Artistic Director

James Tibbles


James is one of New Zealand’s leading players of historic keyboards (Harpsichord, Clavichord, Fortepiano and Organ), and has an active performing career as a soloist, accompanist, recording artist and conductor. He is also Senior Lecturer in Early Music and Head of the Early Music Department in the School of Music, the University of Auckland, a member of the baroque chamber ensemble Extempore and Organist and Director of Music at St Patrick's Cathedral.

After completing his MMus in Organ and Harpsichord under Anthony Jennings at the University of Auckland, James undertook post-graduate study at the Royal Conservatory, the Hague with Professor Bob van Asperen, as well as pursuing studies on Organ and Fortepiano. On his return to New Zealand, he was appointed Director of Music at Auckland Cathedral of the Holy Trinity - a position he held until 1993. He was founder/director of the renaissance chamber choir Cantus Firmus, and more recently has been associated with the two national choirs Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir and New Zealand Youth Choir.

In his University role, he is the driving force behind a flourishing Early Music scene. The School’s instrument collection continues to grow apace, and a number of graduate students in Early Music are now established performers on historic instruments in Europe.

James' research interests include the history of Early Music in New Zealand, early organs in New Zealand and articulation markings and their significance and performance in the keyboard works of J.S. Bach.

He has produced a number of CD recordings, including:
And I saw in a New Heaven (Auckland Cathedral Singers)
Sesquialtera - New Zealand’s first CD of an 18th century keyboard instrument (1779 Avery, Ponsonby Baptist Church)
J.S. Bach 'In the Italian Style" - a recording of repertoire for solo harpsichord.
North German organ music, recorded on the Ahrend organ at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.
Francois Couperin - complete organ masses, including plainsong interpolations sung by Voices of Age of Discovery. This CD was recording on the 'Couperin organ' at ROza-en-Brie, France.

His latest release is of Dittersdorf 'Ovid' sonatas, for fortepiano 4-hands, with associate artist Dr Michael Tsalka.

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