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Geoff Pearce

Geoff Pearce is a Kiwi who has spent about half of his life in Australia in two different periods.

Born in Leeston, near Christchurch, New Zealand in December 1955, he spent most of his childhood around the Ashburton area, developing a lasting interest in classical music and meeting his first oboe teacher, Ian Harris, who then played cor anglais with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

At eighteen, Geoff enrolled at Victoria University. He was taught by Ian Harris,  Ron Webb and Luigi Ferletti, and completed a Bachelor of Music in 1977.  He also taught oboe, worked as a freelance with the NZSO, Wellington Regional Orchestra and Scola Musica, and was a member of the Wellington Youth Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra.

In 1978 and 1979 he played first oboe with the Dunedin Civic Orchestra, also continuing to teach, and then went first to Adelaide to study with Jiri Tancibudek  and later to Sydney to play in the ABC Sinfonia and study with Guy Henderson and Josef Hanik.

In 1989 he returned to New Zealand, resuming freelance professional playing with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, and teaching oboe and playing chamber music in his spare time.

In 1997 he travelled again to Australia, working for a while in non-musical areas, but has now resumed oboe playing and teaching, and currently lives in Sydney. He loves teaching and has more than forty years of oboe teaching experience.  To keep himself current, he has also resumed oboe lessons with Josef Hanik.

More information

Music & Vision articles by Geoff Pearce

Vocal music by Vincent Persichetti. 'Both singers are fine and expressive, accurately expressing the emotional content of each song.'

Schoenberg's arrangements of Mahler songs impress Geoff Pearce. '... I found this version very interesting and overall, more intimate ...'

Chinese and American art song. 'Juliet Petrus has a very fine voice and whose vocal timbre really sits well with these songs ...'

Dvorák's Slavonic Dances played by the Czech Philharmonic. 'There is balance and lightness here, not achieved by many other orchestras.'

Svjatoslav Richter plays Mussorgsky and Tchaikovsky. 'Remind yourself that these are live recordings from 1954-60 and you will enjoy this disc.'

The New York Philharmonic plays Christopher Rouse, highly recommended. '... a fantastic whirl of sound and energy, guaranteed to make the most jaded listener sit up on the edge of the seat.'

Kirill Kondrashin conducts Rachmaninov. 'The final few minutes are electrifying.'

Trio Koch plays Moszkowski, Milhaud and Martinu. '... the players show a superb understanding of the melodic line and harmonic structure ...'

J S Bach, Haydn and Mendelssohn keyboard concertos. '... beautifully played ...'

Music by Xiaogang Ye. '... superbly directed and played ...'

Vocal and choral music by Lennox and Michael Berkeley. '... thrilling performance.'

Som Howie's debut recital. '... a lovely expansive open sound ...'

Folk songs from the Red River Valley. 'The performances and arrangements are unpretentious ...'

Music by Frances White and Valeria Vasilevski. 'Hats off to the four creative forces behind this work. All are exemplary.'

Contemporary music from San José, heartily recommended. '... lovely, approachable music ...'

Sibelius from Munich. '... the orchestra responds superbly to Jansons.'

Wolf-Ferrari's 'The Jewels of the Madonna'. 'Special praise should be given to the musical director, Friedrich Haider ...'

Khachaturian from Dmitry Yablonsky and the Russian Philharmonic. 'The orchestra and conductor are superb, and committed to bringing out the very best of this music ...'

Randall Thompson's Requiem, highly recommended. '... the choral forces and direction are superb.'

Chamber music associated with Frans Preumayer. '... the performances ... were truly marvellous by all concerned.'

Bruckner's Ninth. '... it has all the power it needs. It moves forward and does not get bogged down ...'

Vadym Kholodenko plays Prokofiev. '... a majestic, lovely recording, full of colour and detail.'

Don Gillis' music for wind quintet. '... always well-crafted, easy to listen to and often fun.'

'Feuersnot' by Richard Strauss,. '... the orchestra was sumptuous.'

Orchestral music by Louis Babin. '... the string sound of the Moravian Philharmonic is warm and sumptuous.'

Mozart and Brahms clarinet quintets. '... a gem of a disc ...'

Erwin Schulhoff for violin and piano, strongly recommended. '... this music really suits these two performers like a glove ...'

Sacred music by Georgy Sviridov. '... beautiful, pure and never forced or showy.'

Danish and Faroese recorder concerti. '... Michala Petri is a champion of this instrument.'

Schumann and Strauss from Grimaud and Zinman. '... a marvelous disc to add to your collection ...'

Sibelius' 'Pelléas et Mélisande'. '... Leif Segerstam shows his love of this music by letting it unfold naturally.'

Prokofiev symphonies. '... Karabits has a real empathy with Prokofiev ...'

Music by Pamela J Marshall. 'The performances are professional and committed ...'

Vocal music by Wagner and Elgar. 'Sarah Rose Taylor's voice is warm and creamy.'

Lithuanian-born pianist Vytautas Smetona. 'His cantabile playing almost transports you to heaven ...'

Music by Malipiero. '... the forces on this disc are well up to the challenge.'

Music by James M Stephenson. '... tight, edgy and quirky ...'

Chamber music by Zae Munn. 'The performances are committed and unified ...'

Piano music by Alexandre Tansman. '... excellent performances ...'

Schubert and Vorísek piano music. '... a truly magical disc ...'

Piano music by Adolf Jensen. '... romantic, strongly melodic and individualistic, but never recorded before ...'

Music by and inspired by Axel Borup-Jørgensen. '... very descriptive, atmospheric music ...'

Vocal music by Michael Murray. 'I could not fault the performances, and believe that they represent Michael Murray's vocal works well.'

Scottish music from young performers. '... beautifully performed ...'

Music by twentieth century women composers. '... the Trio des Alpes is committed and convincing ...'

Moisey Weinberg's Symphonies 5 and 10. '... this music truly speaks with the language of our time.'

Choral music by William Averitt. '... the depth of sound is rich and satisfying, and the performances solid.'

Varda Kotler and Israel Kastoriano. '... partnership and sensitivity ...'

Orchestral music by Alan Hovhaness. '... an almost trance-like mysticism and beauty ...'

Orchestral music by Alexander Zemlinsky. 'The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra responds superbly to John Storgårds ...'

Music by Beth Anderson. 'The performances were well realized ...'

Sydney Hodkinson's Keyboard Odyssey. 'Much of this thoughtful compilation ... is very enjoyable ...'

Contemporary orchestral music. 'Very pleasurable and committed performances.'

Music for recorder and harpsichord from Denmark and the UK. '... this partnership works very well musically ...'

Challenging music for violin and piano. 'This recording is up there with the best of them.'

Piano music by Nils Vigeland. '... the pianistic skills of Jenny Q Chai are quite astounding ...'

Zenia Löffler's Venetian concerti impress Geoff Pearce. 'This disc will not fail to please ...'

Paris Conservatoire connections for flute and piano. '... a good addition to any collection ...'

Handel organ concerti played on the piano. '... the artists are first class, the sound is sumptuous ...'

Eastern European music for bassoon and piano. '... great performances from Maria Wildhaber and her colleagues ...'

Geoff Pearce remembers the New Zealand composer John Ritchie (1921-2014)

Music for violin and piano completely captivates Geoff Pearce. 'The partnership is incredible ...'

Greg Bowers' 'Rational Passions'. '... committed and skillful playing ...'

Vocalensemble Lalá. '... always musical and beautifully under control.'

Geoff Pearce muses on the career of Peter Sculthorpe

Geoff Pearce discusses intolerance in public life

Geoff Pearce asks if we've lost something precious in our search for perfection, and argues for a return to national styles of playing


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