Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Messiaen: La Nativité du Seigneur from Thomas Gaynor at St Paul’s

While writing this review I was listening to the radio: choirs and audience were singing the New Zealand Anthem in the Wellington Town Hall, at the conclusion of this year’s ‘Big Sing’ Secondary Schools Choral Festival.  Accompanying the singing was – Thomas Gaynor, on the organ of the Town Hall. It is great to see a young man of such talent take up the organ, and win numbers of scholarships... read more

Peter Walls’s years as NZSO’s chief ends with excellent didactic performance

By , 15/12/2011
The NZSO brought its year to an end (apart from a family-oriented appearance at Te Papa on Saturday) with two ‘outreach’ concerts which gave retiring chief executive Peter Walls the chance to demonstrate both his conducting prowess and his distinctive gifts as a musical communicator, with words. The hall was almost full, with many family groups, and lots of faces unfamiliar at regular orchestral concerts. This second concert, running little over... read more

Adventurous and educational leaving-taking by NZSO’s conductor-chief executive

The hour-long concert was devised, and proved to be, a good introduction to classical music for those who wanted a taste to see if they would like to plunge in.  The concert was free, and the hall almost full. Surely not many CEOs of orchestras are also conductors; it is probably rare for a symphony orchestra Chief Executive officer to conduct the orchestra as a swan-song to his job.  Of... read more

A variety of carols in a variety of guises at St Andrew’s

Unfortunately, I missed the first item on the programme, hence the question mark above, which is based on the biographical information in the concert programme.  That item was a traditional French song, Le Sommeil de l’enfant Jesus. Rhapsodie sur des Noëls, an organ piece by Eugene Gigout (1844-1925) was played by Paul Rosoman on the main organ, in the gallery.  The piece featured variations on the Christmas carol we know... read more

A Britten Christmas from Nota Bene

Hearing two programmes of Britten’s choral music in two days (less than 24 hours) may be some kind of record, apart from at Aldeburgh perhaps.   Saturday evening’s concert by the Tudor Consort in the same venue featured two major choral works; Sunday’s a third: Saint Nicolas, Op. 42.  Not as many people attended this concert as were at the previous evening’s, but for a sunny Sunday approaching Christmas... read more

Wolcum Yole! from the Tudor Consort

By , 10/12/2011
This was the first of two concerts given by separate choirs in the capital on different days of the same weekend and in the same venue, both featuring the music of Benjamin Britten. If, after reading this, you're confused, I confess that I myself had to re-type the sentence a number of times to "fine-tune" and get it right. Fortunately, I was scheduled to attend both events, thus avoiding... read more

Fine violin and piano recital, of variable music, as final 2011 offering from School of Music

By , 09/12/2011
This was the last concert presented by the New Zealand School of Music in 2011. Stephen Gibbs, who has taken over as ‘marketing and events coordinator', and done it with spectacular success, told us that it was the 281st (or near enough to it) event open to the public this year. That includes formal concerts,  as well as master classes, student recitals, composer workshops and so on, at venues... read more

Classical guitar lecturer gives fine, varied recital at St Andrew’s

By , 07/12/2011
Jane Curry joined the faculty of the New Zealand School of Music at the beginning of 2011; although she’s given public recitals before this was my introduction to her playing. I was a minute late and she was part-way through Caazapa by famous Paraguayan composer/guitarist Augustine Barrios; the sounds she was producing were limpid, relaxed , with an air of improvisation that spoke of her confidence and thorough command of... read more

Accomplished playing from Wellington Chamber Orchestra

By , 04/12/2011
Michael Joel is a major conductor in the New Zealand orchestral, choral and opera scene, particularly in Christchurch which is where I guess I first encountered him, conducting for Canterbury Opera’s Lakmé, La Traviata and Rossini’s Le comte Ory. He has conducted the Wellington Chamber Orchestra at least once before. Though I should be reluctant to ascribe all the credit for the impressive performances in this concert to him –... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy