Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Feast of music, art and ambiences – NZTrio’s “Zoom” at Wellington’s City Gallery

By , 16/06/2016
Appearances of NZTrio at the City Gallery are always a special event. There’s the wine, the fruit juices, the food, the opportunity to meet interesting people, the art (in this case, quirky, occasionally beautiful, watercolours by Francis Uprichard). Oh, and there’s the music. A feature of NZTrio presentations (this one titled “Zoom”) is their inclusion of New Zealand work. Often it is specially commissioned, as were the David Hamilton and... read more

NZSM tutors as composers and performers

By , 23/08/2013
The New Zealand School of Music’s last lunchtime concert before the mid-semester break was a recital by NZSM staff members of works especially written for them by current and previous VUW and NZSM staff members. Stephan Prock teaches composition at the School. His Stradivariazioni was commissioned by Martin Riseley and Diedre Irons for a 2011 Chamber Music New Zealand tour. In effect a suite of six movements, the initial themes... read more

Electric music and music-theatre – Nicholas Isherwood

By , 21/08/2013
The Adam Concert Room darkens. Electronic sound wells up like a rushing wind. After several minutes, a tall, gaunt figure mounts a platform at the back. The lights fade up to reveal the futuristically silver-clad spaceman from the Dog Star. So began Stockhausen’s Capricorn, an adapted segment of his longer work SIRIUS. Low electronic sounds underlying Nicholas Isherwood’s voice gradually rose in pitch over the half-hour (or so) of the... read more

Stroma, with percussionist Claire Edwardes

By , 01/08/2013
Stroma’s recent concert featured works by two expatriate New Zealand composers, Jeroen Speak and Alison Isadora, both past graduates of Victoria University. Speak, based in England, is currently in the country with his partner, Dorothy Ker, who holds the 2013-14 Lilburn House residency (Ker’s own [...and…11] is scheduled for performance by Stroma at its next concert on 1 September). This August concert, Event Horizon, was named after Speak’s mini-concerto for... read more

New Sounds – SMP Ensemble, Magda Mayas, Tony Buck and Hermione Johnson

By , 06/03/2011

Sunday 6 March 2011

After funding was withheld from leading NZ contemporary group Stroma for this year, the senior-student/recent-graduate ensemble SMP was

left to carry the torch for new "concert" music - at least for Wellington. Thankfully, some money was made available by Creative NZ for "Interiors I", the first of two presentations exploring subtleties of tone colour and aspects of player interaction. All but one... read more

Sounds contemporary – Stroma and SOUNZ Contemporary…

By , 01/05/2010
also: SOUNZ Contemporary Award 2010  (preview): Chris Gendall: "Rudiments"; Ross Harris:  "Violin Concerto No. 1"; Chris Cree Brown: "Inner Bellow". New Zealand Music Month 2010 began with a highlight - the "Sequences" concert from leading contemporary music group Stroma, which  featured NZ premieres of two recent offerings from Ross Harris and Chris Gendall. These large-ensemble, almost orchestrally weighty scores, bookended a series of  mainly solo pieces showcasing the virtuoso talents of individual Stroma members. Luciano Berio's 1958 monodic... read more

NZSO/Todd Corporation: promoting our young composers

By , 25/08/2009
The Todd Corporation's - and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra's - support for the Young Composer Awards makes it one of the most important arts sponsorships in the country. Their promotion of the growing point - the apical meristem - of creative artistic development promises to deliver a much greater return in cultural benefits than the (more typical) funding that goes into many, more prominent, areas. As conductor and co-adjudicator... read more

Extreme Lands

By , 21/08/2009
"Extreme Lands" was an event incorporating sound (live and recorded), words, and images, imaginatively curated by Wellington composer Alexandra Hay. There were four items on the programme, beginning with "Cigarettes for Ping Pong" by experimental singer-songwriter Carol Micallef, which she sang in her attractive voice, accompanying herself on a tiny retro synth, with the aid of erstwhile guitarist Dylan Lardelli on viola. Alexandra Hay's own work, "Moon Song", utilized a text... read more

Pia Palme – Austrian Connections from Caprice Arts

By , 14/08/2009
This concert organized by the enterprising Caprice Arts Trust featured an adventurous array of contemporary music. At the more conservative, conscientiously-constructed end of the spectrum, Denmark's Soren Nils Eichberg's "4 Pieces for Bassoon and Piano" effectively showcased the artistry of their commissioner, New Zealander Ben Hoadley. Much of the first piece involved the bassoon in a dialogue with itself across its different registers, from deep and mellow to high and... read more

Ensemble Selisih – making the difference

By , 12/08/2009
"Selisih", an Indonesian word meaning "argumentative discussion", was the name given by German composer Dieter Mack to his duo for alto and baritone saxophones. Mack, now on his third visit to New Zealand in a professional capacity, has lived in Indonesia studying gamelan performance practice, and (partly inspired by this) has made the interactions between players, one of the fundamental principles of his music. The name was subsequently adopted... read more

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