Concert Master, Opus Orchestra
Opus is extremely fortunate to have Lara Hall as our concertmaster. She is a wonderful violinist who is technically accomplished and stylistically aware. As a leader she is clear and communicative and as a concerto soloist she is inspiring. She uses her natural leadership and an acute musical intelligence to encourage the players to make Opus an orchestra with its own special character. Her energy and enthusiasm are readily passed on to the players, and through them, to audiences. In her role as concertmaster she has made an invaluable contribution to the artistic standards of the orchestra, and fostered its growth to become an ensemble we are proud of.
Lara Hall was raised in Auckland, and learnt the violin from an early age. By the time she was in her mid-teens she was frequently in the public eye as a performer. She began her tertiary education at the University of Auckland, gaining a BMus while studying with Mary O’Brien, and then an Advanced Diploma in baroque violin, which she studied with Graham McPhail.
Lara studied extensively in the USA, starting in the Dorothy Delay studio at the Aspen Summer School. She then gained her Masters and Doctoral degrees at the University of Michigan where she studied with Paul Kantor and Yehonatan Berick. She attended numerous master classes, including one given by the eminent violinist Ruggiero Ricci from whom she received high praise. A passionate teacher, she has taught extensively and given numerous master classes, most recently at the Queensland Violin Summer School, Royal Academy of Music in Dublin, and the Interlochen Arts Academy in the USA. In 2006 she was appointed Opus Concertmaster, having previously led orchestras such as the National Youth Orchestra, the Auckland Chamber Orchestra, and the Auckland Philharmonia.
Lara is currently a lecturer at the University of Waikato, teaching violin and viola, and is Artistic Director of Accelerando, a programme which encourages the rapid development of talented and motivated high school music students.
Lara performs regularly as a soloist and chamber musician. In the last two years Opus Orchestra has had her perform both the Beethoven and Mendelssohn violin concertos. With cellist James Tennant and pianist Katherine Austin she has formed a trio within the New Zealand Chamber Soloists, a group of leading instrumentalists who are associated with the University of Waikato. The trio have been soloists in Michael Williams’ Triple Concerto which was premiered by Opus in 2008. In 2009 the trio made a lengthy overseas tour, giving performances in North America, Colombia, France and Britain, and have now released a CD on the Atoll label.