Biography

Dr Lara Hall is Lecturer in Violin and Viola at The University of Waikato, and Artistic Director of Accelerando, the University of Waikato Junior Music Academy.

Lara’s early music education was through the Suzuki method which was followed by English and Australian exams. She has been prominent in the New Zealand music scene from a young age, having first performed as a soloist at the age of 9 with the Young Strings of Auckland. As a teenager she performed as a soloist with numerous orchestras including the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, and appeared at festivals such as the Adam New Zealand Festival of Chamber Music and the Auckland International Chamber Music Festival. She was also a prizewinner in national solo competitions, was awarded top New Zealand scholarships and twice her chamber groups won Chamber Music New Zealand’s National Competition. Preparation for this competition fostered her love of chamber music. Her serious orchestral playing also started at an unusually young age as she was accepted into New Zealand Youth Orchestra at the age of 11, and gained a place as an associate player with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and a substitute player for the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra at the ages of 16 and 17 respectively. Newspaper concert reviewers described her solo playing during this era as ‘charismatic’, and her interpretation strikingly beautiful and confident.

Lara completed her BMus at the University of Auckland with Mary O’Brien, and during that time spent a summer in the Dorothy Delay studio at the Aspen Summer School.  After completing a DipMus(Adv) with Graham McPhail in baroque violin, she went on to gain her Masters (MM) and Doctorate (DMA) in violin performance at the University of Michigan, studying with Paul Kantor and Yehonatan Berick and taught as a Graduate Student Instructor. At the same time she was also a faculty member for the pre-University programme Young Strings.
After graduating from the University of Michigan Lara peformed in Europe and the US before taking up her current university teaching position in New Zealand. She returns periodically to the US to perform where she performs on both modern and baroque violin. Her most recent baroque violin collaborations in the US have been with harpsichordist Edward Parmentier and the group ‘Flying Forms’.

From the time she began teaching as a teenager, Lara’s students have excelled in competitions and exams. In recent years Lara has taught master classes at varied institutions such as the Queenstown Summer School and the Royal Academy of Music, Dublin. She has also led many orchestras including the National Youth Orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonica Orchestra and the Auckland Chamber Orchestra. Lara is currently Concertmaster of the Opus Orchestra, and also a member of the prominent New Zealand chamber group the New Zealand Chamber Soloists with which she has performed in the US, South America and Europe and recorded a CD that has been a bestseller in NZ. Lara performs extensively as a chamber musician, first touring for Chamber Music New Zealand in 2001 and also continues to perform as a concerto soloist. Orchestras she has most recently performed as a soloist with are AK Barok (as a baroque violinist), Opus Orchestra, Auckland Chamber Orchestra, Waitakere Symphony Orchestra, and Tauranga Performing Arts Trust Orchestra. Lara was appointed to her current position at The University of Waikato in 2006.