Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Roger Hall’s “terrific couple” at last back on stage in Wellington – “Winding Up” at Circa Theatre

By , 01/08/2021
Sir Roger Hall’s “Winding Up”, an exploration of love weathering age and untoward circumstance, has finally made the stage at Circa Theatre, over a year after being first scheduled and then waylaid by Covid-19 and Lockdown. This afternoon its performance by Ginette McDonald and Peter Hayden as the play’s two characters, Gen and Barry, flickered all about to begin with, gradually warmed, then connected with, and finished up conflagrating... read more

A piano recital from a superbly well-prepared young man who obviously enjoyed his playing

By , 01/08/2021
I, and the larger than usual audience, came to this concert with huge expectations. Lixin Zhang is a young man of 19 who had cleaned up all the main piano competitions in New Zealand and was this year a Silver Medallist at the prestigious Gina Bachauer International Young Artists Piano Competition. And indeed, from the very first chords of the Chopin Ballade, or more importantly, from the first pause... read more

Wellington Youth Orchestra and Andrew Joyce take on quintessential Beethoven and Dvořák

By , 31/07/2021
Today’s concert given by the Wellington Youth Orchestra in Lower Hutt’s Anglican Church of St James seemed to me a fascinating instance of a certain event’s “atmosphere” influencing one’s reaction to musical performance. I say this in comparing today’s concert with a not-so-long-ago occasion at the same venue and involving the same players, albeit with a different conductor - though I didn’t think the latter a significant factor in... read more

Sonata and Revolution – pianist Liam Furey at St.Andrew’s-on-The-Terrace

By , 28/07/2021
Liam Furey is an Honours student of Classical Piano and Composition at the NZ School of Music. This ambitious program was a journey of exploration  by a young musician. He invested an incredible effort into memorizing this wide ranging music, which he considered essential to the understanding of these pieces as the theme of “Sonata and Revolution”. Ludwig van Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 31 in A-flat major, Op. 110 This is... read more

Liam Wooding – Reflections and Connections at Woburn’s St.Mark’s Church, Lower Hutt

By , 27/07/2021
Music today has a lot to thank Franz (Ferenc) Liszt for. Among his achievements throughout a life devoted to performing, composing, teaching, promoting, and collegially supporting and encouraging the art-form is his single-handed invention of the phenomenon we know today as “the piano recital”. On June 9th,1840, in London at Hanover Square, Liszt gave the first of two London concerts that were advertised as “recitals”, the first documented occasion... read more

Monstrous and idiosynchrophiliac goings-on with Stroma at Wellington’s Bats Theatre

By , 25/07/2021
The perils of reviewer-conviviality are never so real as when one attends a concert of contemporary music, and sits next to someone in the audience one knows by sight but has never had a chance to talk with seriously, so most pleasantly spends the entire pre-concert time getting properly acquainted, as a result of which one completely forgets to read the concert’s programme notes before the lights are dimmed... read more

“The Long Day Closes” – Mozart, with “Evening Music and Lullabies” from the Bach Choir of Wellington

By , 24/07/2021
This was a concert of two halves, as they say in rugby. The first half consisted of the advertised Mozart Solemn Vespers, and the second half consisted of ‘Evening Music and Lullabies’, on the basis, I suppose, that Vespers is the evening prayer service, one of the Canonical Hours in the Catholic liturgy, although you wouldn’t find any of these items following a Catholic Vespers. But more of this... read more

Henry Purcell’s “Food of Love” at Wellington’s Cathedral of St.Paul

There is a particular pleasure in hearing a duet sung by two voices that are well-matched in timbre, especially when the singers obviously share not only a vocal quality but a musical sensibility and a personal rapport.  Such were the harmonies on offer at this presentation of Purcell songs, performed by old friends Anna Sedcole and Helene Page, and accompanied fluently and unobtrusively on harpsichord by Michael Stewart, the... read more

Ravel and Bartók make companionable and stimulating piano-and-percussion bedfellows in stunning NZSM Adam Concert Room performances

By , 23/07/2021
While waiting in the foyer for the Adam Concert Room to be opened for the NZSM concert, and pricking up my ears to flute snippets from Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra and trumpet phrases from Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade being practised by students in an adjoining studio, I couldn’t help but reflect on the charm and delight of experiencing such a “music-in-the-air” ambience about where I was and what was about to... read more

Breathtakingly accomplished piano playing from Ya-Ting Liou at St. Andrew’s

By , 21/07/2021
Although Ya-Ting Liou is a regular visitor to Wellington and plays recitals all over New Zealand, she is hardly recognized among New Zealand's best known pianists. This is undoubtedly due to her excessive modesty, because she is, without any doubt, technically the most accomplished pianist you are likely to hear. She opened the programme with Shostakovich's Prelude and Fugue No. 5. This is not Shostakovich of the Leningrad Symphony. This... read more

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