Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

First in the world with a normal public concert : NZSO’s record, celebrating the emergence from Covid 19 lock-down

By , 26/06/2020
The orchestra announced that this was the first post-pandemic concert by a professional symphony orchestra anywhere in the World in front of a full audience: the extraordinary achievement of intelligent and clear-sighted management of our response by government and people. The programme’s content and balance was carefully thought out, with a couple of pieces by established New Zealand composers, opera arias, Māori songs and one extended orchestral work. And there... read more

Moving and delightful recital of German Lieder at St Andrew’s

By , 24/06/2020
Though we missed St Andrew’s lunchtime concert last week celebrating the survival of live music in public places, this was warmly encouraging with a back-to-normal audience, from two graduate students at Victoria University's School of Music. The last time I heard Will King was in Eternity Opera’s production of The Marriage of Figaro in 2017. Though I’d like to hear him again in opera, this recital showed him as a... read more

Orchestra Wellington’s second concert featuring Mozart violin concertos and city-named symphonies

By , 13/06/2020
This second programme in Orchestra Wellington’s ‘recovery’ series of concerts at St Andrew’s continued with the twin themes: the last three of the five violin concertos written in 1775 when Mozart was 19 {if we don’t count the dubious violin concerto “No 7 (K 271a/271i)”}; and the three symphonies that bear place names. Now in the pandemic’s ‘alert level 1’, this was a full house, if we don’t count the... read more

A comprehensive update on the Concert FM crisis; courtesy New Zealand Opera News

By , 04/04/2020

The Plight and Future of RNZ Concert

A report and comment on what were the proposed changes to this important Public Service Radio Broadcast Medium RNZ Concert to be Gutted On 5 February 2020 this announcement hit the headlines immediately before the Waitangi Day Holiday period on 6 February 2020. This announcement was not signalled in advance and we believe was not sanctioned by the Broadcasting Minister, Kris... read more

The composer of Kopernikus, Claude Vivier: interview with conductor Vladimir Jurowski

By , 04/04/2020
In the absence of real concerts that Middle C can review, why not publish things of musical interest that might in small part make up for the deprivations we all suffer at present?  Here is an article that appeared in 2018 in the Montreal Globe and Mail that might interest those who saw Claude Vivier’s opera, Kopernikus, at the recent festival in Wellington. I came across a reference to Vivier... read more

A piano recital that disabused one of certain beliefs and expectations

By , 20/03/2020
The audience at this diverting little concert at St Andrew’s was not large, as alarm at the spread of Covid-19 has become more intense. The happy few were interestingly entertained, at what could well be a very rare event for some time. Ursula Gabriele Gschwendtner has lived in New Zealand since 1996 and calls herself “a classical pianist, a composer and a clown”. The first two talents were conspicuous on... read more

Music’s response to Covid-19 – from the United States

By , 18/03/2020
Opera America, the organisation that shares information about and advocates for opera in the United States has posted the following list of companies and artists that can be accessed on line:  "See our COVID-19 Resource Hub for a list of performances that have been canceled or postponed. The following companies and artists are offering performances that can be streamed online:

Scrupulous and spirited choral concert from Netherlands Chamber Choir

By , 07/03/2020
The Netherlands Chamber Choir has a fine reputation in the more sophisticated realms of international choirs. Brahms motet I have to confess, as a lover of Brahms’s orchestral, piano and chamber music, that neither his Lieder nor his choral works have appealed to me greatly: especially the a cappella pieces.  Warum ist das Licht gegeben dem Mühseligen? (‘Why has light been given to the weary soul?’) is one of a pair... read more

Splendid piano-four-hands recital crowned by the Schubert Fantasie in F minor: Emma Sayers and Rachel Thomson

By , 04/03/2020
Here was a charming and admirable lunchtime recital: the ideal recipe for cleansing your emotions and mind of the wild, eccentric experiences of this year’s Festival: in my case a Kopernikus and a Mad King in close proximity. Piano duets can be edgy affairs as they demand a perfection of ensemble that’s called for from hardly any other musicians who play together. Apart from the Schubert, this was not heavy-weight... read more

Letter from Hon Kris Faafoi: a turn-around on RNZ Concert?

By , 04/03/2020
Though the Prime Minister had announced earlier that an unused FM frequency was in fact available, which meant that Concert could continue to use its existing frequencies, while the proposed youth network would use the till-now unused ones, many other important aspects of the service that have been eroded over the past year or so, still look at risk. What of the plans to fire all 18 existing Concert presenters... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy