Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Gilbert and Sullivan double bill a delight…..

By , 30/06/2011
"I do my best to satisfy you all" sings Captain Corcoran to the crew of H.M.S.Pinafore - and we in the audience at Wellington 's Opera House could well have, at the end of the evening, echoed the crew's reply, regarding the production, "And with you we're quite content!" For this was a rollicking good night in the theatre - the stage spectacle entertaining and colourful, and the music... read more

Felix the Quartet opens the Sunday series emphatically

By , 26/06/2011

Felix the Quartet, which is drawn from string players of the NZSO, has been going for more than a decade. Former concertmaster Wilma Smith was a founding member and her place was taken by incoming concertmaster Vesa-Matti Leppänen. If players of this calibre had been playing together as a full-time quartet over that time, I suspect the impact of their performances would be a little more... read more

Romeo and Juliet – beautiful but cool from Inkinen and the NZSO

By , 25/06/2011
British comedians Michael Flanders and Donald Swann penned a number called "A Friendly Duet" for their successful 1960s revue At The Drop of Another Hat, a song containing references to various famous pairs of lovers in history and literature - including, of  course, Romeo and Juliet : No romance, said Juliet, I haven't left school yet, We're friends - just friends! Throughout much of the first half of the NZSO's Romeo and Juliet... read more

Medlyn and Greager Liederabend at St Andrew’s

An enthusiastic and appreciative, though not large, audience greeted these three very experienced and accomplished musicians.  It was a treat to have a substantial lieder recital like this – and only a day after senior students of the New Zealand School of Music performed lieder at St. Andrew’s on The Terrace.

The programme began with Richard Greager and Bruce Greenfield performing six of Schubert’s songs:... read more

Talented students in wonderful Lieder recital

With an interesting programme, this concert had added appeal for the opportunity to hear and see students from the New Zealand School of Music performing lieder.

So much the better that the singers were accompanied by an accompanist marked by sensitive and musical playing; the piano lid being on the short stick seemed just right when the accompanying... read more

Top German Youth Choir on tour – revelations

Christophorus Kantorei is a choir from a high school in Altensteig in the Black Forest in Germany. The choir has become renowned for its excellence, and the singers tour overseas every four years. Our good fortune was that at present two of the 60 singers are from Tawa, while their father, who organised this tour, works in Germany.

The conductor, Michael Nonnenmann, is a tall, genial gentleman, who... read more

Diedre Irons – piano pleasures at Waikanae

By , 19/06/2011
To describe Diedre Irons' piano playing as "thoroughly engaging" might seem to some too much of an all-purpose, over-generalized comment, out-of-step with more serious analysis of the kind one associates with a "proper" review. However, I think this quality of engagement is intrinsic to any discussion of a musician's work as a performer in front of an audience. Irons seems incapable of playing a mechanical or dissociated phrase, so... read more

NZSM viola students shine at St Andrew’s lunchtime concert

By , 15/06/2011

The interest of these concerts from students rests as much with the experience of hearing gifted though partly-formed players, as with hearing music that is rarely heard at ordinary concerts. I sometimes hear somewhat condescending critical remarks from people who see concerts as opportunities to display their own knowledge and imagined refined taste and discernment.  The real pleasure however lies in the revelations that one can derive from... read more

Innovative, impressive concert by Brentano Quartet

The first surprise in this concert was that the quartet was to play arrangements of works for voices by Byrd and Gibbons. Never fear, this was no romantic send-up; the musicians played their instruments as if they were viols. The lack of vibrato and the method of bowing made them sound like authentic instruments of the composers’ time. As Mark Steinberg’s programme note pointed out, playing from a... read more

Triumphant Mahler Six from Inkinen and NZSO

By , 10/06/2011

The absence of a notable soloist usually leads to a less well populated auditorium, but clearly the name Mahler works like a famous composer and a star soloist rolled into one. There were a few gaps, to be sure, and I speculate that they would have been filled if the orchestra had not abandoned its ‘senior rush’, discounted late ticket selling policy.

Audience... read more

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