About the Mentor
Composer, practitioner and cross genre collaborator, Horomona Horo has fused the traditional instruments of the Maori, taonga puoro (singing treasures), within a diverse range of cultural and musical forms.
Mentored by tohunga (experts) of taonga puoro, the late Dr Hirini Melbourne and Richard Nunns, in 2001, Horo won the inaugural Dynasty Heritage Concerto Competition and in the intervening years has become the international Maori face of Taonga Puoro. Performances including orchestral work with the Weimarer Staatskapelle Orchestra, hip-hop with Pao Pao Pao, Opera in the Park with Kiri Te Kanawa, guest artist at the 90th Commemorations of the Battle of Passchendaele, and international tours with Moana and the Tribe, Canti Maori, Irish collaboration - Green Fire Islands and the Voices NZ Choir have enabled Horomona to extend his knowledge and skills across diverse genres whilst remaining a cultural and musical educator in his own right.
Horo continues to emerse himself in the unique sounds, techniques and intrinsic significance and practises of taonga puoro. Not only of musical significance, the instruments are part of the holistic culture of all life, birth, death and nature, to which he was born. Each instrument has a specific use within rights of passage, storytelling and daily life of the Maori peoples. This daily life-breathing of the instruments is the distinguishing mark of his work and recent compositions and collaborations with Nga Tae, the NZTrio, UK Composer Paul Lewis and Italian Flautist, Luca Manghi, bear witness to this fact in a strong, audible manner, combined with a sound knowledge of contemporary musical techniques.
Horo welcomes new compositional and performing collaborations as well as opportunities to give masterclasses and educate in traditional Maori music, dance and culture.
Based in the Waikato, Horomona is a real taonga of our programme!
Teacher Meriana Smith from One Tree Hill College said
"Keep on keeping on Matua Horomona; you are such an inspirational person who has so much knowledge, and the point of fact that you are willing to pass on this knowledge to our rangatahi is hugely important. A very humbling man who has passion, skill and drive to his line of mahi. He touched more than one students' way of thinking and has inspired them to continue exploring what the world has to offer."