Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust


By , 31/07/2015
Robert Hoskins' typically perceptive programme notes for this concert quoted a significant remark made by painter Toss Woollaston to Douglas Lilburn, which the composer later recalled. Talking specifically about work by New Zealand artists, Woollaston stated that "environment should give it character". Lilburn seems, on the showing of some of the most important of his piano pieces in this concert, to have taken Woollaston's remark to heart. One is tempted... read more

Recorders and piano leap into the 20th century with attractive, interesting English music

This was an unusual concert.  Recorders play early music, right?  The music played this time was not early or baroque, but contemporary. And it was written for recorders and piano.  All the works were by twentieth century English composers.  I suppose that only the names Edmund Rubbra and Lennox Berkeley would be familiar. Antony Hopkins (not the actor) was the first of seven such composers featured.  His suite of four short... read more

Music Futures’ praiseworthy venture with young Wellington musicians

By , 26/07/2015
This was the second annual concert by a group set up last year to help young musicians in Wellington. The organisation exists to provide performance opportunities, access to masterclasses and workshops, mentoring by professional musicians, financial awards and the hire of musical instruments. The choir which opened the concert showed one of the advantages of co-education while at the same time being in nicely segregated institutions; the two colleges virtually... read more

Mellifluous reeds hold sway at St.Andrew’s

By , 22/07/2015
Having recently enjoyed the concert given by the NZSM's saxophone students, I found myself looking forward to hearing their "wind cousins", the clarinettists, do their stuff. On the way to the concert I found myself thinking of what one would call a group of clarinettists  - of course, players themselves may well have devised their own unilaterally-accepted collective term, of which I'm unaware.  Nevertheless I had fun turning over words... read more

Young pianist Stella Lu plays delightful recital for Pataka Friends

The first observation was of Stella Lu’s extreme youth; I understand she is still at school, yet she passed her Grade 8 piano examination in 2012.  The second observation was that the walls of the Helen Smith room have been painted since I reviewed Ludwig Treviranus’s concert there two years ago, and they now appear to be covered with a matt paint, not the glossy paint they had then... read more

Kapiti Chamber Choir tackles highly ambitious all-Jewish programme including a major Bloch work

By , 19/07/2015
Two hours of composers who, I imagine, would have been no more than names to most, even those with a fairly good knowledge of 20th century music, might have looked a bit unappetising to an audience for choral music. So to start, I was surprised to find the church pretty full. And though there was nothing to suggest that other than Jewish music would be in the programme, I rather expected... read more

Miranda Wilson – bringing it back home from Idaho

By , 17/07/2015
Trying to think of an appropriate heading for the review of this concert presented me with something of a challenge (as I find words do in general). After wrestling inconsequentially  with a number of thoughts, I finally hit upon the idea of celebrating what seemed to me a particularly distinctive Trans-Pacific connection through music, one which had happily resulted in this concert being presented here in Wellington for our... read more

School of Music voices on display with varied and interesting programme

It is always interesting to hear the voice students.  Some are undoubtedly more advanced in their studies than others, although the good-sized audience were not vouchsafed that information.  All were accompanied by Mark W. Dorrell.  It was interesting to note that the piano lid was not raised at all – a very sensible decision when accompanying young singers. Declan Cudd, tenor, was up first, with ‘Ah, se fosse intorno al... read more

Brilliance, poetry, power and passion from Trpčeski, Petrenko and the NZSO

By , 10/07/2015
Friday evening's NZSO concert in Wellington promised to fully live up to its hyperbolic "Power and Passion" description, with Macedonian pianist Simon Trpčeski at the keyboard and St.Petersburg-born Vasily Petrenko on the podium. Expectations were high, each musician having made a profound and enduring impression when performing previously (on separate occasions) with the orchestra. As well, the coupling of Liszt with Mahler was undoubtedly an inspired piece of programming, bringing... read more

Excellent singing from Choir of Christ’s College, Cambridge with minor non-musical shortcomings

Considering the atrocious weather, it was a pleasant surprise to find a sizeable audience at the church; the main body of the church was well-filled, and more than a handful of people occupied the seats in the raised section at the back. However, it was disappointing to find a poor substitute for a printed programme. The composers and titles were merely listed, with below a description of the choir’s role and... read more

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