Karla Norton

Violinist

"Sinfonia Pacifica"

2015

Immersed into the arts at a young age, Karla’s love of music came from years of ballet and competitive figure skating. After much pestering, her non-musical parents finally gave way and let her start learning the violin at the age of 10. In December 2011, Karla graduated from the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington. Here she gained a Bachelor of Music with a major in both Performance Violin and Musicology, as well as a minor in Conducting. Continuing her studies, Karla completed a postgraduate diploma in Performance Chamber Music and studied under Vesa-Matti Leppanen and Donald Maurice. Highlights of her time in Wellington included being a founding member of the SMP Ensemble, becoming concertmaster of the Wellington Youth Orchestra, participating in the New Zealand Youth Orchestra for several seasons and travelling to Canada for a four-week placement after a successful audition into the Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific. After studying, Karla found herself unable to gain any paid employment in the arts. After several months, she took full-time employment in Temporary Traffic Management and progressed quickly, resulting in a senior position on nightshift motorway road closures, putting gear out and driving trucks. In May 2013, Karla broke her finger and in A&E at 3am, decided that her passion was still with the violin and that she needed to return to it more seriously. It was at this time that Karla started freelancing for Southern Sinfonia in Dunedin and successfully auditioned for her Master of Music at Otago University, studying under Tessa Peterson. Karla became a tutti player for Southern Sinfonia in 2014 and received the Southern Sinfonia Scholarship to support her studies at Otago.