Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Triumph tempered by sadness – Hutt Valley Chamber Music faces dissolution despite a sensational 40th anniversary season capped off by the remarkable Diedre Irons

By , 31/10/2019
The evening was earmarked as a celebration, a culmination of the 40th year of presenting chamber music in Lower Hutt by the Hutt Valley Chamber Music Society. And the choice of pianist Diedre Irons to give the concert this evening couldn’t have been more appropriate, as back in October 1980 she and the then-concertmaster of the NZSO, Peter Schaeffer performed a recital as one of the Society’s concerts during... read more

Diverting recital by senior NZSM tutors Inbal Megiddo and Jian Liu at St Andrew’s lunchtime

By , 30/10/2019
A larger than usual audience came in from the sun to hear these two members of the music faculty of Victoria University (known as the New Zealand School of Music). Boccherini They began with one of Boccherini’s cello sonatas: one on A major. A look at the Boccherini catalogue shows 29 cello ‘sonatas, for cello solo (and basso)’, which is believed to mean probably a second cello; most were written when... read more

Three Beethoven string quartets from brilliant Ébène Quartet: part of their world-wide project

By , 25/10/2019
The concert by the Ébène Quartet was probably the most looked forward to concert of the 2019 Chamber Music New Zealand series, though Middle C this year is not really in a position to make a comprehensive comparison. We missed at least a couple of concerts, including that by the Brodsky Quartet in May. Ébène is a quartet with far more strings to its bows than merely hard-core classical stuff... read more

Admirable NZSO concert touching several rewarding themes: all German apart from Ken Young’s new piece

By , 24/10/2019
I had guessed perhaps a bit cynically, that this might not be a hugely well attended concert. The balcony was well populated but the stalls were rather thin. The absentees made a serious mistake. Its programme looked unorthodox: a relatively brief concerto for horn, an overture at the beginning of the second half, and two symphonies. And a new composition by Ken Young to mark the 250th anniversary of Cook’s... read more

Intelligent programming of piano duets from markedly contrasted pianists at St Andrew’s

By , 23/10/2019
Outside it is a bleak, stormy day, but step inside St. Andrews, get warm and listen to some beautiful music and you feel better. Sunny Cheng and Kris Zuelicke are both experienced, skilled pianists, active performers and piano teachers in Wellington. They make a formidable a piano duet team. Their senses of the piano are different; one hears the piano as more of a percussive, rhythmic instrument, while the... read more

Delightful, delicious, and declamatory – a “no-holds-barred” night with Marc Taddei and Orchestra Wellington

By , 20/10/2019
Orchestra Wellington has earned a special niche for itself amid the welter of artistic activities supported by the capital, one that’s steadily developed over the years of Marc Taddei’s tenure as Music Director, and in recent times enjoyed obvious fruition in terms of its enthusiastic audience following. Its appeal is based on several factors, not the least of which is the unflagging wholeheartedness and enthusiasm of conductor Taddei for... read more

Iconic singer/composer Björk celebrated by Claire Cowan’s Blackbird Ensemble

By , 17/10/2019
Fans of the Icelandic singer Björk Guðmundsdóttir (known internationally by her first name, Björk)  will probably have little more than a certain “academic” interest in the following review, written by someone, myself, who’s a dyed-in-the-wool follower of what’s popularly known as “classical” music, and, up until attending this concert didn’t know even whether the singer in whose honour the event took place was male or female! I’d vaguely heard... read more

HK Gruber’s critique of classical music with the NZSO a hit with a younger, if smaller, audience

By , 10/10/2019

'Why serious?' the programme notes asks, presumably quoting HK Gruber. The music in this programme was meant to be fun. Gruber wanted to make music simple, approachable, and break down the demarcation between classical and popular music. Simplicity, however does not mean stupidity. Gruber's models were Kurt Weill and Hans Eisler, and their iconoclastic music of Berlin of the 1920s. So this evening's music was a long way... read more

Accomplished performances from Wellington Youth Orchestra with talented Asaki Watanabe in Bruch concerto

By , 06/10/2019
Being part of a symphony orchestra is a huge commitment for young people. It involves rehearsals every Monday evening during term time. It also requires a high degree of competence on an orchestral instrument. A full symphony orchestra needs 20-24 violins, and a corresponding number of violas, cellos and double basses as well as a full compliment of winds, brass and percussion. The Wellington Youth Orchestra mustered an almost... read more

Ken Young’s final outing with the NZSM Orchestra with a new composition and a concerto with a gifted violinist

By , 04/10/2019
This was a little more than a routine concert by the music school of Victoria University, featuring a couple of its post graduate students: one, composer Luka Venter and the other, violinist Nickolas Majić. At the end  of the concert it emerged, with a large cluster of flowers and speeches, that this was the last concert with the orchestra’s regular conductor, Kenneth Young; it marked his retirement from the position... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy