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Posts tagged: piano

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

Hungarian pianist Dénes Varjon at Waikanae with enterprising programme, rich in Bartók

By , 19/02/2017
The first concert in the nine-concert Waikanae chamber music series neatly filled a hole in my piano recital experiences that the same programme would have provided in Nelson if I’d been there the previous Sunday. Varjon was one of this year’s stars at the biennial Adam Chamber Music Festival in Nelson (see my review date-lined 11 February). He was hot news there and even though I heard him in various... read more

Nelson Chamber Music festival again New Zealand’s biennial musical highlight

By , 11/02/2017
My visit this year to the Nelson Chamber Music Festival was shorter than in previous years, arriving late afternoon on the Tuesday and departing midday Saturday. The highlights from abroad were the presence of Hungarian pianist Dénes Varjon, the Australian tenor, Andrew Goodwin (singing Schumann’s Dichterliebe), the Goldner Quartet and cellist Matthew Barley. The essence of the festival rests with the New Zealand String Quartet, which founded and sustained the festival... read more

Edo de Waart and Ronald Brautigam confirm stature: symphonic conductor and Mozartian pianist

By , 29/10/2016
Ronald Brautigam’s is not exactly a household name and his performance history is impressively confined largely to Mozart and Beethoven, though not always in performances with high profile conductors or orchestras. Most of his playing is on the fortepiano of the age of Mozart and early Beethoven. While that partly explains his relative obscurity to the popular audience, it doesn’t detract from his high reputation among those who take their... read more

Galvanic lunch hour with the Rangapu Duo at St.Andrew’s

By , 26/10/2016
The names of both performers in this lunchtime concert at St.Andrew’s were new to me, each of them being Hamilton-based musicians, though I ought to have remembered that Liam Wooding was a prizewinner at Christchurch in 2015 at the National Concerto Competition. His duo partner, Noelle Dannenbring, for her part won the University of Waikato Concerto Competition earlier this year. Currently, both are studying at the University under the... read more

Orchestra Wellington’s fifth concert excels with last works of Berlioz, Bartok and Tchaikovsky (almost)

By , 15/10/2016
This was the once-a-year event for the young musicians involved with the Hutt Valley Arohanui Strings, the project inspired by the famous Venezuelan institution, El Sistema. They filed in after some of Orchestra Wellington’s players had taken their seats: the more advanced ones taking seats alongside a professional player as mentor; the beginners spread across the front of the stage – some of them looked aged about four. They... read more

Moments in Time – Diedre Irons’ tribute to Judith Clark

By , 18/09/2016
It’s sometimes difficult to imagine Diedre Irons as ever having had another “life” as a person and performing musician, so very much has she become part and parcel of this country’s musical fabric, especially of late in the Wellington region. Now in retirement from her position as Head of Piano Studies at Studies at Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music, a position she held from 2003 to 2012... read more

Tony Chen Lin – piano evocations, visions and premonitions at St.Andrew’s

By , 11/09/2016
Tony Chen Lin was one of two supremely gifted young Christchurch-based pianists (the other was Jun Bouterey-Ishido) who “slugged it out” for first prize at the 2008 Kerikeri International Piano Competition, an event which I had the good fortune to attend. The adjudicator, Australian pianist Ian Munro, awarded Jun Bouterey-Ishido the first prize by what he acknowledged was the narrowest of margins, a decision I was glad I didn’t... 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

Lunchtime gatherings of delight, adventure and enchantment with pianist Ya-Ting Liou

By , 17/08/2016
Lunchtime concerts are strange beasties, compared with more conventionally-presented evening concerts – they’re almost always shorter, and because of their mid-day aspect catch people who attend in an entirely different frame of mind to that which would surround an evening concert. Of course many people who are there have retired from working or have a differently consitituted agenda to someone who’s midway through a working day. But nevertheless it’s... read more

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