The first time I held a cello was at the age of seven, not by choice, but my mother’s. It would be the age of 12 when I would meet my current cello, a beautiful 1912 German cello by the maker of Sebastian Kloz. The more I played on it, I would slowly fall in love with the sound. Although it might sound cliché, I truly believe that the instrument chose me. I tried my best to avoid the path of a musician, but my cello wouldn’t let me.

With this passion that kept driving me I decided to study music at the University of Auckland (UoA) and ended up obtaining a Bachelor of Music with Honours. I was lucky enough to receive a Cello Bursary and the Terry Spragg Scholarship from Manukau Symphony. I studied with Eliah Sakakushev (Former Principal Cello of Auckland Philharmonia) and Edith Salzmann. I was Principal Cello for the UoA Symphony, Auckland Youth Orchestra and Wallace Chamber Orchestra. Many other highlights include collaborating with international artists such as Jonathan Morton, Clio Gould, Elisabeth Kufferath, Peter Hoer, Ramon Jaffe and Alvin Wong. I had the privilege to perform with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and be a member of the Auckland Cellists.

After graduating from UoA, I continued to pursue a Master of Music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) under the tutelage of Jean-Michel Fonteneau with a scholarship. Amos Yang, Assistant Principal Cello of San Francisco Symphony was also a mentor of mine. Experiences included being Principal Cello of SFCM Orchestra, guest Associate Principal Cello of Berkeley Symphony and performing with San Francisco Ballet. As someone who is intrigued in learning new aspects of music, I have performed in masterclasses with Mark Kosower, Eric Kim, Nicholas Tzavaras and Ole Akahoshi.

And then, COVID happened. However, an opportunity arose back home. I auditioned and thankfully won a job with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra during a difficult pandemic. This was very life-changing for me as I was able to become Acting Associate Principal Cello for their 2022 season. As an eager chamber musician I founded both Nikau Harp Trio and Arvida Quartet and was able to tour nationwide with Chamber Music NZ. As well as being invited to the International Akaroa Music Festival and the Asian Composer’s League, I have also recorded with labels BMG, Navona, Classical KDFC and RNZ.


San Francisco Conservatory of Music
California, USA

University of Auckland
New Zealand


What is your favourite piece of music and why do you love it?

Arnold Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht which is a string sextet and can be played as a string orchestra piece, has stuck with me ever since I performed it with Jonathan Morton and Clio Gould. I really dived deep into the story behind the music which was quite scandalous therefore, making the performance even more dramatic than it should be. It truly is a masterpiece.

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us.

My lifelong dream was to become a professional basketball player, but I soon realised I was too short compared to my peers. That dream was short-lived.