Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

NZSO and Madeleine Pierard with Ross Harris’s anguished Second Symphony to mark ANZAC Day

By , 21/04/2016
I have been heard to utter unpatriotic feelings about the seeming endless attention paid in New Zealand to war and in particular the First World War and Gallipoli, which took place around 100 years ago. I have no problem with the stimulus the centenary has given to serious re-examination of the political background to the war, its pursuit and the catastrophic results of the Treaty of Versailles that sought... read more

David Guerin celebrates the new Hutt Little Theatre piano with the Goldberg Variations

By , 17/04/2016
This special, extra concert was presented to mark the unveiling of a plaque recording the names of donors to the Little Theatre Piano Fund. It would have been hard to think of a more monumental piece of music for the occasion than the Goldberg Variations. The last time I heard David Guerin playing was in an ensemble of four at the Adam Chamber Music Festival in Nelson last February. Alone... read more

Chamber Music New Zealand season opens with exquisite French baroque concert by Les Talens Lyriques

By , 13/04/2016
As a rather excessive Francophile, I was more than delighted at the prospect of hearing the distinguished French baroque ensemble, Les Talens Lyriques, live in my home town. Knowing the strange and sometimes narrow musical tastes of some chamber music lovers whose horizons are often limited to the German and Italian lands, I rather feared that the unfamiliar music of the French baroque might have drawn a rather small... read more

Talented young pianist impresses at St Andrew’s lunchtime concert

By , 13/04/2016
The New Zealand School of Music is a major supplier of talent to the year-long series of lunchtime concerts at St Andrew’s on The Terrace. Most of those who play are at somewhat advanced degree levels, but this time it’s pianist Nick Kovacev who is in his first year at the school. I had not read the brief note about him in the programme at the start of the... read more

Committed and successful concert of Russian classics from Wellington Chamber Orchestra

By , 10/04/2016
I was prevented from getting to the first half of this concert, which, with the tough though splendid Prokofiev concerto with Helene Pohl, would obviously have been the highlight. But Borodin is no stroll through the birch forest either. The Prokofiev concerto had an interesting provenance, as the composer later recounted: "The number of places in which I wrote the concerto shows the kind of nomadic concert-tour life I led then. The... read more

Beautiful lunchtime with a flute and piano at St Andrew’s

By , 06/04/2016
I’ve heard Rebecca Steel at least three times over the past year, playing with a pianist or as part of a trio, in interesting music, often adapted from music for other instruments: Debussy piano pieces, Piazzolla, Chopin, or authentic flute works such as by Bach or Villa-Lobos or Persichetti. This time we heard what is perhaps the most famous and attractive flute sonata of the 20th century: Poulenc’s; and one... read more

Cervantes’ quadricentenary through diverting music of the 17th to 20th centuries

By , 27/03/2016
This year is the 400th anniversary not just of the death of Shakespeare, as the whole world knows, but also of Miguel Cervantes. Not only the same year, but also the same month – April – and even more surprising just one day apart! S. on 23 and C. on 22 April. Cervantes was longer-lived, having been born in 1547. In an introduction it was pointed out that the two players... read more

Website problems: acknowledgement of Turnovsky Endowment Trust grant

By , 24/03/2016

Innovative and fitting celebration of Kiri Te Kanawa with New Zealand Festival: a full MFC

By , 13/03/2016
The Michael Fowler Centre was full for the Sunday early evening concert. A song recital with a few contributions from a local choir would not ordinarily have filled St Andrew’s on The Terrace; the name Kiri Te Kanawa changed everything. Very few singers are still in business over 70 years of age (Joan Sutherland stopped in 1990, aged 64, and I suspect that even if age was starting to tell in... read more

Exploratory and interesting offerings from the engaging Duo Tapas

By , 09/03/2016
Duo Tapas have been long-standing ornaments at St Andrew’s lunchtime concerts and are enterprising in the range of music they find to perform. That of course is due mainly to the lack of music written specifically for the two instruments, although the pair lend themselves readily to music for violin and piano and for the guitar, accompanying many other instruments. Unusually, they began with a piece by Pachelbel for organ... read more

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