Donald Maurice — Violist
Born in Nelson, Donald didn't begin his musical studies until moving to Christchurch at age eleven. In addition to his first violin lessons, he took up the Banjo. He supported himself by playing in a dixie band from the age of fifteen. His first violin teacher was Lois MacDonald. After taking up the viola, he learned from Elizabeth Rogers.
At age nineteen, he made the decision to go to London to further his studies. Initially, a job as a truck driver in Christchurch financed his airfare, his fees at the Guildhall and a few months worth of living expenses.
In the U.K., his teachers included Nannie Jamieson at the Guildhall school of Music and Max Rostal at the Aldeburgh Festival. He later travelled to North America to study with Donald McInnes in Washington and with William Primrose in Banff.
He established a significant free-lance career in Europe, touring far and wide on his motorbike. He played with many major orchestras including the Bournemouth Symphony, the London Mozart Players, the Belfast Symphony Orchestra (as principal viola), Ballet Rambert, The Berne Baroque Orchestra, Sadlers Wells and numerous touring ballets. During this time he also taught viola at Cambridge University.
He has played with all of the major orchestras in New Zealand and has toured extensively as a chamber musician in the capacity of both a violist and a violinist. In 1995, he gave the premiere performance of the Anthony Ritchie viola concerto with the Dunedin Sinfonia.
He has a special academic interest in the music of Bela Bartok. His revision of the Viola Concerto has attracted international attention and has earned him invitations to give seminars in Switzerland, the United States and Australia. In 1997, he was awarded a PhD by the University of Otago for his dissertation on this work.
More recently, he was instrumental in bringing the International Viola Congress to Wellington. He has been invited to become a member of the presidency of the International Viola Society. He is currently an Associate Professor at the Conservatorium of Music at Massey University in Wellington and enjoys a busy teaching schedule.
- Johann Sebastian Bach: St Matthew's Passion
- Bela Bartok: Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste
- Dmitri Shostakovich: 2nd Piano Concerto
- Subramaniam-Indian Classical Violin
- Sitar Music
Teachers and Influences
- Nannie Jamieson
- Max Rostal
- Donald McInnes
- William Primrose
- Jack Speirs: CD of works for solo viola, 2001
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