Catherine Kwak


 17 year old cellist Catherine Kwak is currently in her 3rd year studying for a Bachelor of Music (Soloist Specialisation) at the University of Waikato with James Tennant and Katherine Austin. She started learning cello at the age of 7 and gained ABRSM Grade 8 cello with High Distinction and the High Achievers' Cup at the age of 9. From 2005-2012 she was a full scholarship student at the Pettman National Junior Academy of Music.

Catherine's successes include 

  • being a prizewinner at the 18th International Brahms Music Competition held in Austria,
  • 2nd Prize at the 25th International Gisborne Music Competition and the 2013 ILT National Young Performer Awards,
  • 1st Prize at the 2014 Waikato University Chamber Music Competition and
  • winning the 9th Royal Overseas League/Pettman International Chamber Music Scholarship.

She has performed nationally and internationally including performances at festivals such as the International Summer Academy Biel (Switzerland) - where she was chosen to perform as a soloist with the Budweis Philharmonic Orchestra, Euro Music Festival (Germany), and solo recitals in Germany and New Zealand.

In 2014, she was a soloist with the University of Waikato Orchestra and held the position of Co-Principal in the Cello section of the NZSO National Youth Orchestra.

This year, Catherine has been chosen for the semifinals of the 2015 Johansen International Competition, which will be held in Washington DC this March.

Also, she has concert engagements in the UK including performances at the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, St Martin-in-the-Fields, St James Church Piccadilly and the Princess Alexandra Hall at the ROSL House London.