Supported by generous help from the Adam Foundation

Youth and experience: organ-playing at St John’s, Willis St.

By , September 28, 2014
It was interesting to be treated to a recital by two female organists, one a young student, the other long-experienced and highly expert.  However, the latter is currently a student too, working towards a doctorate (Doctor of Musical Arts) at Victoria University. In St. John’s Church, with its fine wooden architecture, both external and internal, sits a splendid organ which needs some money spent on it to keep it in... read more

NZSM Classical Guitar students square up to a challenging recital

By , September 23, 2014
This brief concert was a welcome opportunity to hear again the talents of the NZSM Classical Guitar students under the tutelage of director Dr. Jane Curry. The full ensemble consisted of fifteen players, of whom four were guest members from the School’s pre-tertiary programme. The recital comprised a wide variety of works that spanned the “Golden Age” of Elizabethan lute music, the Baroque, and the 19th and 20th centuries The... read more

New Zealand String Quartet – soirée in a salon

By , September 21, 2014
I've reproduced above the entire programme played by the New Zealand String Quartet at its second Wellington "Salon Series" concert, to give readers who weren't there an idea of the range and scope of the music performed - there was, literally, something for everybody, as the group's intention was to put together a presentation that would charm the ear of the newcomer to chamber music as well as intrigue... read more

NZSM’s “A Night at the Opera” generates a feast

By , September 19, 2014
Earlier last week I had the good fortune to catch Radio NZ Concert's "Upbeat" interview with Margaret Medlyn, one of the tutors of Classical Voice at the NZ School of Music in Wellington. She spoke about the then oncoming "Night at the Opera" presentation involving the voice students and featuring arias and ensembles from well-known operas and operettas. She said that the concert's semi-staged aspect with costumes and lighting... read more

Nota Bene splendidly celebrates its 10th Anniversary

By , September 14, 2014
I was sorry that Nota Bene chamber choir chose to sing on a Sunday - Chamber Music New Zealand had that day also joined the Sunday afternoon gang (in the latter’s case, 5pm), so I could not attend both concerts.  Next Sunday (21 September) there are no fewer than five classical music concerts in and around Wellington; Middle C cannot review them all, and to the extent that the... read more

Eggner Trio and Amihai Grosz win all hearts

By , September 14, 2014
The Eggner sibling trio of Georg (violin), Florian (cello) and Christoph (piano) presented this programme with viola player, Amihai Grosz, Principal Viola of the Berlin Philharmonic and a founding member of the Jerusalem String Quartet. I had not heard the Eggner group before, but from the very opening lines of the Mozart it was obvious why they are firmly established in the forefront of chamber ensembles today. Viola associate Amihai Grosz... read more

Douglas Mews at the organ – St.John’s, Willis St

By , September 14, 2014
St. John’s Church is hosting three organ recitals this month, on Sunday afternoons, of which this was the first.  They celebrate National Organ Month, and also are a vehicle for raising money for the upkeep of the fine Lewis organ at St. John’s. Unfortunately, on this Sunday and the next, there are numerous competing concerts.  Thus, a rather small audience was little reward for the work that had gone into... read more

Plentiful talent at Wellington’s Aria Contest courtesy Hutt Valley Competitions Society

By , September 7, 2014
The adjudicator at this year’s senior vocal competitions was José Aparicio, from Hawke’s Bay.  The aria competition attracted a record 23 entries, and eight finalists were called, rather than the usual six. The performers were all of a high standard, and the size of the audience was greater than it has sometimes been for this annual event. Mark Dorrell accompanied all the finalists except one, in his usual splendid fashion;... read more

Orchestra Wellington confirms its vital role in city’s musical life with wonderful Haydn and Mahler

By , September 7, 2014
In the lobby before the concert a friend asked whether I’d been to Marc Taddei’s pre-concert talk and I confessed I had not. She, with a wide knowledge of music, though from another artistic perspective, had been delighted with it, had gained rewarding insights in what was about to be played. Some pre-concert talks are more fascinating than others; Taddei's are among the best: he has a gift that reaches... read more

Fine Israel in Egypt from Tudor Consort in challenging acoustic

By , September 6, 2014
Israel in Egypt sets out to recount the Old Testament story of Israel’s final period in Egypt under a Pharaoh that withdrew all previous privileges and inflicted on the Israelites a physical bondage of the harshest kind. Handel set an entirely biblical libretto which dramatically depicts the Ten Plagues that Israel’s God visited on the Egyptians, the captives’ escape towards the Red Sea, the Egyptian pursuit with murderous intent... read more

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