Yvette Audain was born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand, and has also lived and worked as a composing musician in Wellington and Melbourne. Her work has so far been performed throughout New Zealand as well as in Australia, Japan, Germany and the USA. Home is currently New Zealand’s beautiful Coromandel Peninsula.
Yvette, whose instruments are clarinet, saxophones, recorders and Irish whistles, has worked professionally in a variety of genres: classical (Auckland Philharmonia; Auckland Chamber Orchestra; New Zealand Opera), military band (the full-time Royal New Zealand Navy Band), Celtic-style originals (trio 'Doris'), gypsy (the Benka Boradovsky Bordello Band), free improvisation (Vitamin S), salsa (Cuban Accent Banda) and many more situations in between.
However, Yvette's principal performance interest is early jazz. She has had the honour of leading the reed section of Brett's New Internationals, New Zealand's only authentic 1920s dance orchestra, and subsequently gone on to lead a smaller jazz ensemble affiliated to 'APOPS', the Auckland Philharmonia (APO) education programme, performing to school audiences around the Auckland region.
Yvette enjoys a productive, ever-rewarding career as a composer - recent achievements include having her work Eulogy read and recorded by the APO in their 2010 Graduate Composer Workshop, and programmed in the APO concert 'Works With Words' in association with the 2011 Writers and Readers' Festival. From 2008 she has also been part of the APO's talented team of arrangers. Among the numerous commissions she has received has been Felix the Cat: The Magic Bag (score for short cartoon film) performed by the APO Wind Quintet.
March 2011 brought the impressively well-attended Grooves Unspoken: Music by Yvette Audain, a self-curated programme consisting entirely of Yvette's own music and recorded for broadcast by Radio New Zealand Concert at St Lukes Church, Remuera, Auckland. This was in proud association with the 2011 Auckland Fringe Festival.
While living in Melbourne in 2012, Yvette was a member of the all-female Dixieland jazz band Frilly Knickers, and also involved herself in smaller jazz combos. She especially enjoyed Melbourne's thriving scene of 'djammers' (so named after Django Reinhardt) - musicians devoted to the 'Hot Club de France' style of gypsy jazz.
Yvette returned to New Zealand from Australia in 2013, having then been commissioned to write Loop City, a collaboration with Melbourne poets Amanda Anastasi and Steve Smart. This substantial work was commissioned and performed by violinist Sarah Curro, has received many performances, and is available on CD.
In 2014 Grooves Unspoken was finally released as an album, with release gigs held in Auckland and Wellington.
2015 began with an appearance with Tui Award nominee Rachel Dawick on the main stage at Auckland Folk Festival; during this year Yvette also completed substantial arranging and transcription projects for, respectively, the APO and Melbourne's Cairo Club Orchestra, and performed Jonathan Besser's music with his band The Zestniks at Auckland Jazz Festival.
Yvette has considerable experience as a tutor of all her instruments, in both New Zealand and Australia. She is a life-long learner who continues her passionate involvement in education with a galvanising instrumental tutoring schedule as well as regular gigs with local Coromandel Peninsula band Neighbouring Planets among others.
Yvette holds a Bachelor of Music in composition and clarinet from the University of Auckland, and a Bachelor of Music (First Class Honours) in composition and ethnomusicology from Victoria University of Wellington (now the New Zealand School of Music), where she subsequently completed her Master of Music (with Merit) in composition. After being awarded these qualifications, Yvette went on to complete a Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Secondary) from the University of Auckland. During her student days she was also the grateful recipient of several scholarships and prizes.
Yvette is always contactable and available for further commissions and gigs - see the 'contact me' page of this site.
- Yvette Audain, January 2019