Young Musicians enliven lunchtime at St.Andrew’s

New Zealand School of Music presents:
Young Musicians’ Concert

St. Andrews on the Terrace

Wednesday, 3rd July 2013

This concert featured members of the N.Z. School of Music Young Musicians Programme, which provides opportunities for gifted young people to work with the cream of New Zealand performers, composers and music educators, as well as overseas visitors, faculty staff and gifted post-graduate NZSM students. Seven performers contributed to a well rounded programme which demonstrated that there is no shortage of well trained, able younger musicians coming up the ranks.

Firstly Harry Di Somma sang Brahms’ Leibestreu and Schubert’s An Sylvia, in a sensitive, musical presentation, with promising cantabile, good dynamics and phrasing, and sound intonation. His love of the works was obvious from his face, but he needs to release his whole body to express more fully the feelings he wants to convey.

Next Sophie Smith sang Brahms’ An Ein Veilchen in a remarkably well rounded, mature voice with a sure cantabile, good dynamic control and artistic phrasing. Her overall musicianship, mature voice and accomplished singing quite belied the petite figure that stood before us in her school tunic, and I believe we will see her go far with her talents.

Nino Raphael then sang Schumann’s Im Walde and Purcell’s Music for a While in a warm expressive performance with a quality of vocal timbre, phrasing and dynamics that supported a sure cantabile line throughout. He has yet to develop strength at the outer limits of his range, but he has plentiful talents to build on.

The singers were accompanied at the piano by John Broadbent, whose sure technical support and musicianship greatly enhanced the three partnerships. His crafting and balance of piano dynamics  with each voice was exemplary, easily the best piano ensemble work I have heard in the challenging acoustics that musicians must now grapple with since alterations were completed at St.Andrews.

John Tan was the first of the instrumental students, playing a Scarlatti Sonata and two piano works by Albeniz. It was a musical, expressive performance supported by a thoroughly competent technique. He can well afford to rely upon it, and need not have succumbed to the nerves that caused him to rush in the technically demanding final section of the Malaguena.

Next was an arrangement of Erroll Garner’s classic ballad Misty in a charming, sensitive rendition by guitarist Amber Madriaga. It was a perfect gem but was very difficult to hear back in the hall. Amber needs to project her lovely sound much more when playing in spaces this size.

Pianist Prin Keerasuntonpong followed with Granados’ Quejas o la Maja y el Ruisenor. He amply captured the shifting moods of its rich melodies and textures and demonstrated the skill and sensitivity that have doubtless earned him the scholarship he has secured to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

The final performer was Jamie Garrick, a fourth year guitar student at NZSM. He played Mertz’ Romanze from Bardenklange, and the Introduction and Caprice from Regondi’s Op.23. His sure technique supported musical phrasing and dynamics. However, a somewhat aimless approach did little to clarify the musical form of the Introduction, though this improved with the clearer melodic writing of the Caprice section.

Overall this was a thoroughly enjoyable concert that amply demonstrated the talents of New Zealand’s younger musicians.  It deserved a better audience.

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