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Talented young musicians awarded Patricia Pratt Scholarships

Pianist Bradley Wood, percussionist Sam Rich and soprano Maddie Nonoa-Horsefield have been awarded 2017 Patricia Pratt Scholarships in Musical Performance enabling them to continue their postgraduate development at renowned international music schools.

Bradley Wood, aged 23 from Christchurch, has been awarded NZD$20,000 to support his Master of Performance programme at the Royal College of Music in London.

Bradley is a graduate of the University of Auckland having completed a Bachelor of Music (First Class Honours) and a Master of Music.

Described as one of the finest young pianists this country has produced in recent years, he will study a two-year Master of Performance in Piano Performance at the Royal College of Music in London.

“This programme will help further develop my performance skills as a solo pianist while also affording me the flexibility of gaining experience in my other areas of interest including conducting, chamber music, recital accompaniment and historical performance.”

In 2015, Bradley won the National Concerto Competition and the University of Auckland Graduation Gala Concerto Competition. He also won the Royal Over-Seas League/Pettman Chamber Music Scholarship which enabled him and a violinist to take part in a six-week tour of the UK, performing in venues including St James, Piccadilly and St Martin-in-the-Fields.

Influenced by his keyboard-playing father, Bradley learnt the piano from a young age.  He has wanted a career in music since a life-changing day when he heard a classical piece of music on the radio - the slow movement of Beethoven’s Pathetique sonata. He immediately found the score online and began to learn it.  Tragically his father, a key influence on him, was killed in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.

Following graduation from the Royal College of Music, he plans to start entering International Piano Competitions as a means to measure his progress.  In the long term, he would love to teach at a University or Conservatoire.

Percussionist and timpanist, Sam Rich, has been awarded $10,000, to support his two-year Masters of Music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Sam, aged 23 from Auckland, graduated with a Bachelor of Music from the University of Auckland and has recently completed the Honours programme in orchestral percussion and timpani performance at the New Zealand School of Music Te Kōkī.

He was originally inspired by snare drummers in a pipeband, so he started learning drums and then moved onto concert percussion, which requires a mastery of a range of instruments.

A former member of the NZSO Youth Orchestra, he is currently Principal Timpani for Orchestra Wellington and a substitute player for the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra.

He has been described as one of New Zealand's most gifted young percussionists to pursue an education and career in music in a decade.

However, New Zealand’s small classical music community means that he has been the sole percussion/timpani performance major during his four years of study. The scholarship will enable him to study at Master’s level, and to be inspired and challenged by a pool of young peers.

“The Patricia Pratt Scholarship will enable me to focus on my musical development, directed by some of the world’s finest teachers and surrounded by creatively stimulating environments in order to improve my chances of winning a full-time professional orchestra position.”

Sam hopes to share his knowledge and experience with future generations of New Zealand percussionists and help them follow a similar path.

Soprano Maddie Nonoa-Horsefield has been awarded $5,000, to support her Masters of Music Programme at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

Maddie, aged 23 from Hamilton, completed a Bachelor of Music (First Class Honours) at the University of Auckland in 2015, majoring in Classical Performance.

Her introduction to opera came from a busker on Wellington’s Lambton Quay.  At the age of nine, she was selected to be a member of the children’s chorus in Carmen.

She has been awarded a place in the Guildhall’s Opera Studies Masters programme, which is made up of only twelve new students per year from an international pool of applicants.  She will receive operatic coaching from tutors from within school as well as international teachers, the opportunity to perform in operatic extracts publicly in the first year and to be cast in the main operatic production in her second year.

Maddie is a former member of the New Zealand Youth Choir, and an alumna of the New Zealand Singing School. 

Last year she was a Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist with New Zealand Opera, where she performed as Papagena in The Magic Flute. She was also cast as Joyce in Brass Poppies, a new New Zealand work performed at both the Auckland and Wellington Festivals.

In addition, Maddie was also placed third in the prestigious Lexus Song Quest, and was awarded the Dame Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation scholarship for the Most Promising Singer.

During this time she has been described as an artist of extraordinary ability and great charisma, a very hard worker, who is fiercely self-critical and determined to succeed, and an excellent colleague. 

Maddie’s family moved to New Zealand from Samoa and Niue and she aims to continue their legacy “that through hard work and persistence, coupled with rightly timed nerves of steel, anything is possible!”

In the future, she plans to undertake operatic roles in America, the UK and Europe as well as New Zealand.

David Bremner, who convenes the Selection Panel, warmly congratulated the young scholars.  “We will follow their future international careers with great pride and great interest.”  

“I also wish to acknowledge the Kia Ora Foundation for their support. Their generosity ensures that these talented New Zealand classical performers can continue their study at internationally recognised institutions, and are supported to reach their true potential on the world stage,” he said.

The Scholarship has been established by Annette Campbell-White, founder of the Kia Ora Foundation, in memory of her mother, Patricia Pratt.  It assists outstanding young New Zealand musicians to continue their musical development at a renowned international music school or Conservatorium for up to two years.  The scholarships are awarded for classical music performance, including vocal or instrumental performance or conducting.

Universities New Zealand, also known as New Zealand Vice-Chancellors’ Committee, administers this scholarship in addition to over 40 undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships each year.  Applications for the 2018 Patricia Pratt Scholarships close on 1 March next year.

Information about the scholarship is available at

This release is on our website at

For further information or to arrange interviews, contact Hazel Dobbie, Universities NZ,, 027 838 2313.

Published on 31st May 2017