Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Supertonic conjures up arcadian realms for an evocatively-sung “Rest” presentation

By , 19/06/2021
It was a drear Wellington night. A cold drizzle was falling. I expected to see a tiny dedicated audience huddling in the cavernous cathedral. I was wrong. The church was a good two-thirds full, and the enthusiastic audience seemed pretty familiar with Supertonic. The choir was founded in 2014, and by my estimation is one of the youngest choirs in Wellington, as well as one of the larger choirs, with... read more

Amalia Hall splendidly embodies Virtuoso Violin with Orchestra Wellington

By , 12/06/2021
Marc Taddei introduced the concert with a few words of explanation. This programme reflected a significant change in music history, the dawn of a new era, the shift from concerts performed in salons in aristocratic palaces to concerts performed by widely celebrated virtuosos in concert halls to large audiences. It also reflected the changes in instruments, violins with longer necks and strings and pianos with stronger frames that could... read more

New Zealand String Quartet at Lower Hutt – three views of Beethoven

By , 03/06/2021
I remember reading an interview many years ago with one of the great Beethoven interpreters of recent tines, Alfred Brendel, and warming to him all the more when he responded to a question regarding his “hobbies” by listing one of them as “collecting unintentional humour”. Brendel would doubtless have relished the unexpected “cyber-glitches” experienced by violinist Helene Pohl and ‘cellist Rolf Gjelsten relating to their respective electronic page-turners’ charmingly... read more

Stylish, varied and compelling – Inspirare’s tribute to Great Britain’s music

By , 30/05/2021
This concert was billed as ‘five centuries of British music’, but in truth it was two and a half centuries plus Tallis, or even one and a half centuries plus Handel and Tallis. Nonetheless, it was a stylish concert. Inspirare is a small choir (18 voices) of mostly soloists. Founded by Mark Stamper five years ago, it gave its first concert on 4 September 2016. Known for its polish, the... read more

Monique Lapins and Jian Liu give consummate performances of Bartok and Debussy at St.Andrew’s

By , 26/05/2021
How privileged we are in Wellington to be able to go to a lunch time concert on a beautiful Wednesday and hear such consummate artists as Monique Lapins and Jian Liu of the NZ School of Music. They presented a challenging programme of Debussy and Bartók. The two violin sonatas were written within a few years of each other, Debussy's in 1917 in the middle of the war, Bartók's... read more

Orchestra Wellington and Orpheus Choir adventurous in Bartok, irresistible in Orff

By , 22/05/2021
Encountering a work in concert every now and then that has somehow “slipped through the net” of my musical experience sometimes results in a bit of a “juggle” of contrasting feelings, and especially when one is a reviewer – I get enormous pleasure in the discovery of something new, but also feel a degree of guilt at not having come across the “something” earlier, and especially if it’s a... read more

“Strings for Africa” joyously fill the vistas of St.Andrew’s-on-The-Terrace

By , 18/05/2021
Back In November of 2019 I attended an event called “Cellos for Africa”, at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua City,  one described by its organisers as “a multi-institutional and multi-cultural collaboration”, featuring a variety of performing individuals and groups brought together by Heleen du Plessis and Donald Maurice. The event’s primary purpose was to raise funds for a school in Africa which had been established in Nairobi, Kenya, in... read more

Welington Youth Orchestra and Mark Carter with violinist Lucas Baker – a Transatlantic treat!

By , 15/05/2021
The idea of “music that makes one’s mouth water” is, of course, an entirely personal matter, there being literally hundreds of pieces and combinations of pieces which would produce such a response amongst music-lovers – but for me, the Wellington Youth Orchestra’s presentation at Woburn’s St.James’ Church on Saturday hit the spot from the moment I opened the printed programme just before the concert began. I’d seen the “Transatlantic”... read more

Holly Mathieson’s “Dream” debut concert with the NZSO….

By , 14/05/2021
If this were Australia, the use of the word “Dreamtime “ would perhaps more readily come to mind as an idea which loosely connects the three pieces played in this evening’s concert – as it is, in the case of the opening work, Toru Takemitsu’s 1981 work Dreamtime (Yume no Toki), the composer proclaimed his interest in the idea as a kind of starting-point, inspired by an invitation to... read more

Megiddo and Thomson present ‘cello-and-piano treasures at St.Andrew’s

By , 09/05/2021
‘Cellist Robert Ibell was originally scheduled to perform in this concert, but was prevented from doing so by injury,  his place being taken by Inbal Megiddo. I’m not certain whether the programme was the original performer’s choice, or whether Megiddo and pianist Rachel Thomson made changes – there was a rearrangement of the programme’s printed order, which Megiddo announced after she and Thomson had performed their opening item, an... read more

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