We spoke to James (Xin) Jin (Associate Principal Second Violin) about his involvement.
How did you end up becoming a musician?
I was born in Guangzhou, China, and started learning the violin with my Dad who taught in the Xinghai Conservatory of Music - we have three generations of professional musicians in our family. When we came to New Zealand in 2001, my father and I started to play regularly in recitals and concerts. I really benefited from the nurturing and friendly environment here in New Zealand, and decided to do music for life at the age of 15. I wasn't the hardest working violinist at that point, but I loved classical music so much that I knew I'd be doing it forever. I then studied in the US, winning the audition for APO's Associate Principal Second Violin position in 2014.
How did the idea for APO Up-close come about?
It was a collective effort. The APO have a devoted audience base and we love our regular concert-goers dearly, but we're also keen to bring music to the different communities in Auckland who might not have heard us before. My wife (pianist Xing Wang] and I are passionate about teaching as we are about performing, and we believe that people should have access to first-class live music at an early age. Several of our students are Chinese, and while going to concerts is not necessarily a custom of the Asian communities here in New Zealand, it's up to us to introduce classical music to this audience and others in new and engaging ways.
What excites you most about the APO?
My wife and I are enjoying every moment of our lives here in Auckland, and I think that the APO is really a defining aspect of this city's culture - I don't think it's exaggerating to say that life in Auckland would be dull without the APO! I feel lucky and privileged to be part of this amazing organisation.