- Peter Walls
Peter Walls has always maintained a balance between scholarship and performance, initially as a violinist, and latterly as an orchestral, choral, and opera conductor.
He has conducted numerous New Zealand works including the first performances of Jack Body’s Alley (in the 1998 New Zealand International Arts Festival), Ross Harris’s Tanz der Schwäne and To the Memory of I. S. Totzka (winner of the 2000 SOUNZ Contemporary Award), David Farquhar’s Auras (recorded on Ode CD), Douglas Lilburn, Processional Fanfare (orchestral version), and the first New Zealand performance of Gareth Farr’s Tabuh Pacific.
He is a former member of the Academy of Ancient Music. He was the Music Director of The Tudor Consort between 1990 and 1999, a position he resigned when he took up a visiting fellowship and the Waynflete lectureship at Magdalen College, Oxford (where he has also held a visiting fellowship at Exeter College.) He is currently Music Director of Opus Chamber Orchestra (based in Hamilton).
His first book, Music in the English Courtly Masque (Oxford, 1996) was awarded the Derek Allen prize by the British Academy and an Outstanding Academic Book award from Choice. A new book, History, Imagination and the Performance of Music (Suffolk, UK, & Rochester NY, 2003) has also been very favourably reviewed.
Peter has been Chief Executive of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra since 2002 and before that served on the orchestra’s board for six years. Before joining NZSO management he had taught in the Music School at Victoria University (where he is now Emeritus Professor of Music). In 1998 he received a citation from the Lilburn Trust “in recognition of his outstanding contributions to New Zealand music”.