Andrew Atkins has an MMA in Classical Performance Piano and a Graduate Diploma in Music specialising in Conducting from the NZ School of Music. He began his conducting studies under Kenneth Young in 2012 whilst completing his BMus in Classical performance piano. He was the principal conductor of Tawa Community Orchestra from 2014-2016. During his time with them he conducted successful performances of Rachmaninoff’s second piano concerto (soloist Thomas Nikora) and Mozart piano concerto no. 20 in D minor (soloist Xing Wang), also Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio Italien, and Khachaturian’s Adagio from Spartacus. In August 2016 he conducted the Kapiti Concert Orchestra for their mid-season concert with oboe soloist Peter Dykes and has conducted the Manawatu Sinfonia in a November 2016 performance including Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A major.
This year Atkins is part of the inaugural cohort of the new Masters in Fine Arts (Creative Practice) at Victoria University. He is studying film composition with John Psathas, Michael Norris, and Kenneth Young in partial collaboration with Park Road Post Production. In July this year Atkins conducted Wellington Chamber Orchestra in a concert that included Tchaikovsky’s fourth Symphony and Mendelssohn’s famous Violin Concerto with NZSM Doctoral student James Jin. He also conducted Kapiti Concert Orchestra in their first term with Cello soloist Lavinnia Rae playing Dvorak cello concerto, and in August he conducted the Manawatu Sinfonia with Mezzo Soprano Soloist Maaike Christie-Beekman.