Die Meistersinger, Der Rosenkavalier and Parsifal (Wellington NZIFA), Salome, Elektra, Das Rheingold and Die Walküre (APO/NZSO concert performances), Alan Smythe’s stadium operas (chorus director for La Traviata), and coached singers for the first Adelaide Ring cycle.
Concert performances have included the Wigmore Hall, South Bank and BBC Radio 3; Usher Hall in Belfast; New Caledonia with French male alto Robert Expert; the Aotea Centre with Lesley Garrett; Auckland Town Hall with Pene Pati; Invercargill with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa; and southern Germany plus a cruise across the Pacific with Trio Australasia (Alisa Willis, flute and Ann Blackburn, oboe). Her recording work includes three CDs for Continuum. Rosemary plays regularly with Peter Scholes’ Auckland Chamber Orchestra. In 2015 she performed Chopin’s F minor Concerto with the Aorangi Symphony Orchestra. She has been an official collaborative artist at the Gisborne International Music Competition since 1994.
Whilst in London, Rosemary taught at Morley College and the Royal College of Music, and coached singers from all over the world at her private studio. Back home she directed the postgraduate Diploma in Opera at the University of Auckland from 1993-99. She has coached Emerging Artists at NZ Opera, and for many years has been music director for Opera Factory, the Auckland-based training company for young singers. In the 2000 Queens Birthday Honours she was awarded an MNZM for her services to music.
Clarinet / DONALD NICHOLLS
Donald Nicholls teaches and performs in Auckland NZ, and in addition to his performances for the Auckland Chamber Orchestra and Bach Musica (Principal clarinet) he frequently performs as a soloist or chamber musician. From 2004 to 2011 he performed extensively with the APO on clarinets and saxophone, and was acting principal clarinet for the Christchurch Symphony and Orchestra Wellington for several tours and performances. He played clarinet for the Opera Theatre of Lucca summer festival in 1997, and has toured NZ several times as Principal clarinet for the NZ Opera winter tour. He represented NZ music at the ICA (International Clarinet Association) Clarinetfests in 2000, 2003, 2006 and 2011 performing music by NZ composers for colleagues from around the globe.
Winner of the International Clarinet Association Orchestral audition competition in 1998, he studied with Peter Scholes, Dr David Etheridge and Ron de Kant in addition to master classes and chamber coaching with Alan Hacker, Charles Neidich, Richard Stoltzman, Alessandro Carbonare, Joseph Balogh, Ricardo Morales and James Galway.
In addition to his performances as a classical clarinettist he has performed and recorded many times with bands, including on the Flying Nun label with the Able Tasmans and the Verlaines and with the Big Muffin Serious Band. His compositions have won several prizes including the Auckland University Composition prize (now called the Lilburn prize) and the Asia-Pacific music festival young composers competition in 1992. In August 2019 his duo for two clarinets, “Holes and birds” won the ICANZ composition competition and was performed at the “Clarinet-weekend” conference in Auckland.
Accordion/ BEN DRURY
Ben Drury has been a musician since childhood having learnt the piano from the age of five and the accordion from the age of eight as well as being proficient in other various instruments, but most notably the accordion. For the accordion, he has been awarded a diverse amount of awards from a mix of performances over the years. His most notable award is winning first place in the south pacific fifteen years and under champions in addition to many other awards from the South pacific International and New Zealand National Accordion Championships. He passed grade eight piano at the age of fifteen and will be sitting for grade eight in both accordion and guitar in 2020.
Soprano Minji KIM
• ‘O mio babbino caro’ from opera <Gianni Schicchi> by G. Puccini
• O Lieb, so lang du lieben kannst by F. Liszt
• Lascia ch'io pianga by G. F. Händel
• A love but a day by A. Beach
• ‘Once upon a dream’ from musical <Jekyll & Hyde> by F. Wildhorn
• ‘Song to the moon’ from opera <Rusalka> by A. Dvořák
• ‘I could have danced all night’ from musical <My fair lady> by F. Loewe
• ‘Meine Lippen, sie küssen so heiß’ from operetta <Giuditta> by F. Lehár
-Clarinet solo: Concertino for Clarinet in E-flat major, Op. 26, J. 109 by Carl Maria von Weber
-Accordion solo: Jesus Christ Superstar by Andrew Lloyd Webber.