Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Recital from pianist and concertmaster at Orchestra Wellington’s Saturday concert

By , 30/10/2018
The audience at Orchestra Wellington’s Saturday concert in which Christopher Park played Bartok’s piano concerto No 1 was invited to this lunchtime concert, and came along in good numbers (though fewer than for Johannes Moser after the NZSO concert where he’d played Shostakovich’s First Cello Concerto); he was joined by the orchestra’s concert master Amalia Hall, a friend, who was apparently instrumental in getting him to New Zealand to... read more

Great performances of unfamiliar Bartók and major Dvořák introduced by young geniuses

By , 27/10/2018
Each year, one of Orchestra Wellington’s concerts is embellished by a contribution from Arohnui Strings, the Sistema-inspired children’s orchestra based in the Hutt Valley. They took their places at the beginning of the concert in the place of most of the regular strings of Orchestra Wellington, interspersed by a few of the professionals to lend some body to the sound. The nerves and excitement of the young players infected... read more

Exuberance and poetry from pianist and conductor Lars Vogt with the NZSO

By , 26/10/2018
Review for "Upbeat" RNZ Concert (with David Morriss) Monday 29th October 2018 There's always great interest whenever somebody decides to take on the dual role of soloist and conductor in the performance of music - we had Freddy Kempf here with the NZSO a few years ago playing the entire cycle of Beethoven Piano Concertos, for example, which, from all accounts , was a great success. And now, with even more... read more

“Hammers and Horsehair” (joined with birdsong) enchant an Aro St audience in Wellington

By , 25/10/2018
We sat amid soft lighting on comfortable, homely furniture, talking softly with our fellow audience-members while listening to pianist Douglas Mews “tuning up” his square piano and then “playing us in” with music that I for one didn’t know – it actually sounded, appropriately enough, like a kind of improvisation, perfect for warming up player, instrument and our increasingly attentive ears, until all was ready. ‘Cellist Robert Ibell having... read more

A lunchtime concert for the exploratory and spirited on violin and cello

By , 24/10/2018
Duos between the piano and many other instruments are numerous, but between pairs of other instruments, without a keyboard, rare; though string quartets and less often string trios and quintets seem to be popular and work well. This was an opportunity to put it to the test. Halvorsen’s Passacaglia based on a theme from Handel’s harpsichord suite in G minor is not completely obscure. The tune lends itself to variations and... read more

Polished viola student performances of Bach suites plus some unfamiliar music at St Andrew’s

By , 17/10/2018
One rarely goes to a recital by students from Victoria University’s school of music (also known as the New Zealand School of Music and Te Koki), without being surprised to be exposed to interesting, often unfamiliar music played admirably by gifted players. Zephyr Wills began with the first two movements of Schubert’s sonata for Arpeggione, the odd and short-lived hybrid guitar-cello (D 821). No one today plays the weird instrument... read more

No better way of concluding a year’s worth of glorious music-making! Ensemble LTJJI at Hutt Valley Chamber Music’s final 2018 concert.

By , 15/10/2018
Undoubtedly a mouth-watering prospect on paper, this concert nevertheless had some surprises in store, almost entirely in the realm of the transcription of Mozart’s Piano Concerto K.414 for piano and string quartet, made by the composer himself to increase the music’s likelihood of being played in whatever form.  He obviously had very little faith in the extent of his audiences’ musical sensibilities, describing in a letter of December 1782... read more

Admirable concert of well-chosen music from Wellington Youth Orchestra under Mark Carter

By , 14/10/2018
The last musical occasion I was in the Riley Centre (alias, the school hall) at Wellington High School was, I think, for the splendid International Viola Congress in 2001, led by the indomitable Professor Donald Maurice (as was the most recent one in Wellington in 2016). My recollection of the acoustic then was confirmed on Sunday. The orchestra has tended to confine itself in recent, post-Town Hall years, to... read more

Monumental NZSO concert of Russian masterpieces with cellist Johannes Moser

By , 13/10/2018
This Russian programme might have been expected to be a winner, but it wasn’t, in terms of audience size. However, in terms of musical quality and sheer excitement, it was a tremendous success. It’s a surprise to me that Shostakovich’s 1st cello concerto didn’t fill every seat; does that suggest that our musical horizons are getting narrower every year? For it’s a truly stupendous work, and we heard one of... read more

Choral concert to celebrate new digital organ at Cathedral of Saint Paul

With the organ moved to the side, the rather small audience had full view of the choirs in their red cassocks.  In his introduction, Michael Stewart referred to ‘choral blockbusters’; we had a few of them!  First was Handel’s famous coronation anthem ‘Zadok the Priest’.  It was sung with the usual robust cheerfulness, as was the next anthem, Parry’s ‘I was glad’.  Richard Apperley accompanied this in fine style... read more

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