Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Inspiring concert by young students of Donald Armstrong

By , 29/07/2014
This concert, in the regular Tuesday lunchtime series in the former Pro-cathedral, was the last appearance of The Elegiac Trio before they took part in the final stage of the Schools Chamber Music Contest, held this year in Christchurch on the coming Saturday. It proved a remarkable exhibition of young talent by the three members of the Trio as well as the 12-year-old violinist Melanie Pinkney. All three violinists are tutored... read more

A challenging conspectus of unfamiliar Nordic song, from Kapiti Chamber Choir

The fashion for themed concerts seems now firmly entrenched; whether it produces the best results is another matter.  This concert’s intention of covering a broad theme was perhaps its undoing.  I have attended numerous concerts by the Kapiti Chamber Choir over the years, but this one did not reach the standard of its predecessors.  Instead of trying to cover all the Nordic lands (except Iceland) and languages, it might... read more

Cathedral’s festival celebrated by satanism and the supernatural in film and music

By , 26/07/2014
How satisfying is the experience of a silent film? As part of the Cathedral’s 50th anniversary, a famous silent film made in 1925 was screened, with a dedicated sound-track comprising a live organ performance. The inspiration for an organ accompaniment came from the theme of the film itself set in the Paris Opéra where performances of Gounod’s Faust were taking place. The film tells the tale of an organ-playing 'Phantom'... read more

Echt-quartet experiences from the Doric String Quartet

By , 25/07/2014
I didn't get to see and hear the Doric String Quartet on their first New Zealand visit in 2010, but on the strength of what I heard at their recent Wellington concert I'll be keeping an eye on their schedules and things from now on. Whatever coincidences of conditions were brought to play, they were of an order which left me in a kind of trance for days after... read more

Engaging lunchtime concert by woodwind students

By , 23/07/2014
Five students under head of winds Deborah Rawson at the school of music gave a delightful recital on a cold day which saw a slightly smaller audience than usual at St Andrew’s. As usual the standard of the performances was remarkable, resulting in several revelations of unfamiliar music. The first was a movement from Saint-Saëns’s clarinet sonata, one of his last pieces, written in the year of his death. Hannah... read more

Jian Liu at the piano – visionary programming, extraordinary playing

By , 21/07/2014
I missed whatever printed or spoken announcement had alerted others to the re-arrangement of the programme order - so that when Jian Liu began his Classical Expressions recital with William Byrd instead of Sofia Gubaidulina, I experienced a kind of reverse apoplexy! I had girded my loins in preparation for a Slavic onslaught of sorts, and was thus completely and disconcertingly rendered helpless by the gentle Tudor-English melancholy of... read more

NZSO National Youth Orchestra 2014 tackles showpieces with a will

By , 18/07/2014
This year the NZSO National Youth Orchestra is fifty-five years young - it's a Gilbertian kind of paradox that the orchestra seems, with each passing season, just as youthful, energetic, enthusiastic and capable as ever!  Here on Friday evening last week were some of New Zealand's finest young musicians brought together in the time-honoured manner for a short rehearsal period, before shaping up for their first concert in Wellington's... read more

Dalecarlia Quintet in a third and different programme in Greater Wellington

Two New Zealanders resident in Sweden and three Swedes made up the unusual complement of this quintet, come together pretty recently to replace the programmed Antithesis Quintet. Before we could assess whether this had any effect on the quality of performance, we were treated to a prologue from the Glazunov Quartet, made up of four young people from Hutt Valley schools, who were runners-up in the Wellington Regional final for... read more

NZ Opera’s LA TRAVIATA charms in Wellington

By , 11/07/2014

(subsequent performances 13th, 15th, 17th, 19th July)

Call it what you will - an operatic masterpiece, a tried-and-trusted favorite, or a sure-fire tear-jerker - La Traviata again exerted its considerable emotional and theatrical "pull", this time on the hearts and minds of an appreciative audience at the St James' Theatre on Friday evening. This was opening night of the production's Wellington season, the Opera Company having first taken the show to... read more

Gunter Herbig at Old St.Paul’s – the next best thing to a siesta……

By , 08/07/2014
Gunter Herbig strode into the performing-space of Old St.Paul's radiating waves of energy and purpose, as if he was about to perform some kind of feat considerably more spectacularly death-defying than give a guitar recital of music from South America. He thanked us all for "braving the elements" in coming to the church to see and hear him play, and hoped that we would, by the end of the... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy