Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Ecstatic applause for Freddy Kempf’s first three Beethoven concertos with the NZSO

The NZSO undertook this programme with significantly pruned string resources, making a nod towards  the size  of orchestra Beethoven would have performed these works with himself. The balance and sympathy between the sections was, as always, exemplary and the concert was marked throughout by superb solo playing from wind and brass principals alike, and the impeccable string work that audiences never fail to hear from the NZSO. Born in London... read more

Opera Boutique with a boisterous Pergolesi double bill

Boutique Opera has not performed for a number of years; it was pleasing to see them back, with light-hearted material as last time – though Edward German’s Tom Jones was very different from the current offering. Giovanni Pergolesi had a short life: 1710-36.  He wrote a number of operas, some more successful than others.  Both the works performed in this programme were written as Intermezzi, the light-hearted works performed as... read more

Violin and harp in enchanting lunchtime concert at St Andrew’s

By , 25/02/2015
The harp seems to be asserting itself at present. Though it’s been a pretty standard orchestral instrument since the early 19th century, and a much loved solo instrument both in its many ethnic forms as well as in its larger, more sophisticated character, there doesn’t seem to be a very large body of chamber music involving it. This recital may well have been inspired in part by the presence of... read more

St Andrew’s lunchtime concerts resume for 2015 with a piano quintet

An attractive programme brought a good-sized audience to the first St. Andrew’s lunchtime concert for 2015.  Many people are grateful to the church and to Marjan van Waardenberg, for providing so many marvellous concerts. Unfortunately, another engagement meant that I was able to hear only the Schubert in its entirety.  The opening allegro moderato of the sonata featured very lively, bright playing, as did the scherzo: presto that followed.  The andantino... read more

Days Bay Opera in great success with early opera, La Calisto

By , 11/02/2015
Review modified and edited by Lindis Taylor from Peter Mechen's notes for his on-air review for Upbeat!) In Days Bay Opera’s growing record of enterprising opera productions, this one was perhaps the most adventurous yet; it was certainly the earliest. La Calisto was first performed in Venice in 1651 – the composer was Francesco Cavalli and the libretto was written by Cavalli’s most frequent collaborator, Giovanni Faustini. For the... read more

Great New Zealand tenor Keith Lewis in rare recital

Keith Lewis presented the audience with an evening of great artistry, ably accompanied by Susan Melville, a Hawke’s Bay musician.  Current doyen of New Zealand tenors, he is little heard, or even known, in his own country.  He gave lovers of the singing voice much to enjoy.  The word ‘mellifluous’ was invented for voices like Keith Lewis’s. Right from the outset, in Scarlatti’s appealing song Le Violette, Lewis impressed with... read more

Unorthodox organist Christopher Hainsworth with brilliant late trumpeter Nicolas Planchon

A concert of two halves, the result of trumpeter Nicolas Planchon being held up, courtesy of airlines, in Dubai.  The outcome for the sizeable audience on Sunday afternoon was a recital that included the organist’s cellist son playing a borrowed cello and downloaded music.  A free concert was announced for the following lunchtime, by which hour the absent trumpeter would have arrived.  Inevitably, not so many people could avail... read more

Last three days of the triumphant 2015 Chamber Music Festival in Nelson

By , 08/02/2015
Thursday 5 February For the first time, at this festival, two trips out of Nelson were organised, primarily as part of the full festival pass package; on Tuesday it was St Arnaud on Lake Rotoiti; today, to Upper Moutere to visit Höglund’s glass studio, the Neudorf Winery and a concert by The Song Company in a beautiful country church. I decided to remain in Nelson in spite of that meaning foregoing... read more

Nelson chamber music festival: the second three days, with a trip to St Arnaud

By , 05/02/2015

Monday 2 February

PianoFest I: Dance Sunday’s rain which had been threatened to continue today, disappeared and there was sun first thing, but clouds soon returned and umbrellas reappeared as we set off for the 10.30 PianoFest I: Dance. It featured four prominent New Zealand pianists: David Guerin, Jian Liu, Stephen de Pledge and Sarah Watkins. ‘Dance’ was a rather approximate term as the first piece, Ravel’s Mother Goose, in the... read more

Thirteenth Nelson chamber music festival better than ever: the first three days

By , 02/02/2015
Introduction Coverage of this year’s Adam Chamber Music Festival (the 13th) will be divided into three parts. This first part covers the concerts, ignoring the Gala Dinner on Thursday the 29th at which an ad hoc variety of music was played, from Friday 30 January to Sunday 1 February. Parts 2 and 3 will follow. Readers who have been drawn to the website of Chamber Music New Zealand will recognize among the... read more

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