Noted by The Strad for her “blazing insight and dazzling virtuosity”, New Zealand violinist Amalia Hall displays natural and dynamic versatility as a frequent soloist, as Concertmaster of Orchestra Wellington – a role she took in 2016, becoming New Zealand’s youngest concertmaster – and as the violinist of NZTrio, which has been described as “New Zealand’s most indispensable ensemble”.
Born and raised in New Zealand, her numerous competition successes include laureate prizes at the Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition in Hannover, the International Violin Competition ‘Premio R. Lipizer’, the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians, Premio Citta di Padova International Competition for Soloists and Orchestra, and the Kloster Schöntal International Violin Competition.
She won the Royal Overseas League Overseas Award and both 1st Prize and the overall prize at the Tunbridge Wells International Music Competition, and has received the top prize at the Jeunesses International Music Competition Dinu Lipatti; 1st Prize at the Leos Janacek International Competition, the Postacchini International Violin Competition (and the ‘Absolute Winner’ Prize), the Gisborne International Music Competition (at the age of 16) as well as many special prizes at these competitions.
While still in her teens she won all of the major awards in New Zealand, including the National Concerto Competition, the National Young Performer of the Year, the Pettman/Royal Over-Seas League Arts Scholarship, the University of Auckland Concerto Competition, and the NZCT Chamber Music Contest on two occasions.
She was named by RNZ Concert among “10 young musicians making their mark”, recipient of an alumni Summit Academy Award from Rangitoto College, winner of “Best Performance Award” at the Auckland Fringe Festival, recipient of the inaugural “Gary Daverne Award for Classical Music” presented by the Variety Artists Club of New Zealand at the annual Benny Awards, and she was selected by her alma mater, the University of Auckland, as one of their ‘‘40 Under 40” from alumni across all fields.
Since making her debut at the age of 9 with the Auckland Philharmonia, Amalia has been a regular soloist with orchestras in New Zealand, including appearances with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia, Orchestra Wellington, Auckland Symphony Orchestra, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, Dunedin Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Chamber Orchestra, Waikato Symphony Orchestra and Saint Matthews Chamber Orchestra. She performed the world premiere of violin concertos by Claire Cowan and Michael Norris with Orchestra Wellington, under the baton of Marc Taddei.
Amalia has been a soloist with orchestras in Europe including I Virtuosi Italiani, Munich Chamber Orchestra, NDR Radiophilharmonie, Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, Amadeus Polish Radio Chamber Orchestra, United Strings of Europe, the State Philharmonic of Sibiu and Filharmonica Marchigiana, and with the Mexico State Symphony Orchestra, Filarmónica de Querétaro and Orquesta Filharmonía in Mexico. Performances have taken her to China, Germany, Scotland, England, France, Austria, South Africa, Vietnam, Mexico, Honduras, Argentina, USA and Australia among other countries.
She was the first New Zealand classical musician to perform in Uzbekistan, when she made her debut with the National Symphony Orchestra of Uzbekistan. On her second visit to Tashkent, she performed all 5 of the Mozart Violin Concertos in one concert. She has had collaborations with other artistic genres, including choreographed performances with the New Zealand Dance Company.
At the age of 10 Amalia was the youngest ever member to be accepted into the NZSO National Youth Orchestra, and continued on to later become its Concertmaster. She became an associate member of the Auckland Philharmonia at the age of 16 and was contracted as Principal 1st Violin in 2012. Amalia has performed as guest concertmaster for a number of the main orchestras in New Zealand including the Auckland Philharmonia, Auckland Chamber Orchestra, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Opus Orchestra.
At the age of 8 Amalia cultivated a love for chamber music after she commenced playing chamber music with her siblings in the Hall String Quartet, and has gone on to play chamber music with eminent musicians including David Starobin (with whom she has recorded for Bridge Records), Jonathan Biss, Pamela Frank, Ida Kavafian, Roberto Diaz, Gary Hoffman and Clive Greensmith.
She has performed chamber music throughout Europe and the US as a recitalist, a member of Curtis on Tour and member of the New Zealand Chamber Soloists, and she has appeared in Australia as a guest artist with the Southern Cross Soloists and the Australia Piano Quartet. Amalia has toured numerous times for Chamber Music New Zealand and her performances have been regularly broadcast on the Radio New Zealand Concert Programme. She has also appeared on WHYY On Stage at Curtis, the Good Morning TV Show, the Paul Holmes Show and Paul Henry Show.
In 2014 Amalia was guest violinist with New Zealand Chamber Soloists and undertook a temporary position as violin and viola lecturer on the University of Waikato faculty, a position she also held in 2017 and returned to in 2019. She has also taught and given masterclasses at institutions including the National Conservatory of Uzbekistan, Vicenza Conservatorio, Rossini Conservatorio and University of Veracruz Faculty of Music among others.
At the age of 19 Amalia began postgraduate studies at the Curtis Institute of Music, studying under the tutelage of renowned violinists Pamela Frank and Joseph Silverstein, while receiving chamber music coachings from distinguished artists such as Ida Kavafian, Shmuel Ashkenasi and Peter Wiley. Prior to this she completed her Bachelor of Music degree at the age of 19 at the University of Auckland, New Zealand studying with Dimitri Atanassov.
Amalia began violin lessons at the age of 3 through the Suzuki Method, completing all 10 books at the age of 6. Later that year she started pursuing exams, beginning with Trinity Grade 5 with Distinction, which lead on to her achieving Trinity Grade 8 with Distinction at the age of 8.
More exams followed, culminating in the AMEB Licentiate Diploma at the age of 13, and AMusA on piano a couple of years later.
Amalia currently plays on a Vincenzo Rugeri violin from c. 1700, generously on loan from a private benefactor.