Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Stroma – Iconic Sonics at the City Gallery, Wellington…..revisiting the new, along with the new

By , 29/08/2018
Eighteen years into the 21st Century a lot of music-lovers are still coming to grips with the innovators and radical figures of twentieth-century music. It’s a process which was in some ways mirrored a century ago by the fin de siècle attitude of many people to the works of Berlioz, Liszt, Mussorgsky, Bruckner and Mahler, all of whom had to wait for a “later time”, at which stage their creative... read more

Admirable performances in Wellington Regional Aria Contest

By , 26/08/2018
Once upon a time, aria contests, as a part of a pattern of performing arts competitions, flourished in every city and many smaller towns throughout New Zealand.  There were aria competitions in both Wellington and the Hutt Valley, part of the pattern of competitions that also included instrumental music as well as dance and drama. My first ‘professional’ contact with music was in my Upper Sixth year at Wellington College... read more

Musically satisfying concert of three disparate works, from New Zealand String Quartet

By , 25/08/2018
The New Zealand String Quartet is in the middle of its big annual tour of the country, taking it from Howick and Waiheke Island to Invercargill (though there are curious omissions, inevitably, with a 12-concert tour – absent are Hamilton, Napier, Christchurch, Dunedin…). However, the two in Wellington evidence the high level of musical discernment found in this city. The Hunter Council Chamber (the university’s beautiful library in earlier times)... read more

Rachmaninov and Stravinsky – not such strange bedfellows, courtesy of de Waart and the NZSO

By , 24/08/2018
What a pleasure it was to be able to read in the programme NZSO Music Director Edo de Waart’s comments about each of the pieces due to be conducted by him in this evening’s concert with the orchestra. His words resonated on a number of fronts, one of them historical as he touched on the NZSO’s special relationship with Igor Stravinsky, who, in 1961 visited New Zealand at the... read more

Interesting and rewarding St Andrew’s recital from students of stringed instruments

By , 22/08/2018
This was one of the usual series of concerts at this time of the year by students of Victoria University’s School of Music (I counted eleven players). Beethoven came first. Cellist Rebecca Warnes, with the school’s piano tutor Catherine Norton. played the first movement of Beethoven’s third cello sonata, in A major, Op 69. It was a model performance, beginning somewhat quietly, intonation was accurate, with carefully etched tone. It... read more

A girdle round about the earth – Katherine Mansfield as a “wild colonial girl” at Circa Theatre

By , 21/08/2018
Writer Lorae Parry’s dramatized exploration of Katherine Mansfield’s brief but stellar trajectory throughout different worlds on each side of the globe is a miracle of recreation. It takes a particular kind of genius to flesh out convincingly and organically the bones and sinews of someone else’s work, a process for which Parry obviously has the gift of instinct allied to the electric charge of empathy. Mansfield’s own words are... read more

Two beloved piano quartet masterpieces in glorious performances from NZSO principals plus Diedre Irons

By , 19/08/2018
Though Wellington Chamber Music, before it ‘corporatised’ from ‘Society' to ‘Trust’ and operated in the Ilott Concert Chamber (later, ‘Theatre’), used to come close to filling that 300 seat space, no longer has the pulling power that it once had. However, this recital from three NZSO principals and pianist Diedre Irons drew a somewhat better than average audience, though nowhere near what it deserved. Perhaps this gives me an excuse to... read more

East and West mingle at Wellington Youth Orchestra Concert

By , 19/08/2018
A most striking frontispiece on the programme cover (uncredited) for this enterprising concert seemed to alert us to the presence of something out-of-the-ordinary - an illustration something along the lines of those disconcerting front-and-profile images of one and the same person. It wasn’t exactly that, in this case, but the effect certainly caused a double-take on my part, which I presume was the idea! – here, a youthful portrait... read more

NZSO triumphs with brilliant Beethoven and Brahms masterpieces

By , 18/08/2018
Though this was a very traditional, heart-of-the-classical-world concert which one might have thought would excite neither the aficionados nor the young and innocent in terms of classical music awareness, it was a very near full house – not an every-day experience for the NZSO. But the fact is that I cannot remember a live performance in Wellington of the Beethoven violin concerto: certainly, a search of Middle C’s archive brings... read more

Katherine McIndoe with brilliant performance of Britten’s Les Illuminations at St Andrew’s

By , 15/08/2018
Soprano Katherine McIndoe has been at the Guildhall School in London for the past year, though she was last heard, conspicuously, in both the operas staged in the middle of last year by Rhona Fraser’s Days Bay Opera: Tatyana in Eugene Onegin and Guilietta in I Capuleti e i Montecchi.  In Britain she sang at the Aldeburgh Festival last year as a Britten-Piers Young Artist, and was the Governess... read more

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