29 Sep 2023

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Fiona Pears


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. In an interview with the Otago Daily Times she said, “Apparently I stamped my feet and cried ‘I want a violin’, and I got one in my Santa stocking that year!”

Her first public performance was at the age of six where she won first prize in a local competition.
By the age of twelve, Fiona was performing concertos with local orchestras on both piano and violin. In the same year she went on to lead the Christchurch Youth Orchestra and co-lead the New Zealand Secondary Schools Symphony Orchestra where she won two national music competitions, one in piano and the other in violin. Fiona then joined the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra at the age of fourteen.

By the time she was eighteen, Fiona had formed an interest of 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 started to write her own music. She wanted to create something fresh and to fuse together the styles of music she loved to play. Since then Fiona hasn’t looked back. She has gone on to release five CDs and two DVDs of her own music. Her 2008 release Fire and Light saw the realisation of a long held dream. Fiona wrote twelve of the fourteen tracks and arranged them for band and full orchestra. She took the compositions to the Czech Republic and recorded them with the City of Prague Philharmonic.

Her brand new 2012 CD Feeling features some of Fiona’s most beautiful compositions to date. As with all of her pieces, people and places have influenced their creation. On the liner notes of the new album Fiona says, “All of my compositions have stories. I don’t think I would be able to write if it was not for the stunning people in my life and also the wonderful opportunities I have had to travel to so many interesting places around the world.”

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 write and arrange music for recording artists such as Hayley Westenra, Libera, Aled Jones and Lee Mead. 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, Heather Nova and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. She has also opened for artists such as Tony Bennett, Ottmar Liebert and the late Victor Bourge.

Fiona Pears: Violin, Mike Ferrar: Guitar, Ian Tilley: Piano, Pete Fleming: Bass.

Band Members:
Fiona Pears (violin)
Ian Tilley (piano)
Pete Fleming (double bass)
Mike Ferrar (guitar)


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  • Christchurch

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