Examiner Profile: RAE DE LISLE

RAE DE LISLE BA, LRSM, LTCL, FIRMT Rae is currently Senior Lecturer and Head of Piano at the University of Auckland. In 2000 she set up the University of Auckland Academy of Music to nurture and inspire students from the ages of five to 18. She was Director of the Academy until 2005, when she resigned in order to concentrate on teaching and research at the university. After graduating in 1969 from Victoria University, New Zealand, Rae was awarded a scholarship from the New Zealand Arts Council which enabled her to go to London. She studied for four years at the Guildhall School of Music with Brigitte Wild, winning the Sheriff’s Piano Prize, the Victor Hoddy Memorial Prize and the Jubilee Scholarship. Her studies in London continued with Cyril Smith, Maria Curcio and Christopher Elton. Performances in London included concerts at the Wigmore Hall and in the BBC recital series. Rae returned to New Zealand in 1977 and for the next fifteen years was much in demand as a soloist, accompanist and chamber musician, playing throughout New Zealand, as well as in the USA, Canada and Australia. She recorded regularly for radio and television in New Zealand, receiving the Mobil Award for the best classical recording in 1990. She played concertos on many occasions with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and most of New Zealand’s regional orchestras. Her teaching has produced many outstanding young pianists, most notably John Chen, winner of the 2004 Sydney International Piano Competition and the 2003 Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition who was taught by Rae for eleven years. The three finalists in the 2009 Christchurch National Concerto Competition are all currently under her tutelage. She now has past students continuing postgraduate study in London, America, Germany, France, Austria and Australia. Over thirty years of teaching Rae has developed a pianism retraining method which has helped many pianists to overcome overuse injuries. She is now completing a PhD on focal dystonia, a devastating neurological disorder which usually forces musicians to end their performing careers. Her research into rehabilitation and prevention of musician’s injuries has been presented in London, Aspen, Manchester, Turkey, Adelaide, Portugal, and she was keynote speaker at both the 9th Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference in 2009 and the 2010 Western Australia Piano Pedagogy Convention. She has been invited to be part of the International Jury for the 2012 Dublin International Piano Competition.