Argyle Trio (Wilma and Friends) (2023)

• Sunday 3rd September 2023, 4.00pm Past
• X Space, Baycourt, Tauranga map »
Wilma Smith (violin), Matthias Balzat (cello), Laurence Matheson (piano)
Wilma Smith (violin) was born in Fiji and studied in the US with the legendary Dorothy deLay. She worked regularly with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, was concertmaster of the NZSO, then the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and is now curator or Wilma & Friends.

Matthias Balzat (cello) is a NZ born cellist who studied under James Tennant at the University of Waikato completing a BMus (Hons) and winning several prestigious competitions before heading to Dusseldorf, Germany to complete a Masters degree at the Robert Schumann Hochschule fur Musik.

In February 2020, just before the world changed, Wilma Smith arranged a few trio concerts, mainly to keep brilliant Kiwi cellist, Matthias Balzat, busy in Australia for a few weeks.

She had brought him all the way from Düsseldorf, where he is studying with Pieter Wispelwey, to play in a bigger group for her Wilma & Friends series and she wanted the long and expensive journey to be worth his while.

So, enter Laurence Matheson, a frequent collaborator with Wilma and many of Australia’s eminent and emerging chamber musicians. Matthias and Laurence hit it off and the trio chemistry was pure gold so after their series of three concerts, in Hobart, House for Music (Melbourne circuit for chamber music in homes) and Tempo Rubato, they decided to try to do more playing together.

One of Australia’s most exciting young musicians, Laurence Matheson is in demand across the country as a soloist, chamber musician and collaborative pianist. He studied at the Australian National Academy of Music with Timothy Young as one of their youngest ever students and became a Fellow of the Academy in 2016 after winning the Directors’ Prize.

Laurence has a particular passion for chamber music and has performed with the Aurora Ensemble, Anthony Marwood, the Australian String Quartet and Kathryn Stott, while his regular duo partners include Suyeon Kang, Grace Clifford, Dale Barltrop, Sophie Rowell, and Tim Young. He is also a mentor and pianist for many of Australia’s promising young violinists, including Decca Artist Christian Li and Edward Walton, as well as appearing in recital with some of Australia and the world’s top musicians.

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