Classical stars donate to Hutt Valley music program Arohanui Strings

International classical stars Nicola Benedetti and Leonard Elschenbroich have made a significant donation to Arohanui Strings, an inspired music education program based in Taita, Lower Hutt.
On 11 April, German cellist Mr Elschenbroich visited the young group of musicians at St Michael’s School, conducting the orchestra and mentoring individual cello players. He says the experience made a lasting impression on him. Along with Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti, he decided to make a significant donation to Arohanui Strings.
“It was a joy and an inspiration to see the enthusiasm, pride, and devotion in the faces of the children at Arohanui Strings,” said Leonard Elschenbroich.
“The teachers are doing such excellent work there. I was only sad to see that the children had to take turns and share their violins. Perhaps this small contribution will help acquire some more instruments. Good luck to all of you and keep going as you are! I look forward to seeing you the next time.”
Arohanui Strings - Sistema Hutt Valley is part of global movement El Sistema one of the world’s most successful music and social development programmes which aims to transform the lives of children through music. Both Elschenbroich and Benedetti are fiercely committed to music education and to developing young talent. In 2010, Ms Benedetti became Sistema Scotland’s official musical ‘Big Sister’ for the Big Noise project; a music initiative partnered with Venezuela’s El Sistema.
NZSO Education Manager Samantha Cockerill says: “This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for local school children in the Hutt Valley, to learn from a world class cellist. The children were visibly excited and inspired.”
Mr Elschenbroich and Ms Benedetti were visiting New Zealand to perform Brahms’ Double Concerto with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in the Orchestra’s national tour Brahms & Beethoven which visited eight centres around New Zealand from 8-14 April.