Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Inaugural Wellington recital by accomplished violin and piano duo

These two young performers were newcomers to the St Andrew’s scene, but they have played together for years, in New Zealand, Germany and the United Kingdom, and have recently returned from overseas. Their opening item is well-known, but perhaps not in this arrangement.  The piece is technically demanding for the violinist, while the pianist repeats the theme in chords, mainly.  The violinist plays many variations upon it, some of them... read more

Fine Choral Symphony from Wellington Youth Orchestra, but where’s the audience?

The Wellington Youth Orchestra obviously works very hard, and is made up of extremely competent young musicians.  It is only two-and-a-half months since the last concert, which included a taxing Shostakovich Symphony.  Here they are again, playing Beethoven’s demanding final symphony, with choir and soloists; a considerable undertaking for a youth orchestra. But where was the audience?  This major work has not been performed very recently in Wellington.  Perhaps people... read more

Nikolai Demidenko at Upper Hutt’s Classical Expressions

By , 29/07/2013
It was an occasion which brought home to me the refreshing reality of live music-making as opposed to the ethos presented by presentations of the artist "on record". I had not previously heard Nikolai Demidenko in the concert-hall (though he's been to New Zealand before), encountering him only through recordings. It wasn't so much what I'd heard that surprised me, as what I imagined the artist would be like. Photographs... read more

Contemplations of life and death from disparate times and nations

By , 28/07/2013
In 2008 Warren Maxwell, frontman of Little Bushman, collaborated with John Psathas and the Auckland Philharmonia in a concert entitled Little Bushman meet the APO; and in the following year, the NZSO also staged the Little Bushmen collaboration, again with Psathas, and on a film score, The Strength of Water. Psathas approached Maxwell again suggesting the idea of a collaboration that would become Pounamu. It was performed with the Auckland... read more

Robert Costin’s rewarding organ exploration of the Goldberg Variations

By , 26/07/2013
On one of his frequent return visits to New Zealand (he was assistant organist at St Paul’s in the mid 1990s), Robert Costin made time to play at one of the cathedral’s Friday lunchtime recitals that enjoy the title TGIF (Thank God it’s Friday is the full liturgical title). He has created an organ adaptation of the Goldberg Variations, which he has recorded on the organ of Pembroke College, Cambridge... read more

Il Corsaro a delight and a triumph

This New Zealand premiere marked the 200th anniversary of Verdi’s birth,  and was the first of four performances to be staged with two sets of vocal principals on alternate dates. This opening night presented Thomas Atkins as the swashbuckling pirate Corrado, Elisabeth Harris as his lady love Medora, Christian Thurston as the ruthless Pasha Seid, and Isabella Moore as the queen of his harem Gulnara. Il Corsaro was completed in... read more

The Big C from Circa Theatre

This remarkable production follows Paul Jenden’s own journey from his diagnosis with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia, through the rigours of treatment, and on to an eventual state of remission. You might well wonder how such a subject could possibly be the stuff of a lively and entertaining stage show – doubts initially shared by Jenden himself, who writes in the programme: “When I was throwing up in a hospital bed I... read more

NZSM students get the wind up

This concert featured students from the N.Z. School of Music’s Woodwind Department, which is headed by Deborah Rawson, longtime backbone of so much creative wind and saxophone activity in Wellington. The recital was presented by four highly competent and musical students who amply demonstrated that they are blossoming under Deborah’s oversight. The programme opened with clarinetist David McGregor and pianist Kirsten Simpson playing two Romances from R. Schumann’s Op.94. The... read more

Interesting interdisciplinary chamber music exploration led by violinist Jack Liebeck and friends

By , 23/07/2013
This unusual conjunction of music and science derives from a meeting and consequent friendship between violinist Jack Liebeck and Professor Brian Foster, a distinguished physicist and fellow of the Royal Society. Liebeck is interested in science and Foster in music (he is a capable amateur violinist) and their complementary interests led to their meeting in 2003; in 2005, the World Year of Physics, they dreamed up a concert-cum-lecture idea that... read more

Chamber classics from the Te Kōkī Trio

Music hath charms, but this was a bit more powerful than mere charm.  The last Wellington Chamber Music concert to be held in the Ilott Theatre for at least two-and-a-half years while the Wellington Town Hall undergoes earthquake strengthening ended – with an earthquake, just as patrons were leaving the building.  There was a sizeable audience to hear this programme.  I’m sure that they felt a little sad to... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy