Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Renowned Bach scholar and conductor Suzuki with fine baroque ensemble Juilliard415

It is wonderful for audiences in New Zealand to welcome back Masaaki Suzuki, this time with an ensemble of students from the famous Juilliard School based at the Lincoln Center in New York   The 18 instrumentalists came from 8 different countries. Suzuki, as well as running his own choral and orchestral ensembles and teaching in Tokyo, teaches also at Juilliard.  He is a renowned Bach scholar and conductor, and Wellington... read more

Memorable Lower Hutt recital of the familiar and the unknown

Chamber music at its best.  Splendid performers, enthusiastic, receptive audience, good acoustics, masterworks of the repertoire.  One can’t ask for much more, whether the players are from overseas or are our locals – the latter the case this time, with strings all from the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, with the added talents of pianist Jian Liu, from the New Zealand School of Music.  However, the concert deserved a larger... read more

Göknil Biner and Tom McGrath deliver delightful recital of Schubert, Schumann and Fauré songs, plus Scriabin piano piece

It was a pleasure to have out-of-town performers at the lunchtime concert; this married couple are from Dunedin, where Tom McGrath is on the staff of the University of Otago. The programme consisted of some familiar Schubert and Schumann lieder and songs by Fauré, and others less familiar.  All the words were printed in translation, and the authors of the poems were given. The first Schubert lied was An die Natur, written... read more

Unfamiliar but rewarding music to mark Conference on 17th and 18th century English music

When on Wednesday after the lunchtime concert someone drew my attention to a poster in St Andrew’s Church foyer, advertising a concert the following early evening, I was unaware of its provenance.  It transpired that it was in association with the 11th Biennial Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies.  Therefore the substantial audience was largely made up of delegates to this... read more

St Andrew’s opens 2017 lunchtime concerts with enjoyable baroque concert

The concert was in part the Wellington launch of a new CD of the music of these two composers performed by Maurice, Curry, and Polish and Hungarian musicians.  An opening speech was delivered by the Polish Ambassador to New Zealand, H.E. Zbigniew Gniatkowski.  After the concert enjoyable refreshments were available.  The concert, the first in the 2017 St. Andrew’s series, was very well attended. The programme began with Christoph Graupner’s... read more

No Christmas without “Messiah” – with the Tudor Consort and the NZSO

  This was a remarkable performance, in many ways.  The smaller-than-usual orchestra was matched by a larger-than-usual Tudor Consort in fine voice, and splendid soloists, all directed by Australian Handel specialist Graham Abbott.  Unusually, there were no cuts in the score; all was performed.  ‘Their sound is gone out’, in Part II is usually a chorus.  But this was composed three years after the première; in the first performance it... read more

Shaken but not stirred – Wellington Chamber Orchestra’s “Peter and the Wolf” and other delights

This concert was very well attended, the audience including many children, despite its not being advertised on RNZ Concert’s “Live Diary”, or the fact that the NZSO performed one of the works the previous afternoon at a free concert at Te Papa. The Gabrieli works featured brass instruments only. The nature of the work and the instruments employed were described by Andrew Joyce, and the instruments were demonstrated by their... read more

Interestingly presented, varied programme of works on organ of St James Church

A rather more healthily-sized audience greeted this recital compared with that for the previous recital in the series, which was held on a Saturday night. Preliminary remarks from representatives of both St. James’s Church and the Wellington Organists Association mentioned that there had been some damage to the organ in the 7.8 earthquake two weeks ago, but the effect was not great.  Following this, Douglas Mews gave introductory remarks to... read more

Big lunchtime audience for interesting programme from professional musicians

A large audience greeted a wonderfully varied line-up of professional musicians – and of music.  The opening work immediately grabbed one’s attention; Ginastera’s work was delightful and full of subtle animation.  Especially notable was the floating, uprising flute part.  The programme note describing its ‘gentle, romantic, quasi-impressionist harmonies’ was apt indeed.  Which leads me to comment how excellent was the acknowledgement at the end of the printed programme of... read more

Capital Choir reveals musical values with fine performance of Donizetti’s Requiem

For an ‘all-comers’ choir, Capital Choir has achieved an enviable level of expertise, adventurousness and commitment. Under Sue Robinson, the choir demonstrated a considerable range of choral skills and abilities.  The various parts all made a good sound most of the time.  There were many quiet passages in which the choir exhibited a lovely tone.  But there were others where things threatened almost to fall apart, especially among the men... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy