Simon O'Neill ONZM
Recognised as amongst the foremost of tenors of his generation, Simon O’Neill has performed many of the greatest tenor roles at the; Metropolitan Opera New York, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Teatro alla Scala, Berlin, Munich, Hamburg and Vienna Staatsoper, Carnegie Hall, BBC Proms and the Edinburgh, Salzburg and Bayreuth Festivals.
Simon grew up in Ashburton, he became an Officer of New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours list and is an alumnus and holds a Doctor of Music (Honoris Causa) from Victoria University of Wellington. He is an alumnus of the University of Otago, the Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard Opera Center, a Fulbright Scholar and was awarded an Arts Laureate of New Zealand.
The tutelage, support and encouragement of many New Zealanders has given Simon his international career and Simon is very grateful to our country for this. Accordingly, he is passionate in his role as Patron of the; New Zealand Association of Singing Teachers, Brass Foundation, New Zealand Singing School, New Zealand Opera Circle 100, New Zealand Secondary Students Choir, Ashburton MSA Choir, Christchurch City Choir and the Auckland Boys Choir.
Simon lives in London and Auckland with his wife, Carmel, and their three children.
Dr John Linker
A native of Princeton, Illinois, USA, John holds music degrees from Northern Illinois University (Bachelor of Music), Chicago Musical College at Roosevelt University (Master of Music), and University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (Doctor of Musical Arts). John holds memberships and has held leadership positions in the Royal School of Church Music Canterbury Branch, the New Zealand Organ Association, the American Guild of Organists, the Association of Anglican Musicians, American Choral Directors Association, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Music Fraternity.
Prior to coming to New Zealand, John was Organist & Choirmaster of the Church of the Good Shepherd (Episcopal) in Lexington, Kentucky (USA), where the choir programme expanded and strengthened during his 14 year leadership, and made numerous tours throughout the US, UK, and Europe. In addition to teaching, John is passionate about chamber music and collaborative music making.
He holds memberships in the Association of Anglican Musicians, the American Guild of Organists (former Dean of the Lexington Chapter), the Organ Historical Society, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia music fraternity.
John enjoys the lighter side of life, and during days off particularly embraces the ‘outdoor Kiwi lifestyle’ in visiting Christchurch parks with his wife Molly and their daughter Lila.