Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Violin and piano competition winners show robust musical and technical gifts and fine rapport

A concert of illustrious music from an illustrious duo.  Ioana Cristina Goicea is the winner of the 2017 Michael Hill a Violin Competition, and Andrey Gugnin the winner of the 2016 Sydney International Piano Competition.  Their tour of New Zealand with Chamber Music New Zealand is in association with the Michael Hill Competition.  A good-sized audience heard this noteworthy recital, the last in the Waikanae Music Society’s 2018 series It... read more

Aroha Quartet with animated, robust, delightful evening concert at St Andrew’s

It was most unfortunate that this concert had had to be rescheduled; this made it clash with another chamber music concert in the city, which was presumably responsible for the rather small audience. Anne Loeser substituted for the regular second violinist Ursula Evans, the latter having had an injury. The two older works on the programme had been played By this group at a St. Andrew’s lunchtime concert less than a... read more

Springtime winds at St Andrew’s from the NZSM

This further recital by music students from the New Zealand School of Music at Victoria University of Wellington attracted a rather smaller audience than is usual for these lunchtime concerts. However, everyone was appreciative of the display of talent, skill, and hard work on show. First on the programme was sonata V in E minor for flute and continuo, BWV 1034 by J.S.Bach. Samantha McSweeney played the first and second... read more

Too important to let go – Ashley Brown with a “new” NZTrio for Braid, a Suffrage Year concert

By , 26/09/2018
This is the second concert with overt connections to the recent 125th suffrage anniversary that I’ve recently reviewed, very different to the earlier one (Cantoris Choir, Wellington), though packing a similarly powerhouse punch on behalf of women’s musical creativity. It was titled Braid, and is one of three concert series given by the trio this year featuring the work of women composers, the other two being called Weave and Twine. As with Cantoris Choir’s presentation... read more

Exotic, rhapsodic, gruesome and tragic – Wellington Chamber Orchestra with conductor Andrew Atkins and Thomas Nikora (piano)

By , 23/09/2018
I thought the programme’s given, somewhat “Readers’ Digest”, title “Great Romantic Symphonic Poems” simply didn’t convey the essence of this concert, so I have invented my own, above, thinking that it ought to “grab” people’s attention more readily, even if for the wrong reasons. The adjectives refer, of course, to the concert’s contents, and by no means to the performances, which were simply riveting throughout – and what reservations... read more

Singular, well-conceived recital by male four-voice ensemble, reaching far and wide

By , 22/09/2018
The beautiful, and acoustically excellent Hall of Memories carved into the bottom of the Carillon is one of the loveliest places for music in the city. It’s a wonder that it’s not more used for music recitals. My previous musical experiences here have been by choirs: The Tudor Consort, Nota Bene; and just three months ago, Peter Mechen reviewed a concert by Baroque Voices. Aurora IV have moved around. Their last... read more

Strong, exemplary student performances of string orchestra masterpieces

By , 19/09/2018
I confess I was unprepared for the actual nature of this concert, entitled string students of the NZSM. Naively I’d thought of a string(?) of solos, duets and threesomes, perhaps a string quartet. I was a bit late, arriving as Martin Riseley finished his introduction to the recital, and launched into Handel’s Concerto Grosso in D, Op 6 No 5, inspiring playing that sounded as if it was a... read more

125th Women’s Suffrage Anniversary Concert with Cantoris in Wellington

By , 19/09/2018
2018 marks the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand.  On 19 September 1893 the Electoral Act 1893 was passed, giving all women in New Zealand the right to vote.  As a result of this landmark legislation, New Zealand became the first self-governing country in the world in which all women had the right to vote in parliamentary elections. Cantoris Choir in Wellington presented a concert of works on the... read more

Amici Ensemble consolidates its reputation as valuable, adventurous Wellington adornment

By , 16/09/2018
We have owed a great deal to this splendid, many-facetted ensemble over the years, held together by NZSO Associate Concertmaster Donald Armstrong. Most ‘chamber music’ groups are either trios or quartets, and occasionally a quintet by adding a piano, a cello, a clarinet... Here we had enough variety to give us Mozart’s clarinet quintet, and also Ravel’s septet that is disguised as Introduction and Allegro for string quartet, flute... read more

Some great hits from NZSO’s popular classics concert; a win by a big margin

By , 15/09/2018
I don’t know what sort of audiences have been showing up at the other ten performances of this concert between Invercargill and Kerikeri, but the thin population in the MFC was a bit of a surprise. There was certainly competition from the rugby on Saturday evening; but there was probably also a more insidious factor: no glamorous overseas soloist; no internationally recognised conductor. Other inhibitors: a deterrent for the serious... read more

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