Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Music Futures diverting showcase for rising young musicians

By , 31/07/2016
Music Futures is an independent enterprise set up by a group of people who felt there was a need for something more to help talented young musicians through financial awards, performance, opportunities, workshops and masterclasses, mentoring, and lending and hiring instruments. This was their first public performance this year. Members of the NZSO are among the tutors and mentors. This concert set out in part to illustrate the range of... read more

Oleg Marshev – pianistic pleasures at Waikanae

By , 31/07/2016
This was the sort of programme that, on paper, would quicken the pulse of anybody interested in the romantic piano repertoire in general – and with Oleg Marchev’s name attached to the enterprise, would settle the issue for the majority of piano-fanciers, myself among them. And while I might not have put Brahms’ name forward as a composer whose music I would have liked to hear Marshev play ahead... read more

Full success for three works at Edo de Waart’s first Strauss excursion of his tenure

By , 30/07/2016
In an account of the music I got to hear in Sydney last December (see review of 4 January 2016), I reported hearing two concerts by Edo de Waart and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra; one of them featured Strauss’s Also sprach Zarathustra and I allowed myself to be delighted that we would probably be getting some fine Strauss from him after he took over the reins of the NZSO This... read more

CMNZ scores with brilliant clarinet and piano trio at the End of Time

By , 28/07/2016
A programme of what, twenty years ago, might have been seen as a bit forbidding, drew a very good house at this concert, and at the end they responded very enthusiastically. It may have been partly the fact that here was a conventional chamber group with the added interest of an extra player. It might also have been because audiences have come to accept that there is nothing to fear... read more

Woodwind students deliver a delightful variety of lunchtime music at St Andrew’s

Head of Woodwind at NZSM, Deborah Rawson, introduced the students taking part in the concert, and said she had asked them to find suitable works by New Zealanders.  However, the unavoidable absence of a few students meant that several played more than one piece, the latter ones in each case being by other composers. Perhaps the cause was the rather more esoteric nature of the programme, but there was a... read more

Beguiling concert of French chanson, torch songs, café and cabaret songs by Magdalena Darby and friends

By , 27/07/2016
Magdalena Darby’s bio begins with her studies at the Conservatorium of Music in Utrecht, but shies away from dates, early education, or when she came to New Zealand; one assumes she was born in the Netherlands. Before coming to New Zealand she lived in Mexico and presumably Paris. Her bio refers to performing in Paris as well as London and elsewhere in Europe (can we still assume that ‘Europe’... read more

Ali Harper – Legendary Diva at Circa Theatre

By , 27/07/2016
I came away from singer Ali Harper’s and musical director Michael Nicholas Williams' “Legendary Divas” opening night presentation at Circa Theatre feeling as though I had been seduced in the nicest and yet most whirlwind kind of way – Ali Harper’s all-encompassing stage personality, supported by her own and her pianist Michael Nicholas Williams' consummate musicality throughout, simply took me over for the duration. To bend a clichéd but... read more

A good case for Mendelssohn’s (complete) organ music in cathedral series

By , 22/07/2016
On top of last year’s Bach Project from Michael Stewart and Richard Apperley and the latter’s Buxtehude Project that’s running now, cathedral director of music, Michael Stewart, has now invited us to pay attention to and hopefully change our minds about Mendelssohn. In his introductory notes for the first of the series of recitals he claimed that Mendelssohn had “made an incredibly profound contribution to the organ and its... read more

“Deux du même” give considerable pleasure at St.Andrew’s

By , 20/07/2016
The concerts I enjoy the most, I think, are those which, in a sense, I don't really see "coming" - that is to say, those I wouldn't beforehand expect to enjoy as much as sometimes turns out. So it was such a pleasure to be set upon, taken over, surprised by joy and delight, and thoroughly warmed through-and-through by the duet-playing of Fiona McCabe and Catherine Norton in their... read more

Enthusiasm for Orchestra Wellington, with Anna Leese, in war-time masterpieces by Strauss

The latest in Orchestra Wellington’s innovative ‘Last Words’ series of subscription concerts featured a variety of music, despite being all from one composer.  The works were all written late in the composer’s life.  Marc Taddei made it apparent in his pre-concert talk (with young composer Tabea Squire) that he held Strauss in high regard.  The composer had considered the opera Capriccio to be his last work.  However, the other... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy