Genre: Classical Music
Country of Origin: New Zealand
Violinist and composer Fiona Pears started performing as a soloist with orchestras at the age of twelve. Now based in both London and New Zealand, she has forged a career as an international soloist and recording artist.
Fiona started the violin at the age of five after hearing a performance by Carl Pini where she fell in love with the sound of the instrument. Her first public performance was at the age of six where she won first prize in a local competition. By the age of twelve she was performing concertos with local orchestras on both piano and violin. Fiona then went on to perform with the New Zealand Secondary Schools Symphony Orchestra, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and the Christchurch Youth Orchestra, where she won two national secondary school music competitions, one in piano and the other in violin. By the time she was eighteen, Fiona had formed an interest in many different kinds of music and started to explore jazz, Gypsy, Latin and Celtic styles. She spent several years playing in a swing jazz group, which recorded for Radio New Zealand and appeared at festivals nationwide.
In her early twenties, Fiona discovered the wonders of composition. This enabled her to combine all the styles of music that she had a passion for and would ultimately lead to her current career, which has seen her record four CDs and two DVDs to date. Her most recent CD, "Fire and Light," is the culmination of her composing career so far, as she wrote twelve of the fourteen tracks and arranged them for band and full orchestra. She took the compositions to the Czech Republic and recorded the CD with the City of Prague Philharmonic.
Since being in the UK, Fiona has composed and arranged the music for her performance with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic orchestra and has gone on to arrange music for recording artists such as Hayley Westenra and The Choirboys. She was also asked to arrange and perform her own version of "Schindler's List," for BBC television and her music videos have been played on Classic FM TV in the UK and Europe.
In recent years Fiona has toured extensively and has performed and recorded with artists such as Dave Dobbyn, Hayley Westenra, Bic Runga and Heather Nova. She has also opened for artists such as Tony Bennett, Ottmar Liebert and the late Victor Bourge.
Fiona's band is a cleverly chosen group of exceptional musicians, including husband and musical director Ian, who have both the ability and the confidence to perform her compositions incorporating various music styles including Celtic, classical, Gypsy and tango with a twist of jazz thrown in.
Fiona Pears: violin, Mike Ferrar: guitar, Ian Tilley: piano, Pete Fleming: bass, Greg Donaldson: drums.