The Morton Trio

Alexander Morton (horn), Arna Morton (violin), Liam Wooding (piano) 

Formed in 2017, the Melbourne-based Morton Trio features three emerging Kiwi professionals - two of whom are married! Arna & Alexander Morton hail from Christchurch, and Liam Wooding from Whanganui, and all three have been good friends for years. They're currently residing in Melbourne and studying at the Australian National Academy of Music and the University of Melbourne, as well as working as musicians in Australia. The Morton Trio's special bond imbues their performances with sensitivity and sizzle, and they're all extremely passionate about engaging communities through their performances. Their programme is full of lush works that explore the rich sonorities possible when a horn replaces the cello in piano trio.

Born in Christchurch, Arna  moved to Wellington in 2009 to complete her Bachelor and Masters in Violin at the New Zealand School of Music under Helene Pohl of the New Zealand String Quartet. In 2014, Arna moved to Melbourne where she is currently a Performance PhD candidate, Casual Lecturer in Violin, and recipient of the Australian Postgraduate Award at the University of Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, supervised by Dr Curt Thompson & Dr David Irving. This year, Arna's role as Concertmaster of the University's Symphony Orchestra also includes mentoring emerging leaders through the Faculty of Fine Arts & Music's newly-founded Concertmaster Mentorship Programme. Arna's research focuses on Britten and his Violin Concerto, which she performed with the University of Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in 2016 as winner of the 2015 MCM Concerto Competition. Arna was also a prizewinner in the 2016 Gisborne International Music Competition and joint-winner of the 2013/14 New Zealand National Concerto Competition, going on to perform both Szymanowski's First Violin Concerto and Ravel's Tzigane with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. Arna was an emerging artist in the 2016 Mimir International Chamber Music Festival in Texas as a member of the Curve Quartet, and in 2017 she toured with CMNZ in the Troubadour Quartet, following a successful season as guest artists in the Adam Chamber Music Festival.

Alex Morton  is a Melbourne-based horn player and is in demand across Australia and his native New Zealand as a soloist, chamber, and orchestral musician. He thrives on a variety of genres, from baroque to the bleeding edge of modern music, and especially enjoys performing the music of Richard Strauss, Mahler, New Zealand and Stravinsky in orchestral settings. Originally hailing from New Zealand, Alex completed his studies at the School of Music before moving to Melbourne to further his training at the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM), under the tutelage of SSO Principal Horn, Ben Jacks, and Los Angeles Principal Horn, Andrew Bain. Whilst at ANAM, Alex performed alongside and in masterclasses with Sarah Willis, Tim Jones, Michael Mulcahy, and Edward Carroll. He was also awarded the Musica Viva Prize for the ANAM Chamber Music Competition, performing the Penderecki Sextet. Alex currently has a contract with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and has also performed with the Sydney, Tasmanian, Christchurch, and New Zealand Symphony Orchestras, Orchestra Wellington, Ukaria Festival Ensemble in Adelaide, and ELISION at the Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music. Alex is committed to furthering the ideal that everybody loves classical music, they just might not know it yet.

Liam Wooding  is a pianist from Whanganui, New Zealand studying at the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) with Timothy Young. In New Zealand, Liam studied under Rae de Lisle MNZM and Katherine Austin, and completed a Master of Music degree at the University of Waikato. Committed to the cultural preservation and advocacy of New Zealand music, he has performed works by the majority of New Zealand’s leading composers. He was the resident pianist at the Nelson Composer’s Workshop for 2015 and 2016 and has received a Lilburn Trust Performance Prize. Liam received a grant from the Wallace Foundation to commission a new work by Reuben Jellyman to be premiered in Melbourne, 2018. Liam has performed concertos with the University of Auckland Orchestra, Auckland Chamber Orchestra, the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra as a prize winner in the 2015 National Concerto Competition, and in 2016, performed concertos by Ravel and Rachmaninoff with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. Last year, Liam received the Encouragement Award for Most Promising Pianist at the Wallace National Piano Competition and was Runner-Up in the 3MBS competition ‘The Talent’ - a live performance series for emerging musicians. Liam is actively engaged in his hometown of Whanganui. For three years he was an accompanist at the New Zealand Opera School held in Whanganui each year and is involved in the Musicians for the Sarjeant initiative, which supports the redevelopment of the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui. In 2014, he participated in the inaugural Decoda/Skidmore Chamber Music Institute – a summer program with a focus on leadership and service through music. This year, Liam is excited to be a part of Ensemble Evolution at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, exploring ensemble playing for the 21st Century.

LINKS

https://youtu.be/mtKLPBhBnCA - Listen to the trio play part of the David Riniker & talk about their group.

https://youtu.be/H4EwWCKxErQ - Brahms Trio excerpts

https://www.facebook.com/themortontrio/ - new Facebook page

http://www.richardbissill.com/valse-noire/ - lovely piece, although little known