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 many renowned chamber ensembles.  In addition, he has a distinguished orchestral career. He is currently Principal Oboe of the Philharmonia and London Chamber Orchestras, having previously held the same position with the London Philharmonic. He is also Principal Oboe of the World Orchestra for Peace.

Regarded as one of the world's leading oboists, he appears as soloist with international orchestras, and has worked with conductors such as Ashkenazy, Andrew Davis, Giulini, Kondrashin, Muti, Sir John Pritchard, Sir Simon Rattle, Sinopoli and Welser-Möst. After a performance of the Mozart Oboe Concerto in Berlin, a critic wrote, "With his crystal clear, aristocratic tone, he undoubtedly ranks as one of the greatest exponents of his instrument". Over four decades he has performed concertos and recitals on six continents. In April 2005 he was honoured to be invited to play 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 appeared as soloist with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, televised live to over 30,000,000 homes across the world.

Gordon Hunt has recorded extensively for BMG, EMI and Virgin with music ranging from Bach to Malcolm Arnold and including all of Mozart’s solo music.  His recording of the Richard Strauss Concerto with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and Vladimir Ashkenazy (Decca) has been named the finest available by the Penguin CD Guide. More recently he has made several recordings for BIS, including “elevazione”, a very successful disc of popular concertos, which he also directed.

As a conductor, he is becoming widely known.  He has been Music Director of the Swedish Chamber Winds and continues to work with wind ensembles in many countries. In addition, he has conducted the National Symphony Orchestra of South Africa, the Johannesburg Philharmonic, the Chamber Orchestra of South Africa, the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, and has appeared in the Budapest Spring Festival. He was Artistic Director of the Danish Chamber Players from 2001-2003. More recently, he has conducted the Danish Radio Sinfonietta and Southbank Sinfonia in London, as well as concerts in Brazil, and with the winds of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

Gordon Hunt is Professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, an 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 triennial International Oboe Competition of Japan. In August 2010 he was designated a UNESCO Artist for Peace.

Engagements over five years as soloist and conductor include visits to Germany, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Czechoslovakia, South Africa, the USA, Brazil, Chile, Japan, China, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, as well as concerts in Great Britain.

Gordon Hunt plays an XL oboe made by Howarth of London.

(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.