The star team — working together to create the perfect atmosphere for your occasion

Iain Brandram-Adams

Manager, Composer, Cellist


Iain Brandram-Adams is our in-house composer who can turn your favourite hit songs into string quartet arrangements. He is the reason behind Praesto’s uniquely versatile and up-to-date playlist.

Outside of Praesto, Iain is a Lecturer in Composition at the University of Canterbury and also runs his own private recording studio.

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Nicola Drake


MMus, LMus, AMus

Nicola has performed extensively in both orchestral and chamber music settings. She was a prize winner in the Gisborne International Competition and the Rotorua National Competition, and has spent time in the USA where she gained her Master's at the San Francisco Conservatory.

Currently a member of the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, Nicola can also be found behind a coffee machine, hanging out with toddlers, on her yoga mat, or exploring the jungles of Hawaii.

Hugo Zanker


BFA, MusB (hons), KFA, GradDip of Education

Hugo Zanker has been cultivating a dialogue between cello playing and pedagogy in Christchurch for a while now. He also likes to mix classical cello performance with the art of live electronics and extended performance techniques. When not performing, he is a Suzuki Cello teacher and classroom music teacher.

Kate Oswin


BMus(Hons), LRSM, DipABRSM

Kate Oswin switches her home base between Christchurch and Wellington, where she recently completed her studies at the New Zealand School of Music. She loves performing in a range of styles, and particularly enjoys playing jazz standards and Scott Joplin rags in the quartet. Kate currently works as a Contract Violinist with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

Valeriy Maksymov



Valeriy Maksymov emigrated to New Zealand in 2000, and since his arrival he has been actively following his own twin passions: establishing himself as a member of the viola section of the Christchurch Symphony and performing regularly as a singer.

He made his NZ operatic debut with Canterbury Opera in 2001 as Ping in Turandot. Most recently, he performed as Nikitich in Boris Godunov in 2003, as Marullo in Rigoletto this year with the National Business Review NZ Opera, and for Canterbury Opera as Marchese di Calatrava in The Force of Destiny. Other roles for Canterbury Opera include Baron Douphol in La Traviata and as the Tutor in Count Ory.