The harp seems to be asserting itself at present. Though it’s been a pretty standard orchestral instrument since the early 19th century, and a much loved solo instrument both in its many ethnic forms as well as in its larger, more sophisticated character, there doesn’t seem to be a very large body of chamber music involving it.
This recital may well have been inspired in part by the presence of...
Thursday 5 February
For the first time, at this festival, two trips out of Nelson were organised, primarily as part of the full festival pass package; on Tuesday it was St Arnaud on Lake Rotoiti; today, to Upper Moutere to visit Höglund’s glass studio, the Neudorf Winery and a concert by The Song Company in a beautiful country church.
I decided to remain in Nelson in spite of that meaning foregoing... read more
Monday 2 February
PianoFest I: Dance
Sunday’s rain which had been threatened to continue today, disappeared and there was sun first thing, but clouds soon returned and umbrellas reappeared as we set off for the 10.30 PianoFest I: Dance.
It featured four prominent New Zealand pianists: David Guerin, Jian Liu, Stephen de Pledge and Sarah Watkins. ‘Dance’ was a rather approximate term as the first piece, Ravel’s Mother Goose
, in the... read more
Coverage of this year's Adam Chamber Music Festival (the 13th) will be divided into three parts. This first part covers the concerts, ignoring the Gala Dinner on Thursday the 29th at which an ad hoc variety of music was played, from Friday 30 January to Sunday 1 February. Parts 2 and 3 will follow.
Readers who have been drawn to the website of Chamber Music New Zealand will recognize among the... read more
Though the new Steinway piano has been played before, this was a special concert hosted by Chamber Music Hutt Valley to welcome it formally and to attempt to pay off the remaining cost. Thus the players all performed without fees and the Hutt City Council did not charge for the theatre, and at the concert’s end it was announced that the Little Theatre Piano Trust had gained some $10000...
The fourth annual jamboree for several of the professional and many students and amateur cellists took place this year, not in the Hunter Council Chamber as previously, but in the School of Music’s Adam Concert Room. A smaller audience than I recall at earlier concerts was perhaps the effect of a slightly less interesting venue.
But the acoustics are very good and the big body of cellos produced a very...
The Dominion Post
, ending “This is one of the finest ensembles to emerge from the NZSO ranks. I hope they can find the time to give many more concerts”. I've always felt pleased to have been there. This time, too... read more
The first performance by Wellington’s Aroha String Quartet took place in this venue at this time on 5 December, just 10 years ago. I wrote a review of it in
is a children’s choir and Christine Argyle led Wellington Young Voices to contribute that element.
In the first half, Haydn’s No... read more
This last of Orchestra Wellington’s most successful 2014 subscription series not only delivered the last of the Haydn’s Paris symphonies, but brought together Wellington’s other major, locally-specific musical organization: the Orpheus Choir, to perform what is one of the most popular, large-scale compositions. Also called for in
guaranteed pleasure. But word of it had obviously not got out as the audience was sadly small.
The first half did include a couple of, shall we say, unusual pieces, but it began and ended with harp player... read more
The SMP Ensemble’s programmes, often devoted to experimental, New Zealand music, are not always particularly easy for the average classical music lover to enjoy. This one, advertising Schoenberg’s best-loved piece,
Officiel des spectacles
, in a... read more
To return from a nearly two-month trip in Europe to a Wellington rich with such plentiful and excellent live music has been a considerable consolation. Not that I ever underestimated the phenomenon of a fairly small city with such a wealth of practising musicians, plus their indispensable facilitating by enterprising impresarios and concert managers such as St Andrew’s enjoys.
In the Paris weekly