Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

From nothing, whole worlds – Circa Theatre’s 40th Birthday production of King Lear

By , 14/05/2016

Shakespeare got his "King Lear" story from an early chronicler, Holinshed, (who had in turn got it from an earlier source). As well as this there had been an anonymous stage adaptation of the story "doing the rounds" and performed in London about ten years before Shakespeare's play appeared. Both of these told the story of the semi-legendary Leir of Britain and his three daughters Gonorilla/Gonerill, Regan/Ragan and... read more

Memorable NZSO concert with rising young conductor and acclaimed pianist

By , 13/05/2016
I am sometimes tempted to think that the publicity by the NZSO, which I usually find rather cluttered with over-used superlative clichés, has the unfortunate effect of deadening the impact of those few occasions when something really very special is about to happen. It would have been a pity if constant, indiscriminate hype had numbed discerning concert-goers to an occasion when some extravagant superlatives were warranted. Nevertheless, the language of... read more

Beguiling, wide-ranging guitar recital from Owen Moriarty a fine substitute for lunch

By , 11/05/2016
As noted in my review of the recital by NZSM guitar students on 20 April, this programme was to have been by the students, while Moriarty would have played on 20 April. It was well worth the wait. Each of Moriarty’s recitals produces an extraordinary range of music either written or arranged for the guitar, from all eras from the Renaissance to the present. This recital spanned from the early... read more

Vibrant and wholehearted – Wellington Youth Orchestra and ‘cellist Matthias Balzat

By , 10/05/2016
A joy, right from the beginning, this concert, which featured bright-eyed and bushy-tailed orchestral playing from a talented ensemble of young musicians, squaring up to a couple of well-known classics and an engaging cello-and-orchestra concert rarity. Under Andrew Joyce's on-the-spot direction, the music in every instance took off, the Beethoven with bright-eyed and chirpy accents, the Tchaikovsky piece with bold, impassioned wing-beats, and the Elgar with gentle, early-morning ruminations developing... read more

Forty years celebrated by Wainuiomata Choir, in excellent spirits with fine choral music

The concert, first performed in Wainuiomata a week earlier, consisted mainly of items performed at significant concerts during the choir’s history, such as the ten-years anniversary. The choir was formed by John Knox soon after his return from several years working in London, where he sang in the Bach Choir, conducted by the famous Sir David Willcocks. John’s collaborator was Bill McCabe, Fiona’s father. John Knox conducted the choir... read more

The Orpheus Choir and Orchestra Wellington at Sea with Brent Stewart

By , 07/05/2016

Avast, me hearties!  Time to batten down the 'atches and splice yer mainbraces, ready to lend an ear to these 'ere tales o' the Seven Seas, as retold by the Cap'n 'n crew of the good ship Orchestra Wellington, with sister-vessel Orpheus ready to heave-to for the grand sail-past!…….well, that's probably enough nautical language to give readers an idea regarding this concert (in fact I was starting... read more

NZSO ‘wastes its sweetness upon the desert air’ with some splendid, approachable, 21st century music

By , 06/05/2016
Above all, this concert again raised for me the old controversy about the handling of new music. Whether it is best to ghettoize music that is unlikely to find a large audience, or to place these pieces carefully in concerts that include an irresistibly popular masterpiece. If the intention is to persuade the timid to expose their minds to something unfamiliar, the size of Friday’s audience showed again that approach... read more

First-class performances of Vivaldi with guitar and viola d’amore from 8-piece Archi d’Amore Zelanda

It is not often that so many people are in attendance at the lunchtime concert; St. Andrew’s was very well filled. Nor is it often that we have the same performer at successive concerts: Kristina Zuelicke was last week playing piano for Ingrid Culliford in a flute and piano concert, and this week playing harpsichord. Donald Maurice gave a verbal introduction, but it was a pity he had not taken... read more

An introductory feast – Inbal Megiddo and Jian Liu

By , 01/05/2016

I didn't hear all of the introductory talk given before the concert by Jewish-American composer Laurence Sherr regarding his 'Cello Sonata Mir zaynen dol, but what I heard was sufficient to convey the context and motivational force of the music, composed in 2014 and here given its Australasian premiere. It certainly added a unique dimension to this, the first of the Wellington Chamber Music Concert Series for 2016

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