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After college, Kemp was invited back to the Academy as the organ tutor for the junior department. The following year he won a scholarship to study the first ever Master of Arts in Performance at York University, where he developed his passion for fortepiano.

“Mum and Dad bought me a £5 piano, which upset the neighbours, who banged on the wall when I played.”

Enticed across the world Kemp moved to Dunedin in 1994 to join the University of Otago as Executant Lecturer in Performance, and also worked as organist at St Joseph’s Cathedral and Knox College. He met Helen a few years later and in 2005 they moved to Golden Bay, where Kemp could concentrate on his freelance international performing and recording career. He has created an impressive 23 internationally acclaimed CDs on the Naxos, Decca and Ode record labels, playing organ, modern piano, fortepiano and harpsichord. Recently, his 12-CD cycle of Koželuch’s 50 solo fortepiano sonatas earned a five-star review on Klassic.com, Germany’s most respected review site. Amongst his many accolades, Kemp has been nominated for ‘Best Classical Album’ in the NZ Music Awards and features regularly on Radio New Zealand, the ABC, BBC Radio, Classic FM UK and American radio networks. As a solo organist, collaborative pianist and specialist fortepiano exponent, Kemp’s talent is in high demand. With a celebrated discography and a reputation for delighting audiences, he has concerts beckoning him and his Johannus organ to town halls and cathedrals worldwide. “Last year, I performed at several town hall concerts and universities around the UK. I often do circuits. I’m going back there again next year to play in places like Tewkesbury Abbey, Chester Cathedral, Hull City Hall, and York and Glasgow Universities.” His Johannus offers the choice of four types of organ: baroque, symphonic, romantic and historic. “If I’m playing French symphonic music, I’ll use the symphonic setting. If I’m playing Bach, I’ll use the baroque setting. I don’t tend to use the historic setting as audiences are not that interested in really early organ repertoire.”

“I’ll be joining NCMA’s panel of teachers and will concentrate on keyboard instruments and modern piano.” KEMP ENG LISH

To demonstrate, Kemp plays Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, one of the most popular baroque examples for the organ. It sounds like a real pipe organ – the king of instruments itself with all its towering pipes in a baroque cathedral setting. “I’ve still got things in my sights, but a lot depends on the organ. I’d like to play in some of the churches in Norway through Mons Leidvin Takle. There are some lovely organs there and in Iceland too.”

Giving back to local students Recently, the Nelson Centre of Musical Arts (NCMA) invited Kemp to coach advanced-grade and diploma-level students as a visiting keyboard fellow. About a year ago he caught the bug to get back into teaching when he did a fortepiano concert and masterclasses at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.

Above: Kemp plays piano, organ and fortepiano Opposite page: Playing the magnificent organ at Christ Church Cathedral in Nelson

“Apart from coaching some organ students at Nelson Cathedral, I haven’t done much teaching since I left Dunedin and it was rewarding to inspire the students again. I’ll be joining NCMA’s panel of teachers and will concentrate on keyboard instruments and modern piano. I’ll also introduce them to the organ, fortepiano and harpsichord, so they’ll have a specialist there who can help. “Given my experience, I’m probably something of an asset in the area, so it’s the ideal opportunity to support the next generation of up-and-coming keyboard players. It’ll be nice to give something back to the Tasman region.” 103

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WildTomato August 2019  

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WildTomato August 2019  

Pet Phenomenon | Team Mako | Retirement Lifestyle | Fresh Herbs’ Benefits | Organic Wines | Fabulous Fashion | Gardening in Pots | Winter Ad...