2020 NEW ZEALAND ASPIRING GUITARIST
Megan and Michael also each received a 30 min masterclass with the four time ARIA award winner:
Megan is currently finishing her third year of classical guitar at Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music studying with Dr Jane Curry. Prior to university, she studied at Tauranga Girls’ College under the tuition of Melissa Winters and Stephanie Geor whose knowledge in classical performance peaked her interest. Megan’s ability was illustrated at the end of 2016 when she won 1stplace in the Youth Division of the New Zealand Classical Guitar Competition and the SOUNZ prize for Best Performance of a New Zealand Work.
Megan has performed a large variety of pieces from the classical guitar canon ranging from baroque to contemporary compositions. She has a particular interest in programmatic works giving the New Zealand premiere of Phillip Houghton’s ‘Ophelia’. Beginning next year, she’ll be expanding her ensemble repertoire by performing with a flutist and premiering new compositions by New Zealand composers. Megan has received masterclasses from some of the world’s leading guitarist such as Ingrid Riollot, Martha Masters and Gary Ryan. This exposure to international artists has sparked her interest in completing postgraduate study abroad.
Michael Stoop is a Wellington-based guitarist, composer, and teacher. He studied classical guitar performance at the New Zealand School of Music with Matthew Marshall and Dr Jane Curry, and completed his Bachelor of Music in 2012.
Since graduating, Michael has dedicated a lot of time to composing new music for the guitar. His debut album ‘Landscapes’ was released on Bandcamp in June 2017. Consisting entirely of original compositions for solo guitar, many of the pieces on ‘Landscapes’ were inspired by the dramatic scenery of Wellington. Michael gave performances of many of these works around Wellington, including a lunchtime concert at Expressions in Upper Hutt, in June 2016.
Since ‘Landscapes’ Michael has completed a number of new compositions for solo guitar. Many of these have been filmed and performed, and can be viewed on YouTube. Michael began collaborating with Riddell Productions in late 2018, and the Wellington-based production company has filmed him performing some of his most recent works.
Michael competed in the Biennial New Zealand International Classical Guitar Competition in December 2018, and played a programme of his own compositions. He won the Prize for the Best Performance of a New Zealand Work, with his piece ‘Resurrecting the Dream’.
Michael teaches guitar to students of all ages, levels, and styles at his home studio in Khandallah, Wellington.
To see who the NZAGs were in 2018 click here