Lavinnia Rae

Journey for my Masters in London

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Hello! I'm Lavinnia Rae, and my ultimate dream is to become a world class professional orchestral cellist. In order to achieve this, in September this year I am moving to London to complete a Masters of Performance at the Royal College of Music, studying with Richard Lester. 

London is a hub for incredible music making, with an abundance of musical concerts. Attending the Royal College, which is such a prestigious school (ranked top in the UK and Europe), is a huge professional development opportunity. I've wanted to complete my postgraduate studies in London for some time now, so I am ecstatic to finally make it! 

Funding to attend the RCM and live in London for my studies is an enormous amount of money; with my first year costing $75,000NZD overall. My Masters is a two year course, so I have been doing everything I can to seek funds. I am incredibly appreciative for partial financial support already but am seeking the final 'boost' for my first year fees. If you are able to donate, funds will go towards my expenses including tuition fees, rent, and food (the important stuff!).

I still have a few plans before then in New Zealand too, as I am busy preparing for my Honours recital on the 17th of August. I also recently have been touring with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (my dream job!). My flight is booked for the 4th of September, with classes commencing mid-September, so everything is almost in place!

It would be amazing if you joined me on this journey! I am very grateful for the support I have received so far, and thank you so much if you are able to help support me via this Boosted page. I am very excited to represent New Zealand amongst a pool of talented international students. More updates to come, and please join me on my journey to London!

- Lavinnia, xx


  • Arrived in London!


    Hi everyone!

    Thank you so much for exceeding my expectations and even reaching over 100% of my Boosted goal! Amazing support! I’m now in London and have been getting over the major jet lag. I’ve since had two lessons - one with Alexander Chaushian (an absolutely incredible cellist), and with my teacher Richard Lester (Principal Cello of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe). It was great to finally meet Richard as we have only had email communication so far. We worked on the first movement of Beethoven’s Cello Sonata No. 4 Opus 102 No 1. There is so much detail in this piece which I wasn’t aware of until this lesson, and I really enjoyed producing different sounds and colours with him. So I’m looking forward to my regular lessons once classes start in two weeks time.

    Next week is hugely busy as it is induction week. I will finally be signing up for my classes, and also have my orchestral audition on Wednesday. The excerpts are very hard, and will determine where I’m placed in one of their orchestras. They have a lot of exciting repertoire in the works including Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10 which I’ve just played on tour with the NZSO this year!

    Overall, I’m eager to begin my studies at the Royal College of Music! There’s been some lovely weather in London too this past week fortunately! Can’t wait to meet lots of new people, and thank you so much to you again for supporting me through this page. I am forever grateful.

    Hope to hear from some of you over my time in London.
    Do stay in touch!

    Thank you so much,
    — Lavinnia, xx

    Arrived in London!
  • Thank YOU so much - 100% reached!!! Next goal…$8,000?!


    Hello generous friends & family!

    Thank you all so much for your amazing generosity and support! I feel absolutely humbled by the amount (literally) of support you all have shared with me. From family, extended family, best friends, and friends from years ago - you have all blown me away with your willingness to help me to attend my dream school in London! It means so much to me, and I hope to do you all proud once in the UK. I leave in two days time from now with everything almost prepared (just the final putting my belongings in my suitcase part to go). Scary but exciting!

    Although this campaign has been successful, there is no upper limit and 11 days left!!

    It would be awesome to even reach a second goal of $8,000…can we do it?! I reckon!

    Every extra donation is going towards my tuition fees and living costs.

    Please continue to share as it helps out a lot, and I am so grateful for all of you <3

    Thank you so much, updates to come from London next time!
    - Lavinnia, xx

    Thank YOU so much - 100% reached!!! Next goal…$8,000?!
  • First Update!


    Thank you!
    Wow, 2 weeks left and we have already reached 60% of the final $6,000. That’s amazing! Thank you so much to everyone who has already donated — I am so grateful for each and everyone of you for donating small, and large! Honestly everything counts, and is helping to make my dream of going to the Royal College of Music, a reality!

    An update on what I’m up to:
    I have since finished my Honours recital at the Waikato Conservatorium of Music, which was an hour long of repertoire. I had so much fun playing with Katherine Austin for Beethoven’s Cello Sonata No. 4, and with Francis Cowan for the full Schumann Cello Concerto! At the moment I am preparing for my first week at the RCM, as my orchestral audition is on the third day of classes. There are 16 excerpts, so I’ve got plenty of practise to do!

    I’m off in just under a week now, getting packing ready and a bunch of admin done. Stressing over opening a bank account and sorting out things like phones in London (haha).

    That’s the update for now, and thank you so much for your help!

    Please continue to share. :)

    —Lavinnia, xx