Stephen Larsen is one of New Zealand’s preeminent violin and viola teachers, with former students now working in prominent positions in New Zealand and around the world.
Since 2004 he has taught in three of New Zealand’s universities; the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington (2004), the University of Canterbury (2005-2013) and the University of Auckland (2014 – present). During this time his students have made a significant impact on the New Zealand musical scene, playing in orchestras such as the NZSO, APO and CSO, and regularly winning prizes in all of our major competitions. They have gone on to post-graduate study in leading institutions in the United States and Europe, and have made their mark internationally, working in orchestras such as the Vienna Philharmonic, the Gewandhaus Leipzig, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and the London Mozart Players, as well as belonging to chamber ensembles including the London-based Marmen Quartet (winner of both the Bordeaux and Banff international String Quartet Competitions). Equally important are the students whose career paths have moved from the violin into other musical areas; professional conductors, pianists and composers are amongst those who have spent significant amounts of time working with him.
Stephen’s own musical influences are many and diverse. He spent 6 years in Christchurch studying with the outstanding Polish violinist Jan Tawroscewicz, and since then he has made numerous trips to all corners of the globe to observe teachers at institutions such as the Yehudi Menuhin School, the Juilliard School, the Curtis Institute, the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler (Berlin) and the Royal College of Music (London).
From 2020, along with his work at the University of Auckland, Stephen is taking up the position of Artistic Director of Chiron Group New Zealand, including the Chiron Charitable Trust and associated music schools. This position will involve oversight of the Chiron Group’s musical activities, which aim to have a profound impact on music education in New Zealand.