Patron Dame Catherine Tizard ONZ GCMG GCVO DBE QSO DStJ
President Michael McLellan
Vice-Presidents Margaret Leman, Alastair Clement
After a career as a longstanding first violinist with the English National Opera (ENO) Orchestra and a freelancer for a time with the London Symphony Orchestra, Alex returned to New Zealand in 2005.
Alex is also a composer. He began composing seriously in the 1970s and his compositions have been performed and broadcast in Britain, Holland, Australia and New Zealand.
Born in Croatia, Antun studied piano in Dubrovnik, Ljubljana and Austria.
Winning a scholarship to attend a three-year Master Course in Conducting at Leningrad’s Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory provided Antun with the opportunity to subsequently work with the Leningrad State Symphony Orchestra, the Veneto Philharmonia, the Slovene and Croatian National Orchestras and other prominent orchestras in Russia and Europe.
My involvement with the AYO began in 1989 and I spent 10 years as an official member of the viola section and an undisclosed number more as an unofficial player. I bounced backwards and forwards between the second and third desks and consider my main contribution to have lain in my exemplary counting skills! After retiring from the orchestra I joined the committee in 1999, initially as assistant to Antun Poljanich and then somehow found myself the secretary. I’m still not sure exactly how that happened…
In my other time (it’s never ‘spare’), I play the viola in St Matthew’s Chamber Orchestra, run the Auckland Scottish Fiddle Club, play in various Scottish dance bands and organise Scottish fiddle camps both in New Zealand and Scotland. One of the best experiences of my life has been joining the fiddle section of the annual Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, where we perform before a cast of thousands each night, set against the magnificent backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.
My priorities include books, genealogy, travel, friends and family (not necessarily in that order).
and Player Representatives: Mark Bingham, Ben Lin, Gemma Nash
Many AYO alumni can be found in leading orchestras and ensembles around the world, teaching in conservatories, or performing as soloists and conductors.
The co-operative structure of the orchestra provides members with organisational and team building skills, engendering dedication, confidence and self-esteem within a positive peer environment. In today's world, this healthy social experience equips our players with skills and a sense of achievement that will support them in whichever career path they choose. Indeed, many of our alumni are also found in business, politics, and other professions.
To register as a member of AYO Alumni click here.
Our players are young people who have already developed a high level of proficiency on their instrument and who want to gain orchestral playing skills. The social element is an added bonus and many players develop lifelong friendships through their involvement in AYO.