Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

NBR NZ Opera’s “Butterfly” – traditional and triumphant

By , 11/05/2013
This "Butterfly" has already flittered, swayed, dipped and floated her way down the island from most of the way up north - so quite a few people will by now have seen and heard her. I'll go out on a traditionalist limb and declare that most of these people, I feel certain, would have been pleased to find her heart-rending story more-or-less conventionally staged and costumed, though with enough... read more

Wellington Youth Orchestra trumps with Shostakovich

A recent work by John Psathas, Tarantismo demonstrated again his considerable skill in orchestral writing, and his inventiveness.  The programme notes explained that the title refers to tarantism, the extreme desire to dance, that used to be attributed to the bite of the tarantula, but is named after the sea port in southern Italy.  From this tradition comes the dance, tarantella, a rapid, whirling dance. The piece opened with tubular... read more

NZSO performs Hear and Far, but all contemporary, to warm reception

By , 10/05/2013
[A review by a colleague did not materialize and this is based on my review that appeared in the Listener of 16 May. It could not be courteously published until that issue of the Listener had gone off sale. It is here somewhat changed and expanded] Not long ago a concert of music written in recent decades, especially by a New Zealand composer, would probably have attracted a smallish audience... read more

Tribulation and triumph for young pianist at Lower Hutt

By , 09/05/2013
Chamber Music Hutt Valley organizers must have wondered about what else was going to go wrong, regarding the chain of events associated with the Society's much-awaited piano recital by Serbian Sonja Radojkovich. Firstly, Radojkovich had to withdraw due to ill health, and then replacement pianist Jason Bae, of Auckland, had his bag containing practically all of his personal effects stolen from the Lower Hutt Theatre while he was rehearsing... read more

Ground – (and knuckle – ?) breaking Debussy and Ligeti

By , 05/05/2013
Time was when many people would look at the kind of fare offered by a concert such as this and suddenly discover all kinds of other things that they simply HAD to get done instead, such as mowing the lawns. Although the Ilott Theatre wasn't packed to the extent that it was for Michael Houstoun's recent Beethoven concerts, I thought the attendance was a "good average" for what seemed... read more

Terfel’s style and musicality offer something for everyone in varied concert

One wonders if all the words that can be said about Bryn Terfel have already been said: his magnificent voice, his control of dynamics and vocal nuance, his infinite variety of vocal colour, his resonance, his communication with his audience. He has been gifted with a splendid voice, which he uses with the utmost musical intelligence.  The Michael Fowler Centre had but few empty seats on Friday evening.  Not only was... read more

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