Director James Donaldson


A message from James

Never in my life have I been so excited about coming to work, and never has it been so hard to leave my desk at the end of the day.

In recent weeks I have watched pianos fly from cranes past my office window. I have been mistaken for a scaffolder and an accountant. I have searched crowded storage lockers for historic plaster busts. I have sat at my desk and typed my way through rehearsals of the Shostakovich Piano Quintet and Brahms Piano Trio in C Major, with stunning young musicians teetering on the edge of international stardom playing literally right beside my desk.

I have met and shared dreams with passionate Nelsonians of all ages and musical backgrounds, conspiring to build a future made of sound to fill Nelson’s beloved School of Music Auditorium for many years to come.

As the date approaches when the scaffolding will fall and we can welcome our community into their new Centre of Musical Arts, my team are planning a diverse programme of events that we hope will inspire and engage everyone in the Nelson-Tasman region in making and appreciating music. Diversity and interactivity are motivating planning decisions, along with history, community and the synthesis of old and new taking shape in the exciting facility gradually being revealed next door.

I look forward to meeting you in person at a range of entry-by-donation events planned for the coming weeks as we celebrate the achievements of the Los Hermanos Guitar Ensemble, and the residency of the internationally renowned performer and lecturer Dr. Michael Tsalka.

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