Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Melanie Lina – celebrating her “L’isle Joyeuse” at St.Andrews

By , 27/02/2013
I didn't manage to get to hear the very beginning of Melanie Lina's St.Andrews lunchtime concert recital, crashing in (metaphorically) at what seemed the stormiest point of the Waldstein Sonata's first movement development section, ostensibly a good place in which to make a late entrance as an audience member!  In truth, I had foreseen that things would keep me from making the starter's call, so had arranged for my... read more

Delight with a sting in the tail – Cosi fan tutte at Days Bay Opera

By , 21/02/2013
It's presently a feast for aficionados of outdoor theatre, in Wellington - firstly, Antony and Cleopatra splendidly strutting their Summer Shakespeare stuff in the Dell at the Botanical Gardens (on until March 2nd, incidentally); and now this latest delight from the Opera in a Days Bay Garden - Mozart's and librettist da Ponte's most exquisitely-contrived work for the stage, Cosi fan tutte. Cosi's opening night fortunately caught something of the... read more

Organ Megalomania: Christopher Hainsworth courtesy Maxwell Fernie

Chris Hainsworth believes that organ recitals should not be solemn, passive affairs. Wisecracks and commentary from the organ loft (not all of which could be heard toward the front of the church) and jocular groupings of pieces in the printed programme (e.g. The Four Seasons – NOT by Vivaldi; Strictly for the Birds and Grand Megalomaniacal Improvisation) gave the flavour. However, the layout on the printed page was not... read more

LDA rides again – a new lease of life for a life in music

By , 12/02/2013
Louis Daly Austin - London-born teacher, composer, New Zealand pianist, columnist and inveterate letter-writer - lived a long and productive life ... too long and too productive would be the opinion of his detractors, and it would be fair to say that there were many. Readers of newspapers and of the Listener during the 1950s and 1960s would no doubt remember being subjected to a barrage of sharply-worded letters... read more

Anna Leese and Terence Dennis in wonderful recital at Waikanae

What an interesting programme this was, with a nice mixture of songs and operatic arias! The known and the less-well-known. Anna Leese’s voice has developed even more since I last heard her, in the role of Tatyana in Eugene Onegin in Wellington, in 2009.  One of the impressive factors in her singing is her ability to modify style and tone for the character, text and music of each individual song ... read more

The twelfth Nelson Chamber Music Festival breaks records – again

By , 09/02/2013
Introduction The Nelson International Chamber Music Festival has become by far the largest classical music festival in the country, increasing the trend well established in Europe and North America, to build music festivals into summer holiday plans. While the festival’s duration has been reduced from the previously normal length of some 17 days to ten, with more concerts each day, in all other respects it is bigger. It was an enlargement in... read more

Youthful brilliance from the NZSO National Youth Orchestra

By , 08/02/2013
Called a “Summer Residency Concert”, this NZSO National Youth Orchestra presentation most effectively highlighted the skills of some of the country’s top youthful musicians. This was done by allocating works featuring the orchestra’s different sections to make up the concert’s first half. Following this, the whole orchestra came together to perform Brahms’ genial and much-loved Second Symphony. The idea looked good on paper, and worked, I thought, marvellously in practice, thanks... read more

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