Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Excellent NZSO concert – Berlioz, Elgar and Tchaikovsky – draws disappointing audience

Here was a stirring programme, the items linked by their composers’ inspirations from Italy.  It happens that these three were all superb orchestrators; the works all exploited the orchestra fully. We have had both Berlioz and Elgar already this year in NZSO programmes; no shame in that.  James Judd was noted for his Elgar performances when he was Music Director of the NZSO – one of the eminent composers of... read more

A fine solo cello recital at St Andrew’s lunchtime concert

A good-sized audience heard a memorable recital of advanced cello music in a varied repertoire. Inbal Megiddo is an extremely accomplished cellist, who teaches the instrument at the New Zealand School of Music, and plays in the Te Koki Trio. It was a pity that the programme notes gave no information about the works performed, because her spoken introductions were far too quiet to be heard in much of the church;... read more

Premiere at Waikanae of composition by pianist Andrew Leathwick

This was the first concert in an eleven-centre tour by Wilma and Friends – two of the friends are New Zealanders: Alexandra Partridge from the Kapiti Coast and Andrew Leathwick who studied at the University of Waikato, both of whom have since studied at the Australian Academy of Music in Melbourne.  It is always a great pleasure to welcome home violinist Wilma Smith, and to hear her winsome tones... read more

At St Mary’s, Karori: viola and organ music drawn from Bach, Elgar and an obscure York Minster organist

A rather small audience enjoyed a ‘Bach sandwich’ as the artists described it.  The opening work, played by viola and organ immediately impressed with the euphonious tone of the viola, which one so seldom hears played solo, or with simply an accompaniment.  Flute tones from the organ were a sufficient contrast to allow the viola to really speak with its own voice.  It was described by the person introducing... read more

Much attractive, well performed music from the Bach Choir

Surely one of the functions of the NZ Choral Federation Wellington Region should be to have choral directors meet periodically to sort out compatible dates for concerts.  I know this used to happen in Peter Godfrey’s day.  Lately there has been a plethora of choral concerts.  After two last night, it was not surprising that the audience this afternoon was a little lean.  There was a choir performing on... read more

Outstanding concert for peace, of Renaissance music, plus Arvo Pärt, plus momentous New Zealand work

A substantial audience heard a most innovative and rewarding concert from the ever-reliable Tudor Consort.  An unusually large dose of contemporary music was adorned with Renaissance music, in a concert marking International Day of Peace (21 September). It began with a setting by Italian Carlo Gesualdo (1566-1613) of ‘Da pacem Domine’.  As Michael Stewart said in his pre-concert talk, this composer was ahead of his time; his writing for choirs... read more

University cellists bring ensemble to St Andrew’s lunchtime concert series

A well-filled church was treated to a very enjoyable concert performed by the New Zealand School of Music cello ensemble, made up of current and past cello students of the NZSM.  It opened with supremely well-played Bach, performed by Olivia Wilding.   There were a few slight lapses of intonation in this difficult music, but the cellist’s playing was highly competent and confident, her tone and volume excellent. She was followed... read more

New Zealand Youth Choir delivers excellent concert, though absence of a major work regretted

The cover of the programme appeared to be the poster advertising the choir, but I did not see it anywhere earlier as a poster, and a friend in the audience to whom I spoke after the concert had not seen any publicity either.  Both of us found few people we knew in the audience, which also pointed to a lack of publicity. The Youth Choir comprises 50 voices.  A delightful... read more

Dangerous liaisons investigated by New Zealand String Quartet in restored St Mary’s

This year, the Quartet’s tour was entitled ‘Dangerous Liaisons’, and introductory remarks explained how this epithet applied to each of the three composers whose early compositions in the genre the items were. It was a robust and demanding programme heard by a rather modest audience.  Two little deficiencies for me: the lights were switched off entirely, save for the spotlights on the players (more of that later), and thus one... read more

An engaging performance by a young Auckland piano trio

This is a trio of young players.  The two string players are currently playing in the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.  The pianist in 2015 won the NZ School of Music concerto competition.  All three have studied overseas; James Jin won the same competition in 2014 that his female colleague won the following year.  The cellist has spent most of his career in Australia so far. Their engaging manner of performing was... read more

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