The Harikoa Collective
The Harikoa Collective is the ensemble-in-residence for RimuFest Chamber Music Festival, a biannual chamber music programme held in Mexico and New Zealand. The ensemble's mission is to honour Mexican and New Zealand cultural heritage and to champion the works of living and lesser-known composers.
The Harikoa Collective's core members are comprised of Amelia Taylor (violin), Alejandro Larumbe (violin), Elyse Dalabakid (viola), and Hannah Neman (percussion) - four international artists and friends who share the same passion for diversity and inclusivity within music education and performance. Individually sought-after, the members of the Collective tour and perform with professional orchestras and festivals around the globe, give masterclasses and workshops at top institutions in Europe and North America, and travel annually to undertake performances and music education opportunities in New Zealand, Mexico, and abroad. Together, the ensemble holds seven postgraduate degrees in music performance ranging from a Master of Music to a Doctorate of Philosophy in Music from universities in the United States and New Zealand.
Amelia Taylor became fascinated with the violin as a toddler and began learning the violin through the Suzuki method. She has completed her masters in performance violin at Louisiana State University and an artist diploma at the University of Michigan with David Halen. While pursuing her degrees, she has held Orchestra positions with the Opus orchestra (NZ), Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and Currently holds positions with the Lansing Symphony Orchestra and Midland Symphony Orchestra. As Well as a busy Orchestra Schedule, She performs in a duo with Alejandro Larumbe, who collaborate with other musicians to give concerts and tours in New Zealand, Mexico and the United States of America. Amelia is a talented teacher, she has been teaching for ten years and now has her own private studio in Ann Arbor, Michigan where she teachers private lessons, group lessons and theory lessons. Amelia also works with the Community music center of Ann Arbor where she teaches a youth chamber
Alejandro Larumbe, from Veracruz, is an international violinist and conductor. He was recently awarded the most prestigious award given by the Conductors Retreat at Medomak, the "Montblanc - Alondra de la Parra" scholarship. Also, the Pierre Monteux School has honored him with the Alberta Bergh Gamble and Osher Foundation awards. Co-founder and director of ArcaSōnica with New Zealand violinist Amelia Taylor, Larumbe has toured in USA, Mexico and New Zealand bringing fresh repertoire and exciting chamber music performances with international musicians. In addition, he has appeared in professional orchestras of Mexico and the USA, highlighting the Midland Symphony, Miami Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, Acadiana Symphony, Baton Rouge Symphony, Lansing Symphony, Louisiana Sinfonietta, Filarmónica de Boca del Río, and Sinfónica de la Universidad de Hidalgo. He made his first violin musical studies at the Municipal School of Fine Arts with the teacher Juan Manuel Jiménez. In 2010 he obtained a degree in violin at Florida International University with honorable mention Magna Cum Laude, studying with the Amernet quartet. In 2016 he was awarded the title of Doctor in orchestral conducting in Louisiana State University under the direction of Maestro Carlos Riazuelo.
Greek-American violist Elyse Dalabakis is a multifaceted musician, performance scholar, and arts advocate who has earned a distinguished reputation as a solo, chamber, and orchestral musician and arts administrator throughout the USA and Australasia. Ms Dalabakis records and performs often as a studio and pit musician, has presented multiple solo recitals in NZ and abroad, and plays regularly with orchestras throughout New Zealand. Ms Dalabakis performs in chamber series, festivals, and music academies around the world, most recently as guest artist for Chamber Music New Zealand Encompass Series and the bi-annual Adam Chamber Music Festival, and enjoys collaborating with other artists and performers across varied mediums. Most recently, she presented her PhD research at the 46th International Viola Congress in Poland and undertook an artist residency at the Greek Music Archives (Athens, Greece).
Miss Dalabakis graduated with a Bachelor of Music in performance from The Florida State University (2014), and shortly thereafter relocated to Wellington, NZ to pursue a Master of Music degree in performance at the New Zealand School of Music at the Victoria University of Wellington (2015). She’s now a PhD candidate in her final year, and continues to work under the tutelage of Professor Donald Maurice.
Hannah Neman is a freelance timpanist and percussionist, music educator, and arts administrator based in Wellington, NZ. Sought-after for collaborative performance projects as well as for her music-education acumen, Hannah maintains an active freelance career and a private teaching studio while also working as an itinerant percussion teacher and music educator. She has been fortunate to be able to contribute to music education in New Zealand through her work with organisations and institutions such as Strike Percussion, MusicRoom, North Shore Brass, Wellington College, Arohanui Strings – Sistema, Hutt Valley, Raroa Music Centre, and Orchestra Wellington. She is passionate about sharing music with young people and enjoys regularly performing educational concerts and workshops which inspire and educate students.
Hannah has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and New Zealand serving as Principal Timpanist/Percussionist and Section/Guest Percussionist with ensembles and artists such as the St. Petersburg Opera Company, eighth blackbird, Haifa Symphony Orchestra, 2011 award- winnning FSU Percussion Ensemble, Eastern Music Festival Orchestra, Varna International Chamber Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, and Orchestra Wellington to name a few. She has performed as a featured soloist with Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and performs regularly with ensembles of all sizes and genres throughout New Zealand.
As an arts administratior, Hannah brings a keen understanding of performance and education to her work as the Music to Schools Coordinator with Orchestra Wellington where she liaises primarily with schools and community organisations to provide free or partially-funded educational concerts to audiences in schools and community centres throughout Wellington. As a performer and educator, Hannah can be seen at the forefront of the stage presenting these educational shows with her Orchestra Wellington colleagues to tamariki in schools across the Wellington Region.
In 2016, Hannah completed a Master of Music in Percussion Performance at the Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music (NZSM) at Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) under the tutelage of Laurence Reese, Section Principal Timpanist of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. During her MMus candidacy Hannah was awarded both the Victoria Master’s (by thesis) Fees Scholarship from VUW as well as the prestigious Percussive Arts Society/John E. Grimes Timpani Scholarship in support of her research concerning the technological and musical development of timpani from the 18th and 19th centuries. This research is contained in her MMus Thesis, “The Modern Orchestral Timpanist: Autonomy and Authenticity”. Prior to her studies at the NZSM, Hannah received her Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance from the Florida State University (FSU) in Tallahassee, FL, USA in 2014.