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
Dr John Linker is Director of Music at ChristChurch Transitional Cathedral (appointed 2014) where he leads the oldest musical entity in New Zealand, the ChristChurch Cathedral Choir. Concurrent to his Cathedral duties, John has the pleasure serving as Music Director for Christchurch City Choir (appointed 2016), an enthusiastic group of 70+ singers committed to the highest artistic excellence. Both the Cathedral Choir and the City Choir are integral to the religious, artistic, and musical life of the Canterbury region, and provide a sense of cultural stability in the ever changing landscape of Christchurch.
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 led choir programmes in Kentucky and Illinois to critical acclaim. An active organist, John has performed throughout the US, the UK, Europe, and New Zealand, and was recently a featured performer for the New Zealand Organ Assocation National Congress. In addition to teaching, John is passionate about chamber music and collaborative music making. His greatest joy is any adventure with his wife Molly and their daughter Lila.