Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

A fine recital of Fauré mélodies at St Andrew’s

By , 29/08/2012
I last heard these two accomplished singers at a lunchtime concert at St Mark’s church, Lower Hutt, a few months ago, when  they sang an amusing variety of American songs. For Wellington City they chose a slightly more rigorous programme, though only in the sense that all the songs were by one composer, and a classical composer whom many would not rank among the top ten. But this little recital... read more

Brahms the Second? – perhaps Herzogenberg the First?

By , 29/08/2012
What a lovely concert! - a wonderful idea by Jane Young and Hugh McMillan to present something of a "standard classic" in tandem with something else rather less known, to the advantage of both! In a sense, each of the pieces represented an adventure, albeit of a different kind. Beethoven's Op.102 'Cello Sonatas completed the process already begun by the composer with his Op.69 Sonata, of inventing something new -... read more

Young Leonari Trio produces elegiac joie de vivre at Lower hutt

By , 28/08/2012
This young trio which came together at the University of Waikato in 2009 has had a charmed life, after winning the Pettman Royal Overseas League scholarship and touring Britain with singular success, visiting some fairly notable concert venues. Individually, they have gained some prestigious awards: both string players were in the NZSO National Youth Orchestra while pianist Maria Mo has played concertos with the Opus Chamber Orchestra and the... read more

Enterprising flute repertoire – Ingrid Culliford, with Kris Zuelicke

By , 28/08/2012
It was a pleasure to encounter Ingrid Culliford's flute-playing in repertoire different to that which I've heard her perform in the past, nearly always with the Auckland contemporary music ensemble 175 East. And double the pleasure was had from hearing the instrument played with such a variety of tones and timbres, the four very different pieces on the program requiring and getting properly individualized responses from both musicians. Old Johann... read more

NZSM Orchestra cover themsleves with glory in Debussy and Mahler

It was a pity that a larger audience was not present to hear this brilliant and satisfying concert.  Aside from quite a number of guest players, especially for the Mahler symphony, the orchestra was made up of students (plus a few staff) of the New Zealand School of Music.  The use of the Town Hall was sponsored by the Wellington City Council, i.e. it was free – a splendid... read more

Enchanting double bass recital with a little cello too, at Lower Hutt

By , 22/08/2012
The double bass is among the orchestral instruments that has struggled to find a respected place in the solo sphere; a bit like the bassoon, its role is sometimes regarded as that of musical comedian. Yet it’s had at least one famous practitioner, both a virtuoso and a composer (also a conductor who premiered Verdi’s Aida in Cairo), Giovanni Bottesini. Alexander Gunchenko is one of the contingent of musicians from Ukraine... read more

Douglas Mews and Broadwood give Haydn his dues

It was intriguing to hear such a different piano; this instrument sounded like a cross between a harpsichord and a modern piano.  The three works performed were composed during the early 1790s, when Haydn made two lengthy visits to London.  The programme note described the pianos Haydn would have encountered in London as ‘fundamentally different [in] character to the Viennese pianos he was familiar with.’  It has a rather... read more

Strumming and fretting en masse at Old St.Paul’s – the N.Z.Guitar Quartet

By , 21/08/2012
Perhaps it would have all been double the pleasure at Old St. Paul's for Frederic Chopin, who was reputed to have said "Nothing is more beautiful than a guitar - save, perhaps two!" - no less than the New Zealand Guitar Quartet was here to put the aphorism to the test. A quartet's worth of guitar players certainly makes a lovely, rich sound, with plenty of opportunities for all... read more

Wellington’s Aria Contest remains an important event in vocal students’ calendar

Eight singers selected from earlier rounds sang an aria in each of the two halves of the  concert, and were judged by Roger Wilson, to decide the winner of the Dame Malvina Major Foundation Prize of $4,000, the runner-up, and other awards. Accompanist was Mark Dorrell – and what a splendid job he did!  Sixteen arias to be accompanied on a piano and in an acoustic that does not lend... read more

Remarkable Big Sing National Finale a brilliant success at every level

By , 18/08/2012
Twenty-two choirs, including four ‘guest choirs’ which are not eligible for an award, from 16 schools came to Wellington for the annual singing jamboree known as The Big Sing, managed by the New Zealand Choral Federation.  The festival began in 1988 when it was separated from the then Westpac Schools Music Contest which included chamber music groups as well as singers. The latest figures showed that 148 schools, 235 choirs... read more

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