Davina Shum was born in Auckland, New Zealand and started playing the cello aged eight. She completed her Bachelor of Music from the University of Auckland with a Senior Scholarship in 2008 studying with Ashley Brown and David Garner. She went on to complete a master’s degree in 2011 at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with Susan Blake and Georg Pedersen. During her studies she performed in masterclasses to Julian Lloyd-Webber, Raphael Wallfisch, Peter Bruns, Howard Penny, Li-Wei Qin and Martine Bailly.

Davina has been selected to play in many groups across New Zealand and Australia. These include the NZSO National Youth Orchestra, the Australian Youth Orchestra National Music Camp, Sydney Sinfonia and the Sydney Conservatorium Chamber Orchestra, which toured to the United States and New Caledonia. She held the Manchester Cello Fellowship with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in 2008, with whom she is still a casual player. Davina performed as principal cellist with Sydney’s Willoughby Symphony during subscription series concerts as well as performances with the English National Ballet during their acclaimed tour to Sydney.

As a chamber musician, Davina received coaching from the NZTrio during her studies at the University of Auckland, and the New Zealand String Quartet at the Adam Summer School for Chamber Music in Nelson. She was part of the winning ensemble in the 2008 Auckland Chamber Music Society competition. In Australia, Davina undertook a tour of rural New South Wales, performing solo and chamber repertoire concerts, and schools concerts as part of Sydney Conservatorium’s musical outreach programme.

Davina has taught cello privately in both Auckland and Sydney. She has been an orchestral tutor for the NSW State Junior Music Camp and a cello tutor at various schools.

Away from the cello, Davina enjoys eating, cooking and reading about food, and learning Brazilian Portuguese.


Sydney Conservatorium of Music
Sydney, Australia

University of Auckland
Auckland, New Zealand

Quickfire Questions

If you were going to be sent to a desert island, which three items would you take with you?
I’ve already had some experience moving to a desert island with minimal possessions when I relocated to Australia. I would take a solar powered smart-phone (if they existed) – but that’s sort of cheating as it’s a communications device, musical database, camera, photo album, gaming device and quite importantly GPS so I could find out where on Earth I had been sent. Otherwise my cello, a pad of paper and a pen, and a Scrabble set (providing there is someone else there to play with). I’m assuming there would be an endless supply of coconuts on the island too so that I wouldn’t starve.
If however, I were going to be sent to a desSert island, it would be one made of tiramisu. I would bring a spoon and two friends with spoons.

If you could play another instrument, what would it be?

I know which instruments I would not want to play (oboe: too much time making reeds; viola: weird clef territory; wind/brass instruments: not being able to eat while playing). I think I would love to be able to play the piano but can never understand how pianists cope with playing on a different instrument in every venue. I think the cello is perfect for me.