Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Wellington Youth Orchestra under Hamish McKeich with winning Brahms and Rachmaninov

By , 29/05/2015
One might as well begin by quoting the information about the provenance of the theme of the Brahms variations that is offered in Wikipedia: “In 1870, Brahms's friend Carl Ferdinand Pohl, the librarian of the Vienna Philharmonic Society, who was working on a Haydn biography at the time, showed Brahms a transcription he had made of a piece attributed to Haydn titled Divertimento No. 1. The second movement bore the heading... read more

A new Baroque ensemble on a cold evening at Wesley Church, Taranaki Street, musical strengths, but…

Camerata is a new, small chamber orchestra.  Anne Loeser is a violinist in the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, where Peter Dykes also plays.  For the first item, the group consisted of four violins, viola, cello and double bass; only the latter two instruments were played by males (not counting Peter Dykes). Its programme was attractive, but the hour-long concert did not attract any more than a small audience.  Other negatives... read more

The strings of the School of Music take turn with wonderful Bach programme for St Andrew’s

By , 28/05/2015
This was the last of the four concerts devoted to student players from the university School of Music.  Perhaps in future years we’ll also have concerts from woodwind and brass players, and singers, even organists and harpsichordists and percussionists; but these four have shown that it’s possible to attract good audiences more than just once a week. The limitation is no doubt the level of energy that the unpaid... read more

Revival of Victoria Voices for all-comers a welcome return

The varied programme was presented to a modest-sized audience. Victoria Voices  was promoted as a new ensemble, but in a sense it is a revival; the School of Music has had choirs before, but not for a number of years.  Of course, the students in it were probably not in its predecessors. There are approx. 50 singers in this all-comers choir of students and staff from various faculties of the university... read more

Ensembled delights from the NZSM Saxophones at St.Andrew’s

By , 27/05/2015
There's more "classical" music written for the saxophone than you might think exists - after all the instrument has been around since 1846, and as such is more "established " than its twentieth-century prominence in jazz might suggest. Still, there remains an "exoticism" about the instrurment's particular sound for classically-attuned ears such as mine(!), and one which I find particularly exciting whenever I hear it, be it solo, in... read more

NZSM Piano Students impress at St.Andrew’s

By , 26/05/2015
What a pianistic feast this was! - more appropriately so for a lunchtime concert, with nothing given us that was too large-scale or difficult to digest easily. Which is not to suggest that the repertoire chosen by the students was anything less than challenging, both technically and interpretatively. Each of the performers impressed with their intense involvement in the music-making - I felt they all to a creditable extent made... read more

Guitar students deliver impressive performances in spite of relative inexperience in tough field

By , 25/05/2015
The first of the four programmes arranged by the enterprising manager of the St Andrew's lunchtime concerts, Marjan van Waardenberg, with the New Zealand School of Music in an effort to draw more particular attention to the school’s contribution to Wellington, downtown. As was to be expected, the audience was somewhat smaller than that for the usual Wednesday concerts, but it was by no means an embarrassment. Guitars, though still... read more

An evening’s enjoyment of wonderful things in Lower Hutt

By , 25/05/2015
The programme devised for this concert certainly made the most of the music and the performers, as well as pleasing the audience no end - having works for variously two, three and four musicians provided plenty of variety, while the performances established and maintained levels of skill, intensity, beauty and enjoyment that would have graced a recital platform anywhere in the world. On the face of things, hardest-working of the... read more

Impressive semi-staged Elijah from Orpheus Choir, Orchestra Wellington and superb soloists

I found this performance of Elijah entertaining, inspiring, and of a very high standard.  So did the large, attentive audience, who responded enthusiastically.  After the performance, I heard many favourable comments. The first thing that struck one coming into the auditorium was the huge screen behind the choir seats.  However, it was not used for projecting images, but was simply suffused with colour.  The colour chosen varied with the mood... read more

School of Music Orchestra wins audience delight with demanding programme

Once again, the audience was treated to a very demanding programme brought off with skill and panache by the NZSM orchestra, with the help of quite a number of guest players. It coupled the familiar with the unfamiliar.  The opening piece from Smetana’s Má Vlast was familiar, but seldom programmed recently, within my hearing.  It provided a good work-out for a student orchestra.  There was plenty of scope for the... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy