We recently caught up with international conductor Tecwyn Evans and asked him how he got from Dunedin to the Royal Albert Hall and Vienna's Musikverein. Tecwyn now lives in Sweden with his wife, soprano Susanna Andersson. He studied music at the University of Otago before a Fullbright Scholarship took him to study at the University of Kansas.

NZSSC: What are some of the highlights of your time in NZSSC?

I was hugely inspired by Roger Stevenson, his love for his singers, his flair for choral sound and meeting lots of seriously talented young musicians in the choir. The concert with Sir David Willocks (British choral conductor) was great as was the chance to rub shoulders with members of NZ Youth Choir. In fact one of them, Craig Turpie, encouraged me to apply for the National Youth Choir (Tecwyn was a member of NZ Youth Choir 1989-95)

NZSSC: How did you discover conducting and who has inspired you along the way?

I was singing in the Southern Youth Choir under Anthony Ritchie. He was unable to attend a rehearsal and asked me to take it for him in his absence. The rest is history as they say. I’ve had three mentors: my teacher in Dunedin, Ass. Professor Jack Speirs; Brian Priestman in the US; and Nicholas Braithwaite.

NZSSC: What was it like when you first arrived in the US to study?

I arrived in a city I’d never been to before to meet a teacher (Brian Priestman) I’d never met before. It turned out to be a fabulous experience, it felt like I packed about five years worth of study into one year and I made many friends I am still in touch with today.

NZSSC: You grew up in a musical household…

Music was in our house for as long as I can remember. I was carried screaming out of Bach choir rehearsals and concerts in St Matthews in Auckland as a baby, and dragged along to many rehearsals later. My time in the St Paul’s Cathedral Choir in Dunedin played a huge part in my musical development and naturally seven years in the Youth Choir under Karen Grylls was hugely motivating for me once I knew I wanted to conduct. I simply wouldn’t be the musician I am without these formative musical experiences and the contact with many wonderful musicians along the way who have helped me.