Adrian Robb's spur-of- the-moment decision to take part in the Taranaki Young Musician of the Year competition ended up with him clinching the title.
Robb, a 16-year-old violinist, outplayed five other young musicians last week and won the contest at Inglewood's Cue Theatre - collecting a $1000 cheque for first prize along the way.
"It was the first time I'd entered the competition, and it was great to win. I only decided to enter at the last minute," the New Plymouth Boys' High School student said.
A selection of Bach, Beethoven and Polish folk music sealed his victory, along with the fact he played them all from memory.
The high-flying year 12 student first started playing violin at the age of 4 after being inspired by his pre-school teacher's father, who then became his first tutor.
Robb played down the fact he performed his winning recital without music.
He said generally by the time he has learnt a new piece with notation, he could play it from memory.
Surprisingly, Robb, who also plays tenor saxophone in the school jazz band, said he only listened to classical music when he was learning a new piece.
"In my spare time I listen to alternative music and rock," he said.
Despite his obvious talent, Robb said he didn't want to make a career of playing the violin.
"It's just a hobby at the moment, and I want to keep it that way," he said.
"I'd rather be a scientist or engineer."
Jimmy Hick is a Witt journalism student
- © Fairfax NZ News
Do you think state schools should conduct religious instruction for primary-aged children?