Leo Read wins 2019 Rising Stars final

Leo Read – photo by Jeanette Nee

Bay of Plenty Symphonia is delighted to announce that the winner of this year’s Rising Stars Concerto Competition is 17-year-old trombonist, Leo Read, from Taneatua.  

In Sunday’s finals concert at Baycourt, Leo and five other talented young musicians from around the Bay of Plenty performed solos with our community orchestra.   Leo’s confident rendition of a movement from Ferdinand David’s Trombone Concertino impressed the prestigious judging panel, which was headed by Dr Peter Walls from Wellington and included pianist Katherine Austin from the University of Waikato and John Ure, previously principal French horn with the Auckland Philharmonia. 

Leo is the principal trombonist for the Eastern Bay of Plenty’s A grade brass band and is also a proficient jazz, orchestral and piano player. ‘I really enjoyed the opportunity to perform with the orchestra, and playing alongside the other talented musicians was an honour’ says Leo. 

The Jury’s Special Prize went to Huang Yu Li from Tauranga for her sensitive  performance of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 9.   Huang Yu hopes to further her studies in piano and make music her career.

The Symphonia’s Rising Stars concerts have taken place every 2 years since 2009 and have secured a special place in the calendars of the Bay’s classical music lovers, young musicians and their teachers. As a member of the audience said after Sunday’s event, ‘I really enjoy seeing and listening to the young musicians up on stage with their chance to play with a symphony orchestra.’ Many past contestants have gone on to pursue a career in music. 

The concert was conducted by Justus Rozemond and prizes were presented by the Mayor of Tauranga, Mr Greg Brownless.