Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Owen Moriarty – challenging but rewarding guitar recital

This was a rare and welcome opportunity to hear classical guitarist Owen Moriarty in solo performance, as the majority of his Wellington concert appearances are in ensembles. To open the programme he chose two movements from Rivera’s suite Whirler of the Dance. The initial Evocation is a “solemn, personal prayer” (Rivera) whose ambience Moriarty expressed in a reverential and contemplative mood. The following Dance is a complete change, being... read more

Intelligently constructed programme exquisitely sung by Lisette Wesseling

By , 25/10/2013
The Anglican Cathedral is now running two classes of Friday lunchtime recitals. The monthly organ recitals are ‘Great Music’ (even if they are played on the Choir or the Swell manual) and there are others, just called ‘brief recitals’, which are also often at the organ. I’ve heard Lisette Wesseling several times over the years, though I seem not to have written reviews of the performances. As well as singing... read more

String students from the School of Music gain public performance experience

By , 23/10/2013
Even when great music is not played by top musicians with immaculate technical skill, it can be warmly delightful. Regulars who enjoy Wellington’s various free (or nearly free) lunchtime concerts are not simply those who can’t tell the difference between the good and nearly good. They just love the music. This was one of the occasions when almost all the playing was both technically accomplished and, more importantly, played with... read more

Momentous first Wellington concert by 40-year-old Tallis Scholars

By , 21/10/2013
Foreword Some interesting facts have emerged with the first visit to New Zealand in the forty years of the Tallis Scholars’ existence. Even though director Peter Phillips was married in Wellington (at Old St Paul’s as he told Eva Radich on RNZ Concert’s Upbeat programme on Monday), as a result of his friendship with distinguished Wellington musicologist John M Thomson, the choir never visited New Zealand. Yet this... read more

Fine artistry and insight by Duo Cecilia, cello and piano duo

By , 16/10/2013
Lucy Gijsbers is in her master’s year and Andrew Atkins the third year of his B Mus at the New Zealand School of Music. Both have already distinguished themselves in competition and academic achievement. Lucy has played as soloist with orchestras as well as being principal cello in both the NZSM and the National Youth orchestras. Each took turns introducing the pieces they played: both needed to be more aware... read more

NZSO’s “Tall Tales and Tangos” musically resplendent but dramatically inert

This was a matinee concert devised specifically for children, and it was great to see so many of them at this well attended event. Rugby legend and classical music enthusiast Anton Oliver introduced the programme, giving a particularly warm welcome to the under-tens with his assurance that ”this concert is for you”. The orchestra comprised some fifty players, probably a bit of a squeeze in many theatre pits, but eminently... read more

Remembering Katherine Mansfield 125 years on

By , 11/10/2013
Music and Friendship was a commemoration of the 125th anniversary of author Katherine Mansfield's birth, an evening of music and recitation, held at St.John's Church in Wellington Central. Welcoming people to the event was Marion Townend, whose obviously sterling efforts regarding the funding, organization and promotion of the concert had brought it all about. Joining her in the venture were two talented musicians, Martin Griffiths (cello) and Eleanor Carter... read more

All the guitar students from NZSM prove more is more

By , 09/10/2013
Three weeks ago I heard some of these student guitarists at Old St Paul’s (17 September). This time all twelve students in the classical guitar department of the school contributed to a mainly different programme that was, if anything, even more interesting and more accomplished. The Suite of Latin American pieces by Cardoso that had me a bit confused last time was the last work in the earlier programme; here... read more

NZSM Orchestra serves composers well, with a star cello soloist

A demanding programme proved to be well within the capabilities of the NZSM orchestra, which included only a few ‘guest players’ (though all four horn players were guests). The work by graduate student (studying for Master’s) Jason Post was titled ‘Noumena’, meaning ‘an object beyond our phenomenal experience of it’ according to the programme note by the composer.  It opened with a quiet flute that gradually became louder, and was... read more

Brilliant and rousing finale to Wellington Chamber Music’s 2013 concerts

By , 06/10/2013
I'm sure that one of the most effective advertisements for a symphony orchestra is when its principal players appear in other spheres as soloists or chamber musicians and nobly aquit themselves. A week before at St.Andrew's-on-the-Terrace concertgoers had the good fortune to experience the wonderful playing of Hiroshi Ikematsu, section leader of the NZSO double basses, performing a Bottesini concerto . Now, here in the... read more

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