Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Dancing in the Cathedral – Mozart and Bruckner from Simone Young and the NZSO

By , 17/08/2012
"A Bruckner Symphony is never just another concert" declared conductor Simone Young, interviewed a few days before her scheduled pair of performances of the Austrian composer's Fifth Symphony, in Wellington and in Auckland. Not only did she mean that, more especially in this Southern Pacific area of the globe, performances of these symphonies are fewer and further between than in some other parts of the world. It was also... read more

Young musicians’ mid-winter warm-up with Mozart and Rachmaninov

By , 12/08/2012
Aside from the circumstance of this being the THIRD Mozart Requiem performance offered the Wellington concert-going public this year so far (after all, it's only August!), I thought the program of this concert by its own lights adventurous and challenging. And, regarding the combination of Mozart and Rachmaninov, a well-known French saying - "Vive la différence" can easily put it in an acceptable context. Looking at things more closely than... read more

Blistering Brahms, diaphanous Dutilleux and monumental Mozart, from Amici and Diedre Irons

By , 12/08/2012
Blame Captain Haddock of the "Tintin" books for my "Blistering Brahms" heading - the other descriptions are more conventional, but no less heartfelt on my part. For this was a magnificent concert, a memorable marriage of great music and music-making, very much a "gentlemen of England now abed.…" scenario if ever there was one, for we lucky people in the audience. With Mozart in his "G Minor mood" there was... read more

Superb New Zealand premiere of Donizetti masterpiece in the Catholic Cathedral

This was New Zealand’s first performance of Donizetti’s great opera, one of seven (I’m open to correction) that he wrote based on English and Scottish history and stories.  This one had a turbulent early history of censorship and numerous revisions because of its theme of battling royals and the execution of a crowned monarch. Days Bay Opera was not in a garden this time, but appropriately in a Catholic church... read more

Well-presented concert from NZSM’s Young Musicians’ Programme

By , 08/08/2012
Pre-university music students can seek to study in the Young Musicians’ Programme of the New Zealand School of Music, in preparation for tackling the real thing when they matriculate later. There are various opportunities to hear music students at the secondary stage of their education, such as at concerts by the New Zealand Secondary Students’ Choir, the Wellington and the National Youth Choirs and Orchestras (the Wellington Youth Orchestra plays... read more

Janet Gibbs delightful organ recital at Old St Paul’s

Janet Gibbs chose a delightful programme that was a mix of the well-known, the lesser-known and the unknown. Sitting quite close to the organ, I was aware of its quite strident sound, facing directly out to the auditorium as it does, rather than into the choir, or from a gallery, or from a side alcove as in most churches.  However, I soon became accustomed to this.  The great advantage in... read more

Australian Piano Trio delights Waikanae

Sunday’s programme was a good one; though all the works were familiar, they were contrasting in period of composition and in character.  The Streeton Trio (made up of Australians based in Berlin) gave the audience a broad spectrum of great works for piano trio. Schubert’s glorious trio is always a delight to hear.  The Streeton Trio made a wonderful build-up of tension and played beautifully, apart from some low cello... read more

Exemplary concert by NZSM woodwind students at St Andrew’s

From one point of view, this was the best presentation yet by NZSM at St. Andrew’s: they made their introductions to the pieces to be played using the microphone, so every word could be heard – hooray! It was a pity not to have any oboe or bassoon students performing, but those who played had secure techniques and obvious musical sensibilities.  All the accompanied pieces had Kirsten Simpson as piano... read more

Interesting recital from first and second year voice students at New Zealand School of Music

By , 01/08/2012
This concert featured seven voice students from the New Zealand School of Music who were either first or second year students and it was a first public performance for four of them. I had noticed only a couple of the names in lesser roles of last year’s wonderful production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream: William McElwee and Tess Robinson. Rory Sweeney had sung three Brahms Lieder a week before with... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy