Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Amici Ensemble consolidates its reputation as valuable, adventurous Wellington adornment

By , 19/09/2018
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

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

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

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

Triumphant performances of choral masterpieces of Vivaldi and Handel

By , 01/09/2018
Gloria Vivaldi is believed to have composed three settings of the Gloria; one of them is lost, but the other, RV 588, is extant and sometimes performed. I think both are in the key of D. I can recall hearing it sung in Wellington, 15, 20 years ago. But I don’t have clear memory of it. I suspect it was at St John’s church on Willis Street. If anyone can... read more

Admirable performances in Wellington Regional Aria Contest

By , 26/08/2018
Once upon a time, aria contests, as a part of a pattern of performing arts competitions, flourished in every city and many smaller towns throughout New Zealand.  There were aria competitions in both Wellington and the Hutt Valley, part of the pattern of competitions that also included instrumental music as well as dance and drama. My first ‘professional’ contact with music was in my Upper Sixth year at Wellington College... read more

Musically satisfying concert of three disparate works, from New Zealand String Quartet

By , 25/08/2018
The New Zealand String Quartet is in the middle of its big annual tour of the country, taking it from Howick and Waiheke Island to Invercargill (though there are curious omissions, inevitably, with a 12-concert tour – absent are Hamilton, Napier, Christchurch, Dunedin…). However, the two in Wellington evidence the high level of musical discernment found in this city. The Hunter Council Chamber (the university’s beautiful library in earlier times)... read more

Interesting and rewarding St Andrew’s recital from students of stringed instruments

By , 22/08/2018
This was one of the usual series of concerts at this time of the year by students of Victoria University’s School of Music (I counted eleven players). Beethoven came first. Cellist Rebecca Warnes, with the school’s piano tutor Catherine Norton. played the first movement of Beethoven’s third cello sonata, in A major, Op 69. It was a model performance, beginning somewhat quietly, intonation was accurate, with carefully etched tone. It... read more

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