Baritone Benjamin Reason and violinist Claudia Tarrant-Matthews are the latest recipients of Dame Malvina Major
Foundation Arts Excellence Awards for the Wellington region, each receiving $5,000 towards their future studies.
Adjudicators Clarissa Dunn and Christopher Blake noted the fierce commitment demonstrated by all applicants and a
determination to succeed in their chosen field.
“Each was alert to the challenges they faced but were undaunted and enthusiastic in their plans and aspirations. It is
heartening to see the next generation of performing artists achieving their early goals, committing to a future in the
sector and being imaginative in their endeavours to generate support and take advantage of opportunities.”
Dame Malvina Major Foundation Wellington Committee Chair George Troup says it is inspiring to see the aspirations and
accomplishments of these young artists, especially at this difficult time.
“We congratulate both Ben and Claudia, and wish all of the applicants every success in pursuing their goals.”
Benjamin Reason, who is entering his final year of undergraduate vocal studies at the Guildhall School of Music and
Drama in London, says he is incredibly grateful to have received the award this year.
“Like so many Kiwi artists far from home, I’m facing the realities of transitioning into an underfunded, largely
freelance industry, made all the more difficult for us during this unprecedented time. This generous support from the
Dame Malvina Major Foundation will help enable me to complete my degree in London at this crucial stage in both my
professional and personal development.”
Claudia Tarrant-Matthews, a graduate of the New Zealand School of Music, is completing a Master of Arts in violin
performance at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
“It’s very rewarding to have assistance from such a distinguished New Zealand organisation and I look forward to
representing the performing arts community of Aotearoa.”