Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Category: Live performance

Wilma Smith and Friends play fine programme for Wellington Chamber Music

By , 15/10/2017
We reviewed Wilma Smith and Friends at their Waikanae concert on 24 September. There they had played Beethoven’s not-much-played Op 16 piano quartet, Dvořák’s greatly loved Op 87 as well as the piano quartet by the group’s pianist, Leathwick.  I suppose I can wait till next August when I see that Wellington Chamber Music’s just announced 2018 Sunday series will hear the Dvořák played by the Leppänen, Thomson, Joyce... read more

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

History and Geography in Music: Pipa player Wu Man and the NZSQ

If you didn't hear Kim Hill on RNZ Saturday on 23 September, go and listen to the online archive now. A poignant interview with Douglas Wright, New Zealand's most compelling dancer / choreographer, is to be found there ... as humane and considered a conversation about art as practised and life as lived that you could hope to find. Alongside it sits Hill's interview with Wu Man, the world's leading... read more

To err is human, to forgive (the job of the critic): four student pianists with seriously worthwhile music

By , 27/09/2017
The lunchtime concert market has been somewhat crowded over recent weeks and both St Andrew’s and Old Saint Paul’s have provided nice venues and good audiences for end-of-year recitals. While we’ve covered most of the recent lunchtime concerts in Wellington we have been unable this year to get to the series running at St Mark’s Lower Hutt, which have been equally worthwhile. Four pianists played today at St Andrew’s. They... read more

Another end-of-year student recital: woodwinds in calm weather

By , 26/09/2017
End of year public recitals by New Zealand School of Music students continued, today with woodwind players. If I had been uninterested in hearing the NZSO and Freddy Kempf last Saturday playing single movements of major piano concertos (though I gather it was well-patronised), this was different. Because one was not laying out a substantial ticket price for the rather frustrating experience of being left in mid-air in Mozart... 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

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