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Posts tagged: New Zealand School of Music

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

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

Close-up Janáček an operatic delight from NZSM

By , 28/07/2017
  It wasn't until he was almost fifty that Moravian composer Leoš Janáček began to show the world what he could really do, with the appearance of the first of his operas, Jenufa, in Brno in 1904. Up to that time a lot of his musical activities were devoted to researches into folk music, determined as he was to create from Moravian and other strains of Slavonic folk music a... read more

NZSM Piano Students show their mettle at St.Andrew’s, Wellington

By , 31/05/2017
  A pity that the printed programme gave no information about any of the piano students, which would have “fleshed out” each of them a bit more, a smidgeon of biographical information and a comment regarding repertoire preferences in each case, for instance - nothing more than a couple of sentences akin to what each might write on his or her CV. While I thought the Acting Director of the... read more

Plenty of pre-university talent for the school of music to draw on

It is inevitable in a concert of this sort that there will be a great variance in skill levels, and in musicianship.  This time, there were fewer really young students than I have heard in previous concerts of this type; nearly all would be intermediate or secondary school students, I would guess.  The comments below are made not to criticise the individual players, but hopefully to assist them to... read more

Michael Houstoun’s tribute to Judith Clark – a feast of Bach

By , 21/08/2016

A brief preamble: Judith Clark (1931-2014) was a much-respected piano pedagogue and former Head of Piano Studies at Victoria University’s School of Music in Wellington. Her years of prominence in this latter role were before my time in the capital, but I certainly remember her in retirement as an abiding presence at many a concert and recital, having the air of a “grand dame” whose attendance at whatever... read more

“Orchestras Unite” – a brilliant success for youthful Wellington musicians

By , 03/08/2016

These days I count myself proudly, if also a little ruefully, among the grey-headed majority who attend classical concerts – of course, these are the people whose loyal and continued support of our various concert series and occasional special events helps to ensure their continuance. Nevertheless it was a refreshing change to find myself sitting in an auditorium for a classical concert with what seemed like hundreds of... read more

Interesting variety of arias and songs from NZSM voice students

A variety of voices was heard at today’s concert, and a great variety of songs from 18th, 19th and 20th century composers – interesting repertoire. Stefano Donaudy (1879-1925) was a composer new to me; he was Italian-French, and a resident of Palermo in Sicily.  He composed mainly vocal music, including operas, and is known today for a number of songs, of which ‘O del mio amato ben’ is one.  It... read more

Happy concert from the New Zealand School of Music saxophone ensemble and soloists

By , 01/06/2016
The woodwind (more specifically, the Saxophone) department of the New Zealand School of Music has become a fairly conspicuous player in the school’s activities. It’s led by Deborah Rawson, who, as well as being a clarinetist often seen in professional orchestral ranks, plays saxophone, usually the soprano sax. While she introduced this lunchtime concert, the ensemble was directed by Simon Brew, an ‘artist teacher’ in the school. The concert began with... read more

After fifty-seven years of public neglect – Farquhar’s First Symphony from the NZSM and Ken Young

By , 14/04/2016

At last! - the drought has been broken! - the well has been newly dug! - and the field has been freshly ploughed! So, just what, you're bemusedly thinking, am I on about this time round? I'll tell you! - David Farquhar's First Symphony, performed only once previously in concert in 1959, has finally received its SECOND public performance! - that makes, by my reckoning, fifty-seven years of... read more

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