Supported by generous help from the Adam Foundation

Guitar students deliver impressive performances in spite of relative inexperience in tough field

By , 25/05/2015
The first of the four programmes arranged by the enterprising manager of the St Andrew's lunchtime concerts, Marjan van Waardenberg, with the New Zealand School of Music in an effort to draw more particular attention to the school’s contribution to Wellington, downtown. As was to be expected, the audience was somewhat smaller than that for the usual Wednesday concerts, but it was by no means an embarrassment. Guitars, though still... read more

NZTrio’s fascinating collaboration with three young composers in a range of their and other contemporary works

By , 09/05/2015
As a contribution to New Zealand Music Month, Chamber Music New Zealand, together with SOUNZ, developed a concert programme for NZTrio that would give the job of selecting the works to three young composers. So each selected three or four pieces, including one of their own, and at the start of each bracket, one of the members of the NZTrio read a short apologia by the composer, sketching his... read more

Cantoris tackles imaginative programme exploring Hungarian influence in Brahms’s music and related musical phenomena

By , 06/05/2015
Some musical programmes cry out to be heard and experienced because the music is famous and/or promises emotional excitement: expect a big audience; others offer little-known music that rings no emotional bells: expect a thin house. This was a concert of the latter kind. Yet the theme of this concert was interesting – the exploration of Brahms’s handling... read more

An unusual trio throws fresh, sometimes questionable light on a variety of chamber pieces

By , 03/05/2015
This, just incidentally, was the third recital involving a flute within a month – see Middle C of 1 and 29 April. The Trio by the amateur and rather obscure 19th century French composer, François de Fossa, was written originally for violin, guitar and cello (reflecting the widespread interest in the guitar in the first half of the 19th century). I had not heard of De Fossa and have been interested... read more

NZSO with Lilburn’s Symphony No 2, his successor’s impressive piece plus striking Swedish composer and trombonist

By , 01/05/2015
The title of this concert covered two-thirds of its music, though perhaps the most spectacular element was supplied by trombonist-plus, Christian Lindberg in a work by compatriot Sandström, Echoes of Eternity. The concert, in the two New Zealand works, spanned almost the entire post-war musical history of the orchestra and its home, Wellington. For the orchestra was founded in 1946 shortly before Lilburn moved from Christchurch to Wellington... read more

Delightful, varied recital by Ingrid Culliford and Kris Zuelicke at St Andrew’s

By , 29/04/2015
A flute recital that contained no big composer names might not have seemed particularly enticing. And in some ways it wasn’t, there was nothing that really demanded being embedded in the memory or prompted a visit to Parsons (whoops!) to look for a CD of a particular piece. What made it interesting (for me at least) was the theme of Australia, no doubt bearing in mind a centenary that is... read more

NZSO and Sydney Symphony Orchestra in moving shared ANZAC concert of new works by composers of both countries

By , 27/04/2015
Note that this review is for the most part what I wrote and posted on this website two days later on Friday 24 April, but now modified in various ways in the light of listening to its broadcast by Radio New Zealand Concert on Saturday evening. I delayed further, to listen to the broadcast on Monday afternoon of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra's performance (presumably also performed on the Wednesday). The New Zealand Symphony... read more

A brave Kapiti Chamber Choir gives good account of Bach’s Mass in B minor

By , 26/04/2015
The Kapiti Chamber Choir is the smaller of the two choirs in the district (the other, larger, choir is the Kapiti Chorale) established or taken over by Peter Godfrey after he came to Kapiti. Some might have felt that it was singularly ambitious for an amateur choir to tackle one of the biggest and most demanding choral works. In their defence, however, their conductor Eric Sidoti reported that this was... read more

Italian Embassy brings pianist to Wellington with interesting programme

By , 19/04/2015
A colleague picked up information about a piano recital by a visiting Italian pianist, under the auspices of the Italian Embassy. Luciano Bellini: not a name I knew; a bare outline of his programme; some names that suggested quite serious music among some oddities and curiosities. One has to take seriously someone advertising Berg’s Piano Sonata, as well as a couple of pieces by Italian composers of real distinction: Berio... read more

Orchestra Wellington on brilliant form opens six-concert series dominated by Tchaikovsky, Michael Houstoun and Russia

By , 18/04/2015
The year’s programme which this concert inaugurated, has been most interestingly designed; with aspects that should kindle the interest of newcomers, of which I imagine there were many, as well as those more familiar with the orchestral repertoire. This was achieved by the brilliant device of offering all six concerts for $108, or $18 each, so filling the auditorium.  I’m sure this is an example of the sophisticated economic phenomenon: 'Less... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy