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Friends Of the APO Inc - Meet The Artist

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  • Fri 23 Aug ’19, 10:30am – 12:15pm


Ellerslie War Memorial Hall, 138 Main Highway, Ellerslie


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Members: $15.00
  • Non Members: $20.00



Ben Sheen, soloist for Poulenc’s Organ concerto in the APO’s Reveries concert will be our guest. Ben, Associate Organist at Saint Thomas Church in New York City, is one of the UK’s brightest young organists.

Hailed as ‘brilliant' by the New York Times, he is the 2013 winner of the Pierre S. du Pont First Prize in the inaugural Longwood Gardens Organ Competition and received Second Prize and the Jon Laukvik prize at the St. Alban’s International Organ Competition 2013. After seven years in New York City, Mr. Sheen will take up the post of Sub-Organist at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford, UK from January 2020.

Ben began his musical career as a chorister for six years at St. Paul's Cathedral in London, under the direction of John Scott, during which time he gained a music scholarship to Eton College. He holds degrees from the University of Oxford and the Juilliard School and is also a prize-winning Fellow of the Royal College of Organists and the 2011 recipient of the Silver Medal from the Worshipful Company of Musicians.

As a concert organist, Mr. Sheen has performed throughout Europe, the USA and Australia and also, recently, in Hong Kong and Singapore. He has performed with notable orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the City of London Sinfornia and Orchestra of St. Luke’s (New York City), and appeared on BBC radio and television several times. Recent highlights have included several complete performances of J. S. Bach’s ClavierÜbung III, including live on New York’s classical radio station WQXR in November 2014.

After the untimely death of John Scott in 2015, Mr. Sheen took up the posts of Acting Organist and Acting Director of Music of Saint Thomas Church last season, directing the choir on a domestic tour of the USA and also for performances at the AAM Convention in Stamford and AGO National Convention in Houston.

Mr. Sheen’s growing international reputation has seen him perform throughout the United States of America, Europe, South Africa, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. In 2018, he was a featured artist at the national convention of the American Guild of Organists, held in Kansas City, Missouri.
Diane Huh, New Zealand Emerging Artist Prize recipient in the recent Michael Hill International Violin Competition will play for us. Diane is a student of Stephen Larsen at the University of Auckland, where she recently won the 2019 Concerto Competition.

As part of her prize, the 22-year-old violinist will receive the two-year loan of the Riccardo Bergonzi violin, return airfare to attend the 2020 Rome Chamber Music Festival, and a raft of professional development and performance opportunities, as well as being able to attend all of the competition sessions in Queenstown and Auckland as a VIP.

The Rome Chamber Music Festival was founded by world-renowned violinist Robert McDuffie in 2003 and is one of Rome’s most anticipated cultural events.

Each June over a five-day period, in the beautiful Palazzo Barberini, a landmark of Baroque architecture, the festival presents diverse programs of masterworks performed by prominent artists and aspiring music talents.

It has played to full houses of chamber music enthusiasts from around the world, has received brilliant reviews every year. The festival is endorsed by the Embassies of the United States of America to Italy and to the Holy See, as well as the City of Rome and the Italian Ministry of Cultural Affairs.

The morning will complete with a light lunch.

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