Kylie Nesbit’s musical education began at age five with violin lessons in Timaru, New Zealand. After moving to Christchurch she switched to the viola, and played in the New Zealand National Youth Orchestra before moving to Wellington to study viola at the New Zealand School of Music (NZSM).

However, after her first year in Wellington, she saw the light and realised that the bassoon (which she had started playing in high school) was the instrument for her. She began studying bassoon under Preman Tilson and went on to win a number of awards, including the NZSM Woodwind Player of the Year, Best New Zealand Woodwind Player in the Gisborne International Music Competition, and the Wellington Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition (with whom she performed the Mozart Bassoon Concerto).

Kylie played principal bassoon in the New Zealand National Youth Orchestra and performed regularly with professional orchestras Vector Wellington Orchestra and Dunedin Southern Sinfonia.

Highlights of her time in Wellington include being a founder member of the SMP Ensemble, with whom she regularly performed contemporary chamber music, including a concert under conductor Lucas Vis; and being a member of Taniwha Jaya, a Balinese Gamelan Ensemble with whom she also premiered a new work for solo bassoon and gamelan.

Kylie then moved to Germany to continue studying at the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg with Diego Chenna and Daniele Galaverna. During her time in Europe she also had the opportunity to perform in festivals and take part in masterclasses with Ole Kristian Dahl in Sweden and David Tomas Realp in Spain. She also continued to play Balinese Gamelan with the Freiburg-based Anggur Jaya, giving concerts in Germany and workshops in France.

Kylie wishes to thank Dr. Elman Poole, the NZ-UK Link Foundation and the Dame Malvina Major Foundation for supporting her musical studies.


What or who inspired you to become a professional musician?
It’s not really a conscious decision I ever made – I’ve just enjoyed the journey so much that I never saw any reason to stop.

If you could play another instrument, what would it be and why?
I would move to Indonesia and hone my Balinese Gamelan skills – it’s so exciting to play and they have such a relaxed approach to music making too.