Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Fabulous students choir fully prepared for Hong Kong choral festival in July

A rather damp, cool evening after days of beautiful, calm weather did not daunt family, friends and supporters of the choir; the church was packed. The 55-member choir proved to be in great form, and well-trained in a diversity of choral music.  Their interpretations were always adapted to the style and age of music being performed.  Diverse tone and approach were sensitively observed.  I found myself writing down ‘men’ and... read more

Behn String Quartet opens Wellington Chamber Music’s 2018 season – brilliantly

By , 22/04/2018
Wellington Chamber Music Inc opened its 2018 season of seven concerts with a multi-national string quartet (naturally, one cannot use the word -ethnic when speaking of members of several nations inhabited by one ethnic group, European peoples), led by a New Zealander. It’s probably unusual for a musical group to adopt a literary name. Aphra Behn was a late 17th century English woman playwright and novelist. She’s always interested me:... read more

Nota Bene at Sacred Heart Cathedral: an enjoyable concert by a very accomplished choir

An imaginative concert full of delightful songs beautifully sung, it attracted  a moderate audience.  The diversity and careful planning of the programme was let down, in my view, by being broken up by too much applause.  Since it was divided into five Parts, it would have been sensible to have asked the audience to keep applause to the end of each Part.  As it was, almost every song was... read more

Paul Dukas’s Sonata the climax of John Chen’s monumental Waikanae piano recital

By , 22/04/2018
April has been a bumper month for piano recitals in the Wellington region, this being the third I’ve attended and reviewed in as many weeks. What’s astonished me about each of them has been their utter distinctiveness, with not a single recurring piece between the three, and a sense of adventure very much to the fore in each instance, in terms of the repertoire and its presentation. Firstly, Michael Houstoun’s... read more

Sasha Cooke’s entrancing Berlioz songs, a bewitching premiere and masterpieces of Debussy and Ravel: thanks to De Waart and the NZSO

By , 21/04/2018
Though this turned out a great concert with an enthusiastic reception of Ravel’s Boléro at the end, I had heard a number of less than excited reactions to the programme beforehand. There’s an ‘attitude’ surrounding Boléro, and not the whole world loves Debussy as much as the music historians generally do. That left Les nuits d’ été, but then there are still a sad few who have inherited an earlier... read more

NZSM Orchestra’s “Triple” celebration with the Te Kōkī Trio

By , 17/04/2018
There was palpable excitement among those gathering within the none-too-spacious vistas of  St.Andrew’s-on-The-Terrace Church for the most recent concert given by Te Kōkī New Zealand School Of Music’s Orchestra with conductor Kenneth Young, most certainly due to the event’s extra attraction in presenting the fabulous Te Kōkī Trio as guest soloists in Beethoven’s wondrous Triple Concerto! – of course, each of the Trio’s soloists are currently heads of their... read more

Inbal Megiddo (‘cello) and Te Kōkī Trio record music for the ages

By , 16/04/2018
Inbal Megiddo is presently the head of ‘Cello Studies at the New Zealand School of Music, Victoria University of Wellington, and has appeared in numerous concerts in Wellington both as a soloist and as a member of Te Kōkī Trio, an ensemble in which she is joined by two other faculty members, Martin Riseley, and Jian Liu, the respective heads of violin and piano studies at the school. Her... read more

Kapiti and Palmerston North choirs in rewarding performance of Dvořák’s Stabat Mater

By , 15/04/2018
This seems to be the Dvořák year in Wellington, as two days earlier I had heard players from Orchestra Wellington perform two of his chamber works – the String Quintet No 2 and the Serenade for wind instruments, cello and bass. Orchestra Wellington is featuring five of Dvořák’s symphonies in their 2018 season; and RNZ Concert are playing them all this week! Most welcome as we tend to hear... read more

Admirable, enterprising concert of Dvořák from Orchestra Wellington players

By , 13/04/2018
Dvořák wrote two serenades: the first, for strings in 1875 and the second, for winds plus cello and bass, in 1878. We heard the latter. His two serenades occupy a rather special place in music of the Romantic era, the wind one especially, as there had not been a work of comparable charm since Mozart’s 80 years before, and none quite as fine later. Though perhaps not influenced by Dvořák... read more

Jason Bae – an enterprising, exploratory and heroic performer

By , 13/04/2018
Korean-born NZ-adopted pianist Jason Bae made a welcome return a week ago to the Wellington region for a lunchtime recital at the School of Music’s Adam Concert Room, Victoria University. He brought with him a programme he’s taken to a number of venues around the country, one whose content suggested that there would be no compromises on an artistic level, despite the degree of informality and relaxation often associated... read more

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