Margot Miller Interviews Violist Olwyn Green
Olwyn was taught the piano from the age of 4 “because she was such a nuisance at her older sister’s piano lessons” but wanted to play the violin all along. She was made to wait until she was 9 years old for violin lessons which she remembers as being very exciting.
Olwyn grew up in Lower Hutt. She first attended Hutt Valley High School orchestra while still at intermediate.
This was by arrangement with the High School because her mother had not been able to find a violin teacher after the first teacher left to get married and went to live in the South Island. She used to come out of Boulcott School which luckily was across the road from her parents’ home, dress into High School uniform and pedal off down to the High School for orchestra practice – a twenty-minute cycle ride, two afternoons a week.While still at school she joined the Hutt Valley High School Adult Evening Orchestra and played with them until moving to Auckland in 1976.
Olwyn plays regularly in two Auckland orchestras and several chamber groups. She transferred to viola in 1980’s when the Philharmonic Society Orchestra at the time needed a permanent violist. This opened up many more playing opportunities, violists at that time being scarce in Auckland. Since school orchestra, she has played in some 17 or 18 Auckland orchestras on a casual basis.
Olwyn studied entomology at Victoria University and started work as an entomology technician in 1973 at the DSIR – transferring to MAF (Now Ministry for Primary Industries) in 1982 and has worked there since.
She also teaches violin and viola at the Lincoln Music School (having taken over from Eddie Cottle when he retired.)
She occasionally tutors music students privately.
Olwyn is a great asset to our Philharmonic Society Orchestra where she is principal viola player. Her high musical standards and a good sense of humour make working with her a pleasure.
Favourite Flower: viola (of course) and all the others
Loves Playing: chamber music