We are currently looking for some new players – particularly upper strings.  If you’d like to join the orchestra, please contact us to check availability of places – we’d love to hear from you.​


We are compiling a database of people interested in our future concerts, so please contact us if you'd like to have your name added.  

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About Us  

Resonance Ensemble was formed in February 2012 by players, and is now firmly established as an integral part of the musical landscape of Christchurch and beyond.  Recognised as a high-quality, innovative and flexible orchestral ensemble, Resonance provides opportunities for musicians and audiences to experience both popular and novel repertoire beyond the more standard fare offered by Christchurch’s only fully professional orchestra.  Programmes range from music for chamber orchestra, works for larger ensemble, and New Zealand compositions, including new commissions.

The orchestra rehearses weekly, presenting three or four concerts per year, and works primarily with Christchurch-based conductors and soloists.  Conductors have included Mark Hodgkinson, Tony Ryan, Helen Renaud and Anthony Ferner.

Our 2021 concert dates are 3pm Sunday 18 April at the Rangiora Town Hall, followed by 3 concerts at the Piano, Sundays at 3pm, on 4 July, 26 September, and 28 November. We look forward to presenting wonderful and innovative programmes for our growing and appreciative audience. 

Diary the dates now, and thanks for your support.

Our next concert: 

Sunday 28 November, 3pm at The Piano

Young Turks

Conductor: Tony Ryan

This programme illustrates the influence of Turkish style on music of the classical era and the revolutionary ‘Young Turk’ radicalism of some more recent composers.

The sound of Turkish military bands was well-known in Vienna at the time of Mozart and Beethoven. Several works by both composers were influenced by the rhythmic percussion effects of Turkish bands. Mozart’s Rondo alla Turca and Beethoven’s Turkish March are the best-known examples.

Mozart, who could also be thought of as a ‘Young Turk’, used these effects in the overture to his Turkish opera The Abduction from the Seraglio and in the final movement of his Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major (Turkish), both of which are included in this concert; the latter featuring another ‘Young Turk’, violinist Andrew Robinson.

The term ‘Young Turks’ refers to a young person eager for radical change to the established order. With that idea in mind the programme includes a new work by Christchurch composer, Pieta Hextall, along with music by two earlier ‘Young Turks’. Both Sibelius and Prokofiev were known for the radical and subversive nature of their earlier works: Sibelius through his opposition to Russian oppression and censorship of Finnish culture, by writing music with an underlying expression of nationalism, as in his popular Valse Triste, while Prokofiev was known for his headstrong rejection of what he saw as his teachers’ conservatism. The Classical Symphony demonstrates his radical harmonic and melodic spirit within the formal context of the classical style of Mozart and Haydn.

  • Mozart: Overture – The Abduction from the Seraglio

  • Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major (Turkish)

  • Hextall: Undercurrents

  • Sibelius: Valse Triste

  • Prokofiev: Symphony No. 1 in D Major (Classical)


Conductor: Tony Ryan

Tony Ryan is well-known to Christchurch audiences as a conductor, composer, educator, reviewer and adjudicator. As a teacher he led the performing arts at Linwood College for more than thirty years before spending several years working in Kenya and Singapore.

Since returning to New Zealand, Tony has worked as a regular conductor of Resonance Ensemble, conductor of the Christchurch School of Music Sinfonia and, from this year, conductor of the Christchurch Schools Music Festival Orchestra. In September he will conduct the massed forces of the Christchurch School of Music in a new commission by Gareth Farr.

Tony’s most recent compositions were performed in 2019, 2020 and 2021, by Resonance Ensemble, the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, and orchestras from the Christchurch School of Music.

Andrew Robinson: Violin

Born in a little village in England, Andrew began learning the violin at the age of 5, spending his early years playing violin in the orchestra for the annual local Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. Unfortunately for them he would often get lost when he got distracted watching the performance! 

Fast forward a few years - when he was 15 his family moved to Christchurch and he began learning from Stephen Larsen. He started his university studies in Christchurch, and moved to Auckland when his teacher moved there in 2014. 


Since completing his Honours degree in 2016 he has played as soloist in Haydn’s G Major Violin Concerto as well as in Vivaldi's Four Seasons. He is currently working towards gaining a position in the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and as a casual player with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. 

Pieta Hextall: Composer

Pieta Hextall is a Christchurch-based composer, educator, and musician. Pieta graduated from Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music in 2012 with a MMus and from the University of Canterbury in 2018 with a MTchLn. She is an itinerant woodwind and piano teacher at a number of schools throughout Christchurch, as well as running a private studio.


As well as teaching, Pieta is an active composer. Most recently she has had works commissioned and performed by Les Bons Vivants, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Hannah Darroch & Andrew Crooks and performed by cLoud Collective. Works have also been performed and workshopped by Hawthorn City Brass, Preston Symphony Orchestra, APO, NZSO and NZSQ, amongst others. Pieta has been the recipient of the David Farquhar Composition Award and the Jenny McLeod Orchestral Composition Award. She was a co-convenor of the CANZ Nelson Composers’ Workshop in 2019 & 2020 and this year she attended as a mentor composer.

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