Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Sounds of friendship from Vieux Amis at Wellington Chamber Music’s St.Andrew’s concert

By , 15/08/2021
Vieux Amis (Justine Cormack, James Bush and Sarah Watkins), are old friends indeed. They grew up together in Christchurch, they were neighbours and long-standing colleagues, and their bonds run deep. They put together an innovative programme of music that is, apart from the Shostakovich Trio,  seldom heard in concerts. To add to the innovative aspect of the programme, they asked the audience not to applaud between the Arvo Pärt... read more

Musicam scribo cogito ergo sum! – with a vengeance! – from the remarkable Ghost Trio

By , 13/08/2021
This was a concert that packed a great deal into a short time, an out-and-out “moments-per-minute” affair which encouraged and repaid the listener’s active involvement, but also “came to get you” if you had any thoughts of hanging back as if you were some kind of passive observer! Each of the three composers with the help of some extraordinarily dynamic and impactful, infinitely varied playing from the musicians of... read more

The Queen’s Closet at St.Andrew’s – a window into a seventeenth-century world of music

By , 11/08/2021
The Queen's Closet is a baroque orchestra that uses historically inspired performance practice, on period instruments at baroque pitch. Their concerts at various venues have been reviewed on Middle C, but this is the first time that I had heard them play as part of the regular Wednesday Lunch Time Concert series at St Andrews. The music in this programme was pleasant occasional music, but it also represented the musical... read more

Orpheus Choir’s Concert title “I Was Glad” eponymously shared by audience response at Wellington’s Cathedral of St.Paul

By , 07/08/2021
We were, I think, all imbued with gladness at Wellington’s Cathedral of St.Paul on Saturday evening at the splendours of the music-making by the Orpheus Choir in partnership with the instrumentalists throughout most of the concert and with the vocal soloists in the concluding  Szymanowski work, the whole directed to lustrous effect by conductor Brent Stewart. It was an occasion whose intensities and excitements seemed, throughout the evening, to escalate... read more

Roger Hall’s “terrific couple” at last back on stage in Wellington – “Winding Up” at Circa Theatre

By , 01/08/2021
Sir Roger Hall’s “Winding Up”, an exploration of love weathering age and untoward circumstance, has finally made the stage at Circa Theatre, over a year after being first scheduled and then waylaid by Covid-19 and Lockdown. This afternoon its performance by Ginette McDonald and Peter Hayden as the play’s two characters, Gen and Barry, flickered all about to begin with, gradually warmed, then connected with, and finished up conflagrating... read more

A piano recital from a superbly well-prepared young man who obviously enjoyed his playing

By , 01/08/2021
I, and the larger than usual audience, came to this concert with huge expectations. Lixin Zhang is a young man of 19 who had cleaned up all the main piano competitions in New Zealand and was this year a Silver Medallist at the prestigious Gina Bachauer International Young Artists Piano Competition. And indeed, from the very first chords of the Chopin Ballade, or more importantly, from the first pause... read more

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