Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Triumphant anniversary concert for Dame Malvina Major Foundation

A wonderful concert of superb singing and playing celebrated the milestone in the life of Dame Malvina’s Foundation, which has assisted literally hundreds of young performers, and distributed tens of thousands of dollars.  Much training in the operatic arts has been provided in co-operation with New Zealand Opera, and mentoring given to young aspirants by Dame Malvina herself, and others. An ample printed programme of biographies and notes was supplemented... read more

Mulled Wine accompanies Aroha String Quartet concert at Paekakariki

By , 24/06/2012
I heard the Aroha Quartet’s first concert in 2004 and was pretty impressed and have followed them with great interest ever since. The original quartet comprised four Chinese players, three playing in the NZSO and one, the viola Zhongxian Jin, teaching at Victoria University and free lancing. Hai-hong Liu remains leader; the other two were second violinist Beiyi Xue and cellist Jiaxin Cheng. Jiaxin Cheng reportedly married Julian Lloyd Webber... read more

Engaging “Klezmorim” at Ilott Theatre

By , 24/06/2012
I felt in a bit of a quandary regarding this concert, torn as I was between feelings of unease through wanting someone else to do this review, and curiosity at experiencing some of this "klezmer" music for myself. I did do a little bit of exploratory research - not too much - so that I'd have a notion, however vague, of what I was about to hear. So, I... read more

Wellington Orchestra’s musical haggis

By , 23/06/2012
There's no doubt about the ability of a set of bagpipes - or, more profoundly, a Highland pipe band - to make an impression on people - I was going to say "set the blood racing", but I know some people for whom the sound of bagpipes has the opposite effect as regards the movement of blood! I love the sound in reasonably digestible doses and I'm sure most... read more

Sergey Malov and Michael Houstoun – capturing the ebb and flow

By , 22/06/2012
Rarely does a concert begin more poetically than when Schubert's music is involved - or so it always seems at the time. The opening exchanges between piano and, in this case, viola, of the intriguingly-named "Arpeggione" Sonata brought their own resonance and warmth to the somewhat ungrateful acoustic of the Lower Hutt Little Theatre, thanks to both pianist Michael Houstoun's and violist Sergey Malov's lyrical, deeply-felt playing. Schubert's "Arpeggione" Sonata... read more

Interesting and admirable piano trios from NZSO players at St Mark’s Lower Hutt

A superb concert by professional musicians, with an interesting programme greeted the large number of people in St. Mark’s Church.  This was the group’s first performance together; let’s hope that there will be many more.  The string players both perform with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, while Rachel Thomson plays chamber music with other ensembles, accompanies singers, and provides orchestral piano when required by the NZSO. One of the features... read more

Viola students of New Zealand School of Music on show at St Andrew’s

By , 20/06/2012
This lunchtime recital was a showcase of four viola students, taught variously by Donald Maurice, Claudine Bigelow and Gillian Ansell. Three of the four pieces were of parts of the whole. The first and second movements only of Carl Stamitz’s Concerto in D were enough, which was enough to exhibit the strength’s of Alexa Thompson, large tone, confident, relishing the big sound from her C string; inevitably there were minor... read more

Fine exploratory recital of Shakespeare songs from Corby and Beardsworth

By , 19/06/2012
Here was a splendid recital by two polished and practised singers, grasping a theme that lends itself to a varied programme. Well, varied if I ignore the fact that the only non-English settings were by Strauss. The songs were shared, roughly, alternately between the two, starting with Megan singing two early settings (except that the first, said to be anonymous 16th century, overlooked the fact that Othello, from which the... read more

Work of young composers and young choreographers performed by top professionals

A free concert always packs ‘em in, and it was gratifying to see large numbers of children (particularly little girls) who had come along to this performance. For sundry reasons, my notes about this concert are far from complete, therefore I am extremely grateful to Peter Coates for much of what follows.  His words are in quotation marks below. What particularly struck me was how competently and fully all the composers... read more

Michael Hill competition winner Malov, plus Houstoun and Brown form superb team

The 17-centre tour, of which this concert was a part, was included in the awards Malov received as winner of the Michael Hill Violin Competition last year.  It provides a welcome opportunity for the rest of New Zealand to hear his talents in person; only those in Queenstown and Auckland heard them in 2011. Prior to the concert, Ashley Brown interviewed Malov in the Town Hall’s Green Room, during which... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy