Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

English guitarist Cheryl Grice-Watterson at Lower Hutt

By , 13/10/2010
The concert advertised for this Wednesday was to have been led by violinist Slava Fainitski, a first violinist in the Wellington Orchestra. He suffered a heart attack in the weekend and the place was filled by English guitarist Cheryl Grice-Watterson. I knew nothing of her and so was extremely surprised as she launched into the Malaguena by José de Azpiazu, with such musicality, refinement and flexibility. She was born in Yorkshire... read more

Heartfelt Russian Song from Joanna Heslop

By , 13/10/2010
I heard the lark's song from afar as I dashed towards St.Andrew's Church and eased myself through the doors, just as the singer was coming to the end of what sounded like a tiny Slavic frisson of avian abandonment - so, thanks to my lateness I had all but missed the first item, Rimsky-Korsakov's The Sound of the Lark's Singing. Which wouldn't have been too much of a tragedy... read more

Auckland’s entertaining V8 Ensemble at Waikanae

These Auckland musicians who form V8 are all former members of the New Zealand National Youth Choir and members or former members of Voices New Zealand chamber choir. Their years of working together show: their presentation is slick, blended and highly musical.  Half of the members have sung with the group since its formation; the other four... read more

Macbeth triumphant in Wellington

By , 09/10/2010
There is an unwritten convention that critics don’t expose themselves to the professional comments of other critics till they have nailed their own thoughts to the hard-drive. I try to adhere to this but pollution of the pristine impressions are sometimes unavoidable.  I heard the remark that Antonia Cifrone’s voice was not beautiful, and another that it had been described as ‘serviceable’.  These kinds of remarks are usually the... read more

Aroha Quartet at St.Andrew’s

By , 09/10/2010
Like New Yorkers have done with their numbered streets and avenues, one does get used to numberings in classical music, however bewildering and daunting it may seem for a beginner listener to register titles like Symphony No.97, String Quartet No.79, Piano Concerto No.27, or Piano Sonata No. 32. It's probably one of the reasons that descriptive names, often nothing to do with the composer, have been so freely appended... read more

A musical machine plus Bartók and Sibelius from NZSM Orchestra

By , 08/10/2010
From now and into the fourth term, concerts by performance students at the New Zealand School of Music crop up in a variety of venues across the city. They are in part to fulfil the course requirements and in part to make the city aware of gifted young musicians being schooled there. The orchestra itself consists of most of the students of orchestral instruments; they numbered about 55 of the... read more

NZSM showcase for viola and violin students

By , 06/10/2010

There was a relatively large audience at this concert that featured two violists and a violinist and they were rewarded both with some out-of-the-way music and by hearing some talented players.

Though it was advertised as a concert of violists, it was, rather, a showcase for three students of Gillian Ansell, violist in the New Zealand String... read more

Opera Scenes at New Zealand School of Music

While it is a pity that there was no university opera this year, after the brilliant Semele last year, the concert in which 10 opera scenes were performed was quite an ambitious undertaking.  There was considerable variety, but enough of each opera to give more than a taste, and to allow the singers to really get into the characters.  It is good news for music in this country that... read more

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