Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Memorable choral singing from Copenhagen Royal Chapel Choir

While it was always my intention to attend this concert, an email from a Dunedin friend that urged me to go said the following: “They filled the cathedral here, got a standing ovation and a rave review.”  Indeed, Wellington Cathedral was very nearly full, also.  I’m told this means around 600 people attended. The opening item, Evening Prayer was by a contemporary Danish composer, Niels la Cour.  It was sung... read more

Delightful, varied recital by Ingrid Culliford and Kris Zuelicke at St Andrew’s

By , 29/04/2015
A flute recital that contained no big composer names might not have seemed particularly enticing. And in some ways it wasn’t, there was nothing that really demanded being embedded in the memory or prompted a visit to Parsons (whoops!) to look for a CD of a particular piece. What made it interesting (for me at least) was the theme of Australia, no doubt bearing in mind a centenary that is... read more

NZSO and Sydney Symphony Orchestra in moving shared ANZAC concert of new works by composers of both countries

By , 27/04/2015
Note that this review is for the most part what I wrote and posted on this website two days later on Friday 24 April, but now modified in various ways in the light of listening to its broadcast by Radio New Zealand Concert on Saturday evening. I delayed further, to listen to the broadcast on Monday afternoon of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra's performance (presumably also performed on the Wednesday). The New Zealand Symphony... read more

Halida Dinova – quintessentially romantic pianism

By , 27/04/2015
I was thrilled to learn that Russian-born Halida Dinova had returned to New Zealand to give more concerts, as I'd been bowled over by her playing on the occasion of her last visit two years ago. On that occasion she played in Lower Hutt at the Little Theatre on a piano that had been pronounced "past its expiry date" and made it sound like one of the world's most... read more

A brave Kapiti Chamber Choir gives good account of Bach’s Mass in B minor

By , 26/04/2015
The Kapiti Chamber Choir is the smaller of the two choirs in the district (the other, larger, choir is the Kapiti Chorale) established or taken over by Peter Godfrey after he came to Kapiti. Some might have felt that it was singularly ambitious for an amateur choir to tackle one of the biggest and most demanding choral works. In their defence, however, their conductor Eric Sidoti reported that this was... read more

New Zealand String Quartet in challenging music including pieces by Ross Harris

The pre-concert talk from Ross Harris made it clear that this concert was something a little different: he was invited by Chamber Music New Zealand’s former Chief Executive, Euan Murdoch, to curate the concert.  That is, he got to choose the works, to include his own, and to give the pre-concert talk and introduce each item – and write some of the notes in the printed programme.  He has... read more

Italian Embassy brings pianist to Wellington with interesting programme

By , 19/04/2015
A colleague picked up information about a piano recital by a visiting Italian pianist, under the auspices of the Italian Embassy. Luciano Bellini: not a name I knew; a bare outline of his programme; some names that suggested quite serious music among some oddities and curiosities. One has to take seriously someone advertising Berg’s Piano Sonata, as well as a couple of pieces by Italian composers of real distinction: Berio... read more

Outstanding programme by New Zealand String Quartet at Waikanae

Since Gillian, Helene and now Douglas have all suffered hand injuries, is Rolf Gjelsten next – or does it simply prove that the cello is much the safest instrument to play?   The audience at Waikanae was fortunate that the substitute for Douglas Beilman was such a fine chamber musician as Donald Armstrong. Gillian Ansell introduced the first work as being both sublime and light-hearted, and so it proved.  The superb balance... read more

Orchestra Wellington on brilliant form opens six-concert series dominated by Tchaikovsky, Michael Houstoun and Russia

By , 18/04/2015
The year’s programme which this concert inaugurated, has been most interestingly designed; with aspects that should kindle the interest of newcomers, of which I imagine there were many, as well as those more familiar with the orchestral repertoire. This was achieved by the brilliant device of offering all six concerts for $108, or $18 each, so filling the auditorium.  I’m sure this is an example of the sophisticated economic phenomenon: 'Less... read more

First-class performances from Sydney Conservatorium violin and piano duo for IRMT

These two performers are currently giving master classes in various New Zealand cities, under the auspices of the IRMT; their Wellington master class with ensembles made up of students from the New Zealand School of Music at Victoria University followed the recital.  This may have accounted in part for the excellent attendance. If Richter and Carrigan are anything to go by, students at the Sydney Conservatorium have the advantage of... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy