Past IRMTNZ Conferences

“Attending conference and being a part of the IRMTNZ not only assists in equipping me as a
teacher, it is also providing for me a community in a profession which in the past has felt quite
isolated. I’m very grateful – attending conference has reinforced the importance of community.”
Amanda Bunting, Wellington


Welcome to the Past Conferences page. Read on for a range of articles and highlights from from previous conferences. This page will be regularly updated as new material becomes available.

Click here to see a selection of conference photos.



Conference 2020 – Auckland



Cello after Casals – an examination of technical and expressive developments


Rolf Gjelsten

“Mastery of technique is an individual’s pursuit based on his or her body type, taking into consideration the evolution led by great players and teachers”. Rolf Gjelsten reflects on his Conference 2020 session on cello technique. 

Read the complete article here.

For information about the New Zealand String Quartet, click here.



“For me, the ultimate highlight was Stephen De Pledge and the NZSQ playing Schumann’s Piano
Quintet on the last morning. The dynamic range, balance and energy of the instruments working
together created a compelling and profound climax to a wonderful time together as music teachers.” –
Rev Rona Halsall, Westport

Attending these events is a marvellous opportunity to review and build upon one’s technique. It is
always a privilege to have personal interactions with such generous and experienced NZ-based
chamber groups. – Josh Helm, Papakura


The Perfect Partnership

Mezzo soprano Catrin Johnsson and pianist Rachel Fuller are highly accomplished musicians and both teach at the University of Auckland. It was our good fortune to hear them in masterclass at our Conference 2020, where they offered numerous suggestions to help singers and pianists build the perfect partnership.

Read the article by Fay McNeil here:

Catrin Johnsson and Rachel Fuller


Conference 2019 – Dunedin

“Attending annual IRMTNZ Conferences and reuniting with friends and colleagues is always a joy and
a privilege bringing fuller understanding of what the Institute stands for, as well as strengthening
friendships.” – Claire Mason, Rotorua


Composition, the Community, and Creative Composition

Anthony Ritchie

At Conference 2019, composer Anthony Ritchie presented an illuminating session on the relationship between composers and communities. Julie Sperring was there, and found that the ‘composer, performer, audience’ triangle influences Anthony’s own style of composing.

Read the article by Julie Sperring here:

For information about Anthony Ritchie click here.

From Violetta to Dolly Parton – “own the stage”!

Bridget Douglas

NZSO principal flautist, Bridget Douglas, took a woodwind masterclass at Conference 2019. With her upbeat and relaxed approach, she offered sage advice for wind players and indeed all musicians. Cathy Martin shares some of the highlights.

Read the article by Cathy Martin here:

For information about Bridget Douglas click here.


On the opening night we were privileged to hear a short address by Terence Dennis encouraging us
to bring the magic out of students who may not want to be at the piano! This was followed by the
Judith Clark Memorial Address in which John Drummond spoke about the rich diversity of our planet’s
musical cultures, that music is actually not a universal language but it is a universal experience, one
that affects every human being. Making music together is deeply rewarding.”  Sarah Watson, Auckland