2018 Gisborne International Music Competition Jurors 

Gordon Hunt

Gordon Hunt was born in London and studied with Terence MacDonagh. He performs throughout the world as soloist and conductor, directs master classes, and plays with renowned chamber ensembles. He has a distinguished orchestral career as Principal Oboe of the London Chamber Orchestra, and formerly for many years in the Philharmonia and London Philharmonic Orchestras. He is also a Principal Oboe of the World Orchestra for Peace. He plays an LXV oboe by Howarth of London.

Regarded as one of the world's leading oboists, he has appeared as soloist with conductors such as Ashkenazy, Sir Andrew Davis, Giulini, Kondrashin, Muti, Sir John Pritchard, Sir Simon Rattle, Sinopoli and Welser-Möst. A critic wrote of a performance of the Mozart Oboe Concerto in Berlin "With his crystal clear, aristocratic tone, he undoubtedly ranks as one of the greatest exponents of his instrument". For four decades he has performed concertos and recitals on six continents. In 2005 he played the Adagio from Albinoni’s D minor concerto at the Service of Dedication and Prayer to celebrate the marriage of Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall. In 2008 he was soloist with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, televised live to thirty million homes across the world.

Gordon Hunt has recorded a wide range of music for BMG, EMI and Virgin, including all of Mozart’s solo and chamber music. His recording of the Richard Strauss Concerto with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and Vladimir Ashkenazy (Decca) was named the finest available by the Penguin CD Guide. He has made many recordings for BIS, including “elevazione”, a very successful disc of popular concertos, which he also directed. He is the original “Gabriel’s Oboe” in the Morricone score for the 1986 film “The Mission”.

As a conductor he is widely known. He has been Music Director of the Danish Chamber Players and the Swedish Chamber Winds. He has conducted the National Symphony Orchestra of South Africa, Johannesburg Philharmonic, Chamber Orchestra of South Africa, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, Aalborg Symphony Orchestra, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, Danish Radio Sinfonietta, the Philharmonia and the Southbank Sinfonia in London, and in the Budapest Spring Festival. In 2011 and 2012 he conducted in Brazil, in Tblisi, Georgia and toured with the winds of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. From 2014 to 2018 he will conduct in Japan, Macau, New Zealand, Brazil, Romania, Slovenia, the UK and in America.

Over five years, as oboist and conductor, he will be undertaking engagements in Germany, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Czechoslovakia, Madeira, South Africa, Argentina, Chile, Panama, China, Singapore and Australia as well as Great Britain.

Gordon Hunt is Professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Honorary Associate of the Royal Academy of Music and is much in demand for advice from students and professionals worldwide. He is a member of the jury for the International Oboe Competition of Japan. In 2010 he was designated a UNESCO Artist for Peace.

In his free time, he is passionate about fly fishing for trout and salmon.

(Photo: Chris Fower)


Robert Ashworth

Robert is currently principal viola with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.  Arriving from Canada in 2003 for a one year adventure, he has found a connection with New Zealand through its music, people and country-side, his animals and family.

He has been guest-​principal viola for the Melbourne Symphony, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, as well as assistant-​principal for the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. He is violist with the Jade String Quartet in Auckland, and also plays with the Australian World Orchestra.

Robert is a twice recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts Award for Emerging Artists and has performed with various groups at international chamber music festivals in Europe, North America, and Japan. He has had the honour to study with violists Thomas Riebl and Veronika Hagen at the Universität Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria and with Gerald Stanick at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.