At UC performance study in strings, you join a creative community that offers an important stepping stone for your future career. We provide you with a diverse range of skills in your journey to becoming a pragmatic, creative and compelling artist. These are crucial qualities to building a career in music today, whatever your chosen path.

Strings teaching staff

Head of performance Professor Mark Menzies teaches violin & viola. With a career that spans the globe and a series of recordings to document it, Mark’s interests encompass the extent of string repertoire, everything from Medieval to the most recent of music. This spirit of exploration animates the string and performance offerings at UC. Joining Menzies on the bowed string faculty is cellist Galyna Zelinska, and bassist Ross Radford: both are prominent performers and teachers in New Zealand. In plucked strings, Helen Webby, brings not only great expertise to the study of the harp, but also the example of a highly innovative career. Jonathan Le Cocq is a lutenist, baroque guitar and trad guitarist, and a musical scholar in addition to his performing career.

Learning and performing

Performance study at UC involves weekly performance classes, and this includes one devoted to the strings. In addition to masterclasses, you can expect to explore string ensemble music and improvisation in this class, in addition to exciting examples of new(er) music.

We also offer courses in chamber music and orchestral music, and plenty of opportunities to further your performance interests. You can audition for the UC’s Christchurch Youth Orchestra, join our Balinese gamelan, the Consortia chamber choir, or participate in Contemporary Workshop for those pursuing contemporary forms of expression from jazz to rock, folk and experimental pop. 

Our community of UC performance students comes together weekly for a combined performance workshop. This forum offers career advice, exploration of challenging new and experimental ensemble projects, guest artists’ presentations on their pathway in music and a platform for peer-to-peer playing.

Find out more

Talk to our performance staff about studying Strings at UC School of Music