Tessa Petersen, Concertmaster
Tessa Petersen, New Zealand violinist, is Senior Lecturer in Violin at the University of Otago and the orchestra’s 11th Concertmaster since it began in 1966.
A graduate of Otago University, she received many academic and performance awards and was leader of the National Youth Orchestra of New Zealand before leaving to pursue postgraduate studies at the Royal College of Music, London, under a prestigious British Commonwealth Scholarship.
Tessa’s very close connection with the orchestra stretches over many years. Her first encounter with the orchestra was as a very young audience member; then, when aged 16 she joined as a member of the violin section, and after that she rose through the ranks to be Principal of the Second Violins while a student at Otago University. After studying and working professionally in the UK for several years, she returned briefly to Dunedin and led the orchestra as its 8th concert master for a season, before heading away again to the USA. She returned to Dunedin with her family in 2006, and she has been a regular member of the Orchestra’s violin section since then.
Tessa has performed in various recordings for the Collins Classics, Koch International, Gasparo and Ode record labels. Equally at home performing both the standard classical and contemporary repertoire, she actively promotes and collaborates with New Zealand composers in the commissioning, performance and recording of new works involving violin. Her 2012 Ode CD release, “The Mozart Fellowship” features works by New Zealand composers for solo violin and violin/piano and has featured several times on RNZ Concert. Most recently she features in a 2015 recording for the Ode label,” Father and Son”, in works by Anthony Ritchie.
Tessa is an examiner for the New Zealand Music Examinations Board and regularly acts as adjudicator for the Community Trust National Chamber Music Competition.