Three quirky New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO) musicians have joined forces to create Amazon, a string trio with a difference. Amazon is a fiddle-free zone occupied by violist Peter Barber, cellist Robert Ibell, and bassist Victoria Jones.
Named after Victoria's exotic Brazilian double bass instrument, Amazon has set out to explore the marvellous repertoire for the various combinations of their three instruments. Join them on their journey...
Peter Barber – Viola
Peter Barber is assistant sub-principal violist in the NZSO and a viola tutor at the New Zealand School of Music. He was a member of the NZSO Schola Musica, studying with NZSO principal violist Vyvyan Yendoll. He is also a graduate of the Cologne Music Academy, where his course of study included tuition from professor of viola Rainer Moog and members of the Amadeus String Quartet. Other influences on his playing style have been Zillah Castle, Gavin Saunders, Csaba Erdelyi, and Attila Balog.
Peter has been a member of the New Zealand Chamber Orchestra and has played in the New Zealand String Quartet and the New Zealand Soloists. He is also a Concert FM recording artist and works regularly with concert accompanist Mary Barber.
Robert Ibell – Cello
Robert Ibell was born in Dannevirke and brought up in Palmerston North. While training there as a school teacher, he learned cello from Judith Hyatt in Wellington. From 1986 to 1992, Robert lived in London, studying cello with Tanya Prochazka, Derek Simpson, and Christopher Bunting. He played at music schools and in masterclasses (where his teachers included Alexander Baillie, Steve Doane, Anner Bylsma, and Steven Isserlis), taught, gave recitals, and played in professional and amateur orchestras.
Since 1993 he has been a member of the NZSO. He is a regular recitalist, a recording artist for Concert FM, and a member of the contemporary music group Stroma.
Victoria Jones – Double Bass
Victoria Jones was born in Christchurch. She began playing the piano at age 9, and the cello at 12. She graduated with degrees in languages and cello performance from Victoria University of Wellington in 1977. In the same year, she exchanged the cello for the double bass, soon after hearing Dale Gold play a bass recital! Her principal teachers have included Dale Gold, Wolfgang Guettler (Germany), and David Walter (New York), and she has attended summer courses with Jeff Bradetich (USA), and Francois Rabbath (France) in the USA and Australia.
In 1979, Victoria joined the NZSO bass section, and successfully auditioned for her current position as sub-principal bass in 1993. She regularly attends biennial International Society of Bassists conventions in the USA. In June 2006 Victoria spent two weeks in Paris (representing New Zealand) as a member of the World Philharmonic Orchestra.
In January 2006, Victoria helped establish the inaugural Martinborough Bass Camp at the Hau Ariki Marae. Victoria enjoys teaching, playing chamber music, and playing the piano (for fun). She plays a five-string double bass, made in 2003 in Brazil by Alberto Viegas Mattos.