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Reviewer Profile - Peter Wells

Peter Wells has spent many years turning the recorder from a serene instrument of early music into a striking voice of the most contemporary sounds. The Irish Times called him "a true and persuasive virtuoso". The magazine "Music in New Zealand" spoke of his performance as "extraordinarily compelling" and it is in this aspect of the unexpected or currently inconceivable that he finds the greatest stimulus for the performance of modern music on this ancient instrument.

Having been playing the recorder since the age of four, Peter Wells has had many years to come to intimate terms with his instrument. He was awarded the Senior Prize of the University of Auckland Conservatorium of Music and went on to postgraduate study in The Netherlands, aided by full funding from the Netherlands government, with the great Dutch virtuosi Marion Verbruggen and Reine-Marie Verhagen of the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra. Since moving to the UK in 1995 he has travelled extensively, performing in countries as far-flung as Canada, The Czech Republic and New Zealand. Although he has long eschewed recording as being unsympathetic to the theatrical excitement of live performance, he has broadcast many concert performances and has featured on television soundtracks.

Peter Wells has maintained a close connection with Ireland over many years and has commissioned and premiered new works for recorder by a number of Irish composers, both as a soloist and with the Dublin-based ensemble Vox21 with whom he has worked extensively, both in Ireland and abroad.

Peter Wells taught recorder at university level for a number of years and has tutored workshops in solo and chamber music at home and abroad. He has undertaken research in various aspects of recorder music, both old and new, and has been extensively published in scholarly journals. He is also active as a competition and festival adjudicator and as an examiner of both A-level music history, and University performance courses. In addition he co-owns Cecilia Editions, a publishing firm specialising in choral music for church choirs, much of which is the result of his own research discoveries.

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