Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Romance with elegance – Jian Liu plays Schumann and Liszt

By , 30/05/2012
What a delight for piano-fanciers! - here at the Adam Concert Room was a free recital featuring two of the cornerstone works of Romantic piano literature served up for us by pianist Jian Liu, currently the co-ordinator of classical piano studies at the New Zealand School of Music. Both works fully tested the player, producing in each instance a strongly-etched interpretation from an obviously well-equipped musician who possessed an... read more

Organist Paul Rosoman opens Old Saint Paul’s lunchtime series

Tuesday saw the first of the lunchtime concerts at Old St. Paul’s for 2012; the first of  a series that runs weekly until late September.  It was well-attended, in a rather cold church – though the under-seat heaters were on. Cold fingers may have been a bit of a problem for Paul Rosoman, especially early in the concert, since a number of ‘fluffs’ occurred in an otherwise well-executed recital.  There... read more

Rhapsodic strains from the NZSM Orchestra with Kenneth Young

By , 29/05/2012
Every NZSM Orchestra concert I go to seems to surpass the previous one in some respect or other, to the extent that I now expect to encounter on each new concert occasion a stimulating and innovative programme and a high standard of performance skills from all concerned. This latest one was certainly no exception, with conductor Ken Young at the orchestral helm securing from the students (and some of... read more

Wonderland in name and deed – Made In New Zealand

By , 25/05/2012
This was a "Made In New Zealand" concert which packed a real wallop, featuring three substantial pieces of music by different New Zealand composers - all of whom, incidentally, were present.  While none of the performances on this occasion were premieres, each one seemed to me to freshly unwrap the music, and square up whole-heartedly to the technical and emotional challenges of each of the pieces' different physical and... read more

Sayers and Mapp, varied and delightful piano duets at Waikanae

By , 20/05/2012
A concert of piano duets (four hands on one piano) is likely to raise discussion about the propriety of arrangements and the voicing of opinions about the merits of an orchestral arrangement of a piece for piano four hands (or two hands, for that matter). As it happens, most of the music at this concert was originally written for four hands though two were later orchestrated for a ballet. The opening... read more

And the earth moved – The Tudor Consort performs Brumel’s Earthquake Mass

By , 19/05/2012
The Tudor Consort, directed by Michael Stewart, performed Antoine Brumel’s monumental  Missa Et ecce terrae motus (The ‘Earthquake’ Mass) on Saturday 19 May at 7.30 in Wellington Cathedral of St Paul. The title is taken from the plainsong antiphon “Et ecce terrae motus” (And the earth moved) sung at the office of Lauds on Easter Sunday. The antiphon text describes the moment of Christ’s Resurrection: “And behold there was... read more

A magnificent Rigoletto, almost too close for comfort….

By , 19/05/2012
Very much an opera-going experience for our time (and thus ostensibly at the mercy of the “updating” phenomenon which subjects present-day opera-goers to all kinds of directorial mayhem), this latest NBR New Zealand Opera production of “Rigoletto” seemed to me to be a triumph of substance over flash, of intelligence over sensation-mongering.  One goes to the opera these days ready for anything, expecting to be challenged as much as... read more

Bartók’s Duos on folk music from two violists, Donald Maurice and Claudine Bigelow

Despite the atrocious weather in Wellington the audience was of a reasonable size at what was a lecture-recital rather than a concert – but none the worse for that. Donald Maurice is well known locally as a violist, and as one of the performers and the promoter of Alfred Hill’s string quartets recordings. Caroline Bigelow came here from the Brigham Young University School of Music on a Fulbright scholarship, to work... read more

Wellington NZ Choral Federation – celebrating 25 years of workshops with the best of ’em!

By , 12/05/2012
Twenty-five years ago this year, Sir David Willcocks, doyen of British choral conductors at the time, came to New Zealand  and took the very first of the New Zealand Choral Federation Wellington workshops. Local  choral conductor John Knox, who had sung in the Bach Choir in London under Willcocks, had formed a friendship with him over time, and invited him to come and conduct choirs in New Zealand (one... read more

Interesting assortment of arrangements for viola ensembles from the New Zealand School of Music

By , 09/05/2012
Viola students at the New Zealand School of Music have formed this group which has given several concerts in Wellington as well as at the International Viola Conference in Sydney. The programme listed seven players who took part but not identified in each of the trios, quartets, quintets and the final sextet; plus one, Andrew Filmer, who played in the Mozart. Their programme was, of necessity, rather odd-ball, for not... read more

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