Musicians ready for AWE festival
At the World’s Edge Music Festival will return from 7– 20 October. The classical music event is inspired by its roots in the Southern Alps of Aotearoa and offers spectacular sounds against a majestic backdrop. Offering six programmes of chamber music, shows will span across Queenstown, Wānaka, Bannockburn and Cromwell.
Two of the artists performing are cellist Jack Moyer and pianist Otis Prescott-Mason, both AWE Fellows and recipients of Royal Overseas League Pettman Scholarships as key emerging NZ talent. They each hail from Wellington and have one performance together in addition to others.
Moyer has toured New Zealand with the Amici Ensemble for Chamber Music New Zealand’s ‘Another Night in Vienna’ tour and was part of Ravelation, the overall winner of the 2020 NZCT Chamber Music Contest. He’s currently studying with NZSQ cellist Rolf Gjelsten and is thrilled to be heading to the festival for the third time. Moyer first started playing cello aged seven, after trying piano and violin – he saw his friend’s brother playing and “just thought it was the coolest thing ever”. He loved the sound and his parents were very supportive.
“I ended up coming to Queenstown after I started playing chamber music with people in Wellington and in a very popular high school chamber music competition,” Moyer says. “It runs across the country and we played a string quartet, which was a huge amount of fun. We really practiced that 15 minutes of music, and we fortunately won that competition.
“I think that’s how we were found for the festival – they picked a few young musicians they’d seen doing things around the country. I got invited down and it was just the most incredible time, to be in Queenstown performing. This was two years ago and as an emerging artist, I’ve been incredibly lucky to come back last year and this year – I’m excited to be down there again.”
Moyer has played with Prescott-Mason many times in the past. They’ve known each other for four years and he was one of the members of the group that played the chamber music competition. There’s a big community of musicians around the same age, so they’ve all got to know each other.
“Jack and I have a been playing together for a little while,” Prescott-Mason says. “We’ve got a really nice history of playing together and a good friendship.”
Prescott-Mason is currently studying under Dr Jian Liu at Wellington’s New Zealand School of Music, Te Kōkī. He’s won numerous competitions at a national level, most recently awarded first prize at the Lewis Eady National Piano Competition and the 2022 National Young Performer Awards. He’s been playing piano since he was five, but says that he really started enjoying it and taking it more seriously when he turned 13. He too will be performing for the third time at the At World’s Edge Festival.
“I’m most excited to be playing. One of the pieces I’m playing is a piece for four hands piano with my teacher. I’m so excited to get the chance to play with him on the concert stage – it will be an honour to share the concert stage with him. I’ll be involved with two of the programmes, which is four concerts – two concerts for each programme.
“I’m also playing a couple of pieces of New Zealand music by the composer in residence, Victoria Kelly. I’m playing in a piano trio with Jack and Ben is playing violin, and we’re doing Victoria’s Sono, which I’ve been enjoying very much learning.”
Both performers are very much looking forward to performing here once again, describing it as one of the most beautiful backdrops to play.
At the World’s Edge will run from Saturday, 7 October. You can find the full programme and read more about what’s on offer, and where, at worldsedgefestival.com