Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Category: Live performance

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

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

Entertaining concert, mixing symphony with jazz and a witty film score from Wellington Chamber Orchestra

By , 24/09/2017
One might have considered this an unorthodox programme, starting with a well-known Mozart symphony, ending with Prokofiev’s delightful Lieutenent Kije Suite and in between, songs by Mussorgsky and two jazz standards. The Mozart symphony is known as the 'Little G minor' Symphony to distinguish it from the big one, No 40. But it became easier to distinguish after its arresting opening was used as the introduction to the fictitious, misleading... 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

Two pianists: rapport, stamina, poetry at NZSM Adam Concert Room

Lucky we were to attend this lunchtime concert at New Zealand School of Music. It was luminous in several respects. Firstly the choice of programme – three works, by Schubert, Hindemith and Debussy. … with pithy and pertinent verbal introductions by Hamish Robb before each piece. Not every musician has this gift of communication, to wear his learning lightly in talking about composition in a way that makes audience feel drawn in... read more

NZSM voice students in admirable and highly varied recital at St Andrew’s

By , 20/09/2017
We are at that time of the year, when music students are welcomed at St Andrew’s to given them some public exposure in connection with their end-of-year assessments. Here we heard six students at varying stages of their studies. Most of them had been seen in the past year or so in the school’s and other opera productions, particularly in the recent Cunning Little Vixen which had such a... read more

Diverting three-quarter hour of flute-flavoured song: Barbara Graham, Rebecca Steel, Fiona McCabe

By , 19/09/2017
For a somewhat bigger-than-average audience including, I gather, a contingent from a retirement village, all three performers contributed commentary mixing erudition with light-heartedness. So we began with references to Handel’s ode, or oratorio, L’Allegro, Il Penseroso ed il Moderato, sung by Barbara Graham. The oratorio was based on Milton’s poem of a century earlier, entitled ‘L’Allegro-Il Penseroso’, which was enlarged at the prompting of Handel’s friends, with a portrait... 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

NZSM students give insightful performances of New Zealand music and pieces by Haydn, Beethoven, Brahms and Barber

By , 12/09/2017
We’ve been neglecting Old St Paul’s lunchtime concerts this year, and so I was glad to find a good audience for this varied exhibition of NZSM piano talent. It began with Amanda Bunting who played two pieces: the first movement of Beethoven’s Tempest sonata (Op 31 No 2) and Samuel Barber’s Excursions, first movement. Though the Tempest is obviously still a work in progress, with quite a lot of slips... read more

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