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Sharon Joy Vogan is a New Zealand pianist who is known for her interpretation of Mozart’s works and for her recordings of contemporary classical music.


She was born in Surrey, England and raised in a musical family. Her mother (Evelyn Dackers Vogan) was a classical pianist. Sharon and her sister Adrienne were immersed in music from a very young age and began piano lessons with their mother in early childhood.


In 1969, the family moved to Whanganui, New Zealand, where Sharon’s father, Arthur C. Vogan (an engineer), designed the Waterlily fountain on Virginia Lake, and brought state of the art street lighting to Whanganui. This city was where Sharon had her first performing experiences, including in a concert for the Duke and Duchess of Kent in the Whanganui Opera House when she was 13 years old. Over the next few years, Sharon won many national competitions as well as achieving the qualifications LTCL, LRSM and FTCL.


Later on, Sharon studied at the University of Canterbury with respected NZ teacher Maurice Till, graduating with first place throughout the Arts Faculty. Her thesis examined the cadenzas to Mozart’s Piano Concertos. Following her graduation, she received a grant to study with the well-known Hungarian / American concert pianist, Bela Siki.


From 1986 – 1996, Sharon was a frequent recitalist and soloist throughout New Zealand. She performed and recorded many times with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra under German / Canadian conductor Franz-Paul Decker. Decker invited her to perform Beethoven’s B flat Piano Concerto with the Orchestra of Barcelona, to excellent reviews.


In 1991, Sharon married Canadian businessman Andrew Cawston, who was an advocate for classical music and the arts in general. During their short time in Vancouver, Sharon recorded Elliott Weisgarber’s ‘Five Pieces for Bassoon’ with Isaac Bull. This is available to listen to on the Canadian Music Centre’s website. After this, Sharon took a hiatus from performing while she raised their children, and during that time, she taught at Auckland University, the Academy of Music, and the Corelli School of the Arts.


Sharon now lives in the Wairarapa region of New Zealand. Her musical focus is on completing the set of Mozart Sonatas (a project which began in the RNZ Concert studios) with Atoll Records, as well as further recordings of piano works by New Zealand composers. Her most recent creation was ‘Suite Aotearoa’ – a unique blend of works for piano and taonga puoro (traditional Maori instruments) by New Zealand composers.


Sharon is a supporter of classical music and musicians in New Zealand.

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