Tomas Hurnik

Tomas Hurnik was born in Ostrava, Czech Republic. He received his masters at the Academy of Music in Prague.

While studying Tomas was an active performer, playing and recording as a soloist with different orchestras and as a member of chamber groups for Czech radio and concerts both in Czech and abroad (Germany, Austria, Japan and France).

In 1998 he was hired as the principal cellist for the Malaysian Philharmonic in Kuala Lumpur with which he played for four years. He then returned to Europe to study Baroque cello in Frankfurt with Rainer Zipperling. He continued to actively perform with a variety of period instrument chamber groups such as Musica Florea, Capella Regia Prague, Musica Aeterna and Solamente Naturali.

Before coming to New Zealand was artistic adviser for Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra.

He performed as the Associate Principal Cellist for Christchurch Symphony Orchestra from 2005 to 2021. Since moving to New Zealand, Tomas has continued to be passionate about period instrument playing and is dedicated to organizing and performing in concerts and teaching workshops and masterclasses on Baroque music across the South and North Island. For this aim he has founded the Baroque Music Community and Educational Trust of New Zealand in 2015. 

Since 2018 running small chamber music series “Travel through time” (series of 3 concerts – Back to Baroque, Back to Classic and Back to Romantic) to introduce unknown pieces from those periods. From 2019 whole series was introduced to audience in Timaru and Oamaru. Back to Baroque concert is from the beginning cooperation project with University of Canterbury with Mark Menzies, to teach students play in baroque style (still with modern instruments). Result of our cooperation was national tour with students in two years 2021 and 2022. For tour 2021 trust commissioned new piece in baroque style from one of the most talented  Mark’s students – Rakuto Kurano. His concerto grosso had big success with audience.  

Successful fundraising in 2023 secured enough funding to start building collection of baroque instruments for students – at the moment 7 baroque violins, 3 baroque violas , 2 baroque cellos and double base. 


Tomas enjoys teaching chamber music, classical and baroque cello to students of all ages and abilities.