Introduction and Biography

CC Profile picI am a researcher, writer, and musician in Wellington, New Zealand. My background is in musicology and performance: I recently completed a PhD at Victoria University of Wellington, where my research examined the construction and performance of masculinities in Johann Strauss’s Die Fledermaus. I also hold an MPhil in music (performance, musicology) at Oxford University, and a BMus(Hons) in performance and the history and literature of music from VUW.

My MPhil research looked aspects of the symphony anthem in late seventeenth-century England: my dissertation examined the changing status of these works in the final 15 years of the century, and my thesis explored the penitential anthems of Pelham Humfrey.

I also have an interest in the interplay of art and medical history — studying both at Birkbeck College, University of London —  with musicology. My doctoral research brought together several elements of these areas of interest.

Writing, performing and teaching are important parts of my life. I trained as a violinist and cellist, and more recently as a baroque cellist. In recent years, I have taught violin, cello, piano, and music theory/musicianship.

As a professional freelance writer, I have written programme notes for more than fifteen years, starting when I was a member of the NZSO National Youth Orchestra and Wellington Youth Orchestras, and contributed notes for performances by both orchestras. In the UK, I wrote notes for Music at Oxford and the Jacqueline du Pré Music Building. Since that time, I have provided original notes for the City of London Sinfonia, the London Bach Players, Concerts in the West, the Little Baroque Company, the Spitalfields Festival, and — annually since 2011 — the London Handel Festival.

Current commissions include programme notes for Concerts in the West (2020 season) and Opera Holland Park. I also work with organisations in New Zealand, providing notes for Chamber Music New Zealand tours in 2014-2017: the Faust String Quartet commissioned me to provide notes for their New Zealand tour with Chamber Music New Zealand, and in 2016 I wrote the notes for another regional tour by Douglas Mews and Catherine Mackintosh. In 2017, Chamber Music New Zealand commissioned me to write all the notes for their subscription series, including performances by Julliard415 and Masaaki Suzuki, and the Takács Quartet. I also provide notes to Hamilton’s Opus Orchestra. Alongside programme notes, I have written for Bachtrack, and Catherine Curzon’s  A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life.