About the Gisborne International Music Competition

Following the devastating 1988 Cyclone Bola, local music and sports retailer Ian Dunsmore initiated the Gisborne International Music Competition, with the backing of the Rotary Club of Gisborne, as a positive event for the Gisborne region and as a vehicle for young players of orchestral instruments to hone their performance skills against their colleagues and to learn from jurors who are themselves practising musicians of the highest calibre. The first Competition took place in 1989 and it has been run every year since.

Such is the respect with which the Competition is now held internationally that each year around half the competitor field is drawn from overseas, ensuring the standard of competition is as high as you could expect at any equivalent competition, anywhere in the world.

The GIMC is open to all New Zealand and international players of orchestral instruments aged between16 and 25 years. The format is that of a recital style competition and entrants are asked to submit a programme of 45 - 55 minutes that covers at least two musical periods and includes at least one unaccompanied work. In the first and semi final rounds competitors perform 25 – 30 minutes of music selected for them by the jurors from their nominated programmes. The finalists then present a recital of 30 - 35 minutes. (Please check the Competition Rules and Conditions for precise details)

Official competition accompanists are made available to all competitors. The pianists engaged for the 2016 Gisborne International Music Competition, Rosemary Barnes, Sarah Watkins and Rachel Thomson represent three of New Zealand’s leading accompanists.

Over $23,000 prize money is awarded annually, including special prizes for string, brass and woodwind/percussion players, for the most promising player, for the best performance of a work by a New Zealand composer and the best performance of a work by JS Bach.

All competitors are able to meet individually with the jurors to discuss their performance.

There are opportunities for competitors to play for the Gisborne community at local schools and retirement homes and at the outdoor “Concert Under the Leaves". 

Billeted accommodation is offered to all competitors during the competition.

The high number of returning competitors proves the competition has successfully achieved a balance in providing a challenging but supportive musical environment and the relaxed and friendly nature of Gisborne has made it the perfect place to host such a special event. Competitors return year after year for the beauty of the natural environment and for the warm support they receive from the Gisborne community

 2017 will be the 29th running of the Gisborne International Music Competition.


Past Finalists

Past finalists of the Gisborne International Music Competition are now playing in leading professional orchestras and chamber groups and as soloists throughout New Zealand, Australia and the world. These include:

1989 finalist Eleanor Carter, Cellist, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra

1989 finalist Dianna Cochrane, Principal 2nd Violin, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra

1990 and 1992 finalist Robert Orr, Principal Oboe, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra

1992 winner Asmira Woodward-Page, Violinist, International Soloist

1992 finalist Katherine Hebley, Cellist, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra

1993 winner Jun Yi Ma, Concertmaster and Artistic Advisor, Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra

1993 finalist Ashley Brown, Cellist, New Zealand Trio

1993 finalist Bridget Douglas, Principal Flute, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra

1993 finalist Huy-Nguyen Bui, Associate Concertmaster, Australia Opera and Ballet Orchestra

1993 finalist Gretchen La Roche, Chief Executive, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra

1995 winner David Thomas, Principal Clarinet, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

1995 finalist Rowan Harvey Martin, Principal Violinist, Canberra Symphony Orchestra

1996 finalist Kathryn Betts, Violist, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

1997 winner Sophie Rowell, Associate Concertmaster, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

1997 finalist David Bremner, Principal Trombone, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra

1997 finalist Chen Gu, Concertmaster, Guiyang Symphony Orchestra

1998 winner Alexandra Osborne, Acting Assistant Concertmaster, National Symphony Orchestra, USA

1998 finalist Madeleine Easton, Concertmaster, Hanover Band

1999 winner Natalia Lomeiko, Violinist, International Soloist

1999 finalist Megan Stirling, Principal Flute, Hong Kong Philharmonic

2000 finalist Lerida Delbridge, Assistant Concertmaster, Sydney Symphony Orchestra

2001 finalist Victoria Simonsen, Cellist, Philharmonia Orchestra

2001finalist Elizabeth Farrell, Principal Piccolo, Kiel Philharmonic Orchestra

2002 winner, Eugene Lee, 1st Violinist, Philharmonia Orchestra

2002 finalist Malavika Gopal, 1st Violinist, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra

2004 finalist Marianne Broadfoot, Associate Principal 2nd Violinist, Sydney Symphony Orchestra

2006 winner Ling Yunzhi, 2nd Violinist, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra

2007 winner Christopher Pidcock, Cellist, Sydney Symphony Orchestra

2007 finalist Edward King, Associate Principal Cellist, Sydney Symphony Orchestra

2008 and 2009 finalist Sonja Schebeck, Violinist, Nigel Kennedy's Orchestra of Life

2009 finalist Wu Dai Dai, Cellist, Singapore Symphony Orchestra

2010 finalist Karol Kowalik, Cellist, Orva String Quartet

2012 finalist Thomas Eves, Principal Trumpet, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra