Supported by generous help from the Adam Foundation

Music Futures’ praiseworthy venture with young Wellington musicians

By , 26/07/2015
This was the second annual concert by a group set up last year to help young musicians in Wellington. The organisation exists to provide performance opportunities, access to masterclasses and workshops, mentoring by professional musicians, financial awards and the hire of musical instruments. The choir which opened the concert showed one of the advantages of co-education while at the same time being in nicely segregated institutions; the two colleges virtually... read more

Young pianist Stella Lu plays delightful recital for Pataka Friends

The first observation was of Stella Lu’s extreme youth; I understand she is still at school, yet she passed her Grade 8 piano examination in 2012.  The second observation was that the walls of the Helen Smith room have been painted since I reviewed Ludwig Treviranus’s concert there two years ago, and they now appear to be covered with a matt paint, not the glossy paint they had then... read more

Kapiti Chamber Choir tackles highly ambitious all-Jewish programme including a major Bloch work

By , 19/07/2015
Two hours of composers who, I imagine, would have been no more than names to most, even those with a fairly good knowledge of 20th century music, might have looked a bit unappetising to an audience for choral music. So to start, I was surprised to find the church pretty full. And though there was nothing to suggest that other than Jewish music would be in the programme, I rather expected... read more

Miranda Wilson – bringing it back home from Idaho

By , 17/07/2015
Trying to think of an appropriate heading for the review of this concert presented me with something of a challenge (as I find words do in general). After wrestling inconsequentially  with a number of thoughts, I finally hit upon the idea of celebrating what seemed to me a particularly distinctive Trans-Pacific connection through music, one which had happily resulted in this concert being presented here in Wellington for our... read more

School of Music voices on display with varied and interesting programme

It is always interesting to hear the voice students.  Some are undoubtedly more advanced in their studies than others, although the good-sized audience were not vouchsafed that information.  All were accompanied by Mark W. Dorrell.  It was interesting to note that the piano lid was not raised at all – a very sensible decision when accompanying young singers. Declan Cudd, tenor, was up first, with ‘Ah, se fosse intorno al... read more

Brilliance, poetry, power and passion from Trpčeski, Petrenko and the NZSO

By , 10/07/2015
Friday evening's NZSO concert in Wellington promised to fully live up to its hyperbolic "Power and Passion" description, with Macedonian pianist Simon Trpčeski at the keyboard and St.Petersburg-born Vasily Petrenko on the podium. Expectations were high, each musician having made a profound and enduring impression when performing previously (on separate occasions) with the orchestra. As well, the coupling of Liszt with Mahler was undoubtedly an inspired piece of programming, bringing... read more

Excellent singing from Choir of Christ’s College, Cambridge with minor non-musical shortcomings

Considering the atrocious weather, it was a pleasant surprise to find a sizeable audience at the church; the main body of the church was well-filled, and more than a handful of people occupied the seats in the raised section at the back. However, it was disappointing to find a poor substitute for a printed programme. The composers and titles were merely listed, with below a description of the choir’s role and... read more

Wit, theatricality and food for thought from Affetto, in Lower Hutt

By , 08/07/2015
An unexpected "bonus" for me, during this enterprising and innovative concert by the early music ensemble Affetto in St.Mark's Church, Woburn, came midway through - just before the interval, actually - when the ensemble played Henry Purcell's rousing Lilliburlero. I hadn't heard the tune for years (the last time was when I went to see Stanley Kubrick's iconic 1975 film "Barry Lyndon" which used the melody as a rousing ceremonial marching tune). But... read more

The Apprentice, La Mer, Ibert’s flute concerto and an enchanting francophone premiere from National Youth Orchestra

By , 02/07/2015
The National Youth Orchestra has generally played a major symphony in the second part of its main annual outing (and this is its 56th year). They’ve included Mahler’s First and Seventh, Tchaikovsky’s Fourth and Fifth, Shostakovich’s Tenth, Rachmaninov’s Second, Brahms’s First and Second, as well as Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra, Also sprach Zarathustra, many taxing concertos and other large and challenging works. Back in 2007, they played La Mer... read more

Te Koki Trio at Waikanae balances Schubert’s E flat trio with trios by Psathas and Fanny Mendelssohn

It was excellent to find a work of Fanny Mendelssohn’s on the programme – so often neglected in comparison with her famous brother, and someone who could well have gone on to greater things had she not died at only 42.  The Chamber Music New Zealand 2015 brochure informs me that the Te Koki Trio will play works by Clara Schumann and Gillian Whitehead this year also, playing in... read more

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