David Hutton - SOUNZ board trustee

In our Meet the Board series we invite you to sit down and learn more about each SOUNZ board member. Today we introduce Board member David Hutton.

Give a brief introduction about yourself.

Every Board needs someone with finance expertise, and that is my special contribution to the SOUNZ Board as chair of the Finance and Management Committee.

My wife Heather and I live in Wellington and we have three adult sons, two in the US and one in Wellington.

I am not a musician though music is very important for me and my family. My eldest son, Christopher is Professor of cello at a US university and regularly tours NZ performing chamber music, often as a piano trio (his wife is the violinist).  His two younger brothers were pianists and made the national finals of the High Schools Chamber Music Contest – though both stopped playing when they went to university. My wife was a chorister for decades.

As a non-player, I became involved in supporting music. For 21 years I have been part of Wellington’s Sunday Concerts and now chair the trust. We present seven chamber music concerts each year.

I was on the Board of Chamber Music NZ for 5 years.

Heather and I (and two others) established Sunrise Music Trust which has published three books of NZ piano music. The first two were totally new works and the third music from the first 150 years of NZ composing. These are amongst the best selling books for learner pianists.

What do you do outside of your work at SOUNZ?

After a career in managing financial services businesses, I moved to consulting in Pacific Island countries. I have worked in 8 different countries. Most consulting has been about State-owned Enterprises and investment of trust funds. A side benefit has been learning about Pacific cultures and experiencing live their music and dance.

Consulting is now a part-time activity with a staged transition towards retirement from paid employment.

With four grandchildren in the US, we visit regularly and take advantage of the opportunity to go to national parks, museums and art galleries as well as learn about US history through going to historical sites.  It’s fascinating that historians are now more honest about the hypocrisy of some of the US founding fathers, e.g. Thomas Jefferson having fathered multiple children with one of his slaves (after his wife died), with DNA providing the evidence.

What is one of your earliest musical memories?

My earliest recollection of music is hearing my grandmother’s 78s of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. (We didn’t have a record player so there was novelty value in being able to put a record on.)

Provide a brief overview of your personal journey with music.

I have always been an avid audience member, stimulated by attending performances by the musicians in the family.  We now go to perhaps 40+ concerts each year. I’ve always enjoyed new music and am fascinated by the music of different cultures. Chamber music has become a passion and I now enjoy selecting the artists and works for the Sunday Concert series, sometimes even encouraging artists to form a new group.  I consider that having new music in the series is important and the loyal audience now expects to hear new works. We appreciate collaboration with RNZ Concert, who record most concerts, and SOUNZ who often video new works, so that this music can be shared more widely.

As a supporter of new music, joining the SOUNZ board was a logical step. In my time on the Board, SOUNZ has transformed itself with SOUNZ Online and the recent systems refresh. Now we are expanding genres and the growth in video suits this, e.g. improvisation, non-scored works and Maori and Pacific music with its emphasis on performance.

Information technology is a great enabler and SOUNZ’s use of the internet and SOUNZ Online opens up NZ music to the world. IT was a key part of my work as a manager and so I have always been a great supporter of the development of SOUNZ Online.


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