Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Wellington Youth Orchestra goes for broke with Beethoven

By , 14/05/2018
This was, I thought, a well-nigh-perfect concert in terms of length and proportion – as well, it nicely varied the “standard” overture/concerto/symphonic work formula for classical orchestral concerts, one which doesn’t really cater for a particular kind of repertoire, which, as a result, is often overlooked. Elgar’s adorable String Serenade Op. 20 is a prime example of a piece of music that doesn’t easily fit in unless those in... read more

Vivaldi triumphs in the NZSO’s Italian celebration

By , 12/05/2018
What a boringly predictable world it would be if everything in it turned out as one anticipated! I sat pondering this earth-shattering truism during the interval of Saturday evening’s NZSO concert in the wake of the most inspiring and life-enhancing performance of Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” I’ve heard since first encountering New Zealand violinist Alan Loveday’s now-legendary recording of the work with Neville Marriner’s Academy of St.Martin-in-the-Fields, from... read more

Pianist Tony Chen Lin’s debut CD for Rattle a must-hear….

By , 01/05/2018
My first encounter with Tony Chen Lin was in 2008 at Kerikeri’s International Piano Competition, in which he was awarded what I’ve always regarded as a “too close to call” second place to his friend Jun Bouterey-Ishido. Since then I’ve heard each of them some years afterwards give separate recitals in Wellington; and while appreciating the unique excellence of each, I’m still unable to pronounce either of them the... read more

Paul Dukas’s Sonata the climax of John Chen’s monumental Waikanae piano recital

By , 22/04/2018
April has been a bumper month for piano recitals in the Wellington region, this being the third I’ve attended and reviewed in as many weeks. What’s astonished me about each of them has been their utter distinctiveness, with not a single recurring piece between the three, and a sense of adventure very much to the fore in each instance, in terms of the repertoire and its presentation. Firstly, Michael Houstoun’s... read more

NZSM Orchestra’s “Triple” celebration with the Te Kōkī Trio

By , 17/04/2018
There was palpable excitement among those gathering within the none-too-spacious vistas of  St.Andrew’s-on-The-Terrace Church for the most recent concert given by Te Kōkī New Zealand School Of Music’s Orchestra with conductor Kenneth Young, most certainly due to the event’s extra attraction in presenting the fabulous Te Kōkī Trio as guest soloists in Beethoven’s wondrous Triple Concerto! – of course, each of the Trio’s soloists are currently heads of their... read more

Inbal Megiddo (‘cello) and Te Kōkī Trio record music for the ages

By , 16/04/2018
Inbal Megiddo is presently the head of ‘Cello Studies at the New Zealand School of Music, Victoria University of Wellington, and has appeared in numerous concerts in Wellington both as a soloist and as a member of Te Kōkī Trio, an ensemble in which she is joined by two other faculty members, Martin Riseley, and Jian Liu, the respective heads of violin and piano studies at the school. Her... read more

Jason Bae – an enterprising, exploratory and heroic performer

By , 13/04/2018
Korean-born NZ-adopted pianist Jason Bae made a welcome return a week ago to the Wellington region for a lunchtime recital at the School of Music’s Adam Concert Room, Victoria University. He brought with him a programme he’s taken to a number of venues around the country, one whose content suggested that there would be no compromises on an artistic level, despite the degree of informality and relaxation often associated... read more

Thoughtful, enterprising programming from Michael Houstoun performed with conviction and sensitivity

By , 12/04/2018
I remember reading somewhere amongst the material advertising this Hutt Valley Chamber Music concert a passage quoting Michael Houstoun as saying he thought the choice of repertoire here had produced “the most perfect recital he had ever put together”. After listening to his strong, deeply considered playing of all three works, I felt bound to concur with his judgement, with each of his choices having some quality that seemed... read more

Rachmaninov’s Vespers richly resound with Inspirare and Mark Stamper at St.Mary of the Angels

By , 07/04/2018
Rachmaninov’s somewhat cumbersome title for this work (The Most Important Hymns of the “All Night Vigil”) though literally accurate, epitomises the composer’s characteristic self-effacing attitude to all of his musical undertakings. Fortunately for its deserved popularity, the piece has come to be commonly known as the “Vespers”, pure and simple (in the manner of Monteverdi’s similarly-titled work), however incorrect as a description – in fact Rachmaninov’s work contains settings... read more

Hearty lunchtime fare at St.Andrew’s with Beethoven and Gershwin

By , 28/03/2018

Guest reviewer - Christina Wells

Wednesday’s lunchtime saw a good crowd at St. Andrew’s Church, all looking forward to hearing a performance of the superlative “Kreutzer” Sonata by Beethoven, for violin and piano. We were warned at the outset by violinist Caroline van Leuven that it was “vigorous stuff” and that we were to “hold onto” our hats! The sonata was delivered with plenty of fire from the violinist and matched... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy