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10-Year-Old Composer Pax Read’s Debut

It is said that Beethoven wrote his first complete piece of music at the age of 12. Pax Read did not want to wait until he was 12.

10-year-old Medbury School student Pax Read had his solo piano piece Silver premiered by Professor Mark Menzies from the University of Canterbury School of Music during the Magic Carpet Music Trust's inaugural anniversary celebration, hosted at the Aspiring Lifestyle Village in Wānaka on Saturday 13 May.

The Magic Carpet Music Trust was formed by music patron Lyn Milne & award-winning performer-composer Rakuto Kurano in May 2022 to promote music throughout rural communities in New Zealand's South Island while providing young performers and composers with more opportunities.

Pax's musical pursuits encompass piano, flute, and participation in the school choir. He has been studying composition with the Trust’s Artistic Director, Rakuto Kurano, since the beginning of 2022 through Medbury School’s music programme. In addition to instrumental lessons, the school also offers weekly one-on-one composition lessons, which made it possible for Pax to study with Kurano.

Pax spent the last few months composing his piece Silver with guidance from Kurano, and it was now ready to be premiered.

“There is something so special about hearing your composition performed live by a professional musician for the first time. I wanted to ensure Pax experienced this at an early age.”, says Kurano.

The premiere of the piece garnered an overwhelmingly positive response, receiving thunderous applause from the audience comprising around 60 people. Many were stunned by the maturity of his piece for someone of his age.

“Pax composed a remarkably assured composition for piano that was a pleasure to present to the public,” says Professor Menzies.

April Holland is the Director of Music and leads the music programme at Medbury School.

"We are so proud of what Pax has achieved with his composition, and we are thrilled that he has been able to develop his music-writing skills under the expert tutelage of Rakuto Kurano. Pax's enthusiasm and passion for music is evident in the way he involves himself fully in many musical opportunities and how he is always so willing to learn new skills. We cannot wait to see what the future has in store for this talented young musician."

Pax Read will certainly be a name to look out for in the future.