Olivia Wilding

Alumni

Kia ora! I began cello at 11 and soon found success in a few Hawke’s Bay music competitions. After Mum saw the Pinnacle Programme advertised on TV she encouraged me to sign up, thinking it would be an amazing opportunity. I was accepted into the programme in 2013 - just before commencing study at the New Zealand School of Music. I went on Spirit of Adventure and Outward Bound alongside completing my Honours in Classical Cello. Before Pinnacle Programme, I had always been one-track minded, following the path most travelled, in pursuit of becoming a professional classical musician. Pinnacle Programme helped me develop confidence and a stronger sense of self, encouraging me to branch out and spend more time carving my own niche.

I’ve had over 10 years of classical experience: small orchestras in my hometown, university and National Youth Orchestra, to being a Fellowship Student with the NZ Symphony. I’ve performed alongside musicians I’ve idolized since childhood and toured the country performing with friends. I did a Chamber Music Series for Matariki 2020, which I composed, performed and acted in. It was an amazing opportunity that I was inspired to take after doing Kai Waho with Tom, who encouraged me to connect my music with my cultural identity.

After completing Spirit of Adventure and Outward Bound, I was inspired to break out of my classical cello mould and leaned into my creativity and individuality. Pinnacle introduced me to amazing like-minded friends, some of whom I’ve been able to collaborate and create awesome things with! I was accepted into my dream university in Spain, to undertake a Masters in Contemporary Performance in 2020, but sadly had to place study on hold. In the meantime, I’m performing in a huge range of genres and spaces: musical theatre, film soundtracks, with NZ bands (including my band Recitals - currently working on an album and NZ tour). In 2020 I even performed with Michael Bublé! After graduating from Pinnacle, I continue to broaden my skillset through contemporary performance, composition, collaboration and improvisation and I look forward to seeing where I end up next!





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