Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Kiwa Quartet takes enjoyable, interesting journey through 125 years of quartet repertoire for Wellington Chamber Music

By , 26/05/2019
Listening to string quartet music is a delightful way of spending a Sunday afternoon. We have had the privilege of hearing three excellent string quartets over the last three weeks, the New Zealand String Quartet, the Aroha Quartet, and now the Kiwa Quartet.  It is fortunate for Wellington to have such an abundance of talent around. The Kiwa Quartet was formed in 2015 as part of a project supported by... read more

“Under every grief & pine/runs a joy with silken twine” – Martin Riesley plays unaccompanied Bach at St.Andrew’s, Wellington

By , 24/05/2019
This was a benefit concert to help raise funds for refurbishing the Church’s pipe organ. Bach himself wasn’t known as a violinist to the same extent as he was a keyboard player, yet according to his son, Carl Philippe Emanuel, “he played the violin cleanly and powerfully”, and his familiarity with the instrument is evident in the way he wrote his six Violin Sonatas and Partitas (BWV 1001-1006), so they... read more

NZSM Orchestra speaks its concert presentation’s name with skill and conviction at St.Andrew’s

By , 21/05/2019
Though having just tut-tutted over the NZSO’s somewhat loose “title” attached to its most recent concert, I’m much less inclined towards adverse comment regarding the NZSM Orchestra’s publicity legend  for ITS latest presentation, “Darkness and Light”.  It’s a reasonably apposite description of the moods of what was being played at the evening’s concert, conveying something of the music’s range and impact as was performed, here brilliantly and most satisfyingly... read more

Memorable, Houstoun-led recital of gorgeous piano quartets at Waikanae

By , 19/05/2019
Concerts featuring Michael Houstoun, alone, or with others, have usually attracted big audiences at Waikanae. This Sunday afternoon concert, which attracted, I’d guess, around 400, couldn’t have been accommodated in any of the usual chamber music venues in Wellington other than the too-large Michael Fowler Centre or perhaps St Mary of the Angels. The advertised line-up for this concert had included Andrew Thomson on the viola; he was replaced... read more

A beautiful concert of Romantic symphonic music from the NZSO under Thomas Søndergård

By , 18/05/2019
This concert had no challenging contemporary works, no surprises. It was romantic music, all within the bounds of the traditional, standard symphonic repertoire, but it was all beautiful music. The programme spanned 127 years of musical development from Beethoven's Coriolan Overture of 1807 to Sibelius's Seventh Symphony of 1924. Over that period the world changed and this was reflected in the music. The individual responsibility, accountability, sensibility and the... read more

Rossini’s “Little Solemn Mass” from the Bach Choir at St.Andrew’s triumphantly reaches towards the stars

By , 11/05/2019
I was sure I’d heard this work on at least one occasion previously, and more especially once the music had started – from early on in the opening “Kyrie” there were cadences, phrases and sequences that kept on sidling up to me and nudging me in my inner ear’s ribcage as if to say “Oh, you again! – where have you been?” or more cheekily, “Remember me? – ha!... read more

Adventurous, surprising, unorthodox, informal concert by the NZSO in a waterfront shed

By , 10/05/2019
Good Music in Sheds The “Shed series” of concerts were a new enterprise for the NZSO last year, when there were three concerts of music that was a bit off the beaten track and in an atmosphere unfamiliar to traditional audiences, though essentially classical rather than popular or rock music; perhaps the word 'crossover' might here apply. Last year, it was suggested that they would appeal to audiences aged under... read more

An excellent lunchtime concert from university string students at St Andrew’s

By , 08/05/2019
Though I had thought not to write a review of this lunchtime concert, but simply to have a pleasant hour listening, I found my mind changing however, a couple of minutes in to the first item: the Allemande from Bach’s fourth Cello Suite, in E flat, played on the viola by Zephyr Wills. Sometimes such transpositions don’t work, but this one did, beautifully. Wills, only a second-year student, has... read more

A memorable concert from the Aroha Quartet: exciting Ligeti and a Beethoven masterpiece

By , 07/05/2019
With concerts by two string quartets, the New Zealand String Quartet and the Aroha Quartet within two days, the Brodsky quartet on the 20th and the Kiwa quartet on the 26th of May seems like a festival of string quartets. With so much music, it is the works that challenge that makes these concerts memorable. The Aroha Quartet played Mozart and Beethoven, beautiful but familiar music, but it was György Ligeti's... read more

Orchestra Wellington takes Vivaldi and Piazzolla to Upper Hutt with great success

By , 06/05/2019
This programme was presented in the Opera House, Wellington on Saturday 4 May. Even considering venues in the central city, there is probably no auditorium as well appointed as Expressions in Upper Hutt’s Arts and Entertainment Centre where I was very happy to catch them. There were 22 musicians on the stage, perfectly accommodated both visually and acoustically.  In the place of the usual concertmaster, Amalia Hall, was Martin Riseley... read more

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