Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

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

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

Inspirare’s partnership with Youth Choirs a resounding success

By , 15/09/2018
This second concert that I’ve attended which featured the voices of Inspirare, a choir founded by their director, Mark L.Stamper, couldn’t have been more different from the first one (an inspirational performance of Sergei Rachmaninov’s All Night Vigil earlier this year), but was equally impressive in achieving what it had obviously set out to do. In the same venue as where the previous concert had held its audience spellbound... read more

Diverting recital by Liszt and Bartók specialist, Judit Gábos at St Andrew’s

By , 13/09/2018
The Thursday recital was by a visiting Hungarian pianist who was also to give a lunchtime concert in the Adam Concert Room at Victoria University on Friday and a second one there, with Jian Liu, playing piano duets, on Tuesday 18 September, 7 pm. As in other recent weeks, there have been lunchtime recitals on both Wednesday and Thursday, evidently the result of demand for an appearance at St Andrew’s... read more

The Borodin Quartet – rich in tradition, focused and austere in performance

By , 13/09/2018
I found myself wondering how many people in the hall on Thursday evening besides myself might have been similarly “initiated” into chamber music by the Borodin Quartet via a famous 1962 Decca LP recording of the music of Borodin (the well-known Second String Quartet) and Shostakovich (the Eighth Quartet). At that stage of the quartet’s colourful history, two of its “foundation members” from 1945 were still with the group... read more

Impressive piano recital: Haydn, Beethoven and Liszt, from three NZSM students at St Andrew’s

By , 12/09/2018
This was another in the series of concerts from NZSM students that have been presented recently in the lunchtime concert series at St Andrew’s on The Terrace. There were three pianists here: two, first year, and one in her third year. Both the first year students played a minor key Haydn sonata, while the third year student, Claudia Tarrant-Matthews, played the formidable first movement of Beethoven’s Appassionata (another minor key... read more

Excellent choral concert from three young Wellington choirs and the New Zealand Youth Choir

By , 09/09/2018
This concert by mainly young choral singers was promoted as ‘A celebration of great choral and ensemble singing’. Each choir was to sing alone and with one or two other choirs and finally all joined to sing David Hamilton’s Dance-song to the Creator. The publicity also remarked on the choice of venue: the gorgeous Opera House. And of course I share their affection for one of the few remaining turn-of-the-century... read more

Dynamic, muscular and sonorous – Orpheus and Wellington Youth choirs tackle Verdi’s Requiem with Orchestra Wellington to stupendous effect

By , 08/09/2018
Choir(s) and Orchestra alike would have been more than gratified at the audience turnout for this concert – the ensuing atmosphere reminded me of the same combination’s brilliantly successful presentation of Orff’s “Carmina Burana” of a couple of years ago. Naturally, the performance ethos in this instance was somewhat more sombre, as befitted the subject matter, but the musicians’ commitment to the task of realising the sounds was in... read more

Polished recital from Steel and Irons of flute and piano masterpieces at St Andrew’s

By , 05/09/2018
While the series of concerts from students that occupies St Andrew’s lunchtime series regularly around this time of the year, are always a delight and sometimes expose unusual and interesting music, it’s nice to get back to the mainstream, with truly accomplished professional musicians. The concert’s pun-prone title (Steel and Iron{s}} did announce a couple of New Zealand’s finest artists in their fields. Though I tend to be wary of arrangements-of-convenience... read more

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