Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

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

Sending it up on the double bass and sparkling at the piano, plus other strings

By , 11/10/2018
This concert in Chamber Music New Zealand’s subscription series had an unusual character. It featured two international-class musicians alongside three of the members of the New Zealand String Quartet. Piers Lane has made several visits to New Zealand, including at least a couple of times to the Adam Chamber Music Festival in Nelson. As in the present concert, both pianist and bassist have often been in combination with chamber music... read more

Singular, well-conceived recital by male four-voice ensemble, reaching far and wide

By , 22/09/2018
The beautiful, and acoustically excellent Hall of Memories carved into the bottom of the Carillon is one of the loveliest places for music in the city. It’s a wonder that it’s not more used for music recitals. My previous musical experiences here have been by choirs: The Tudor Consort, Nota Bene; and just three months ago, Peter Mechen reviewed a concert by Baroque Voices. Aurora IV have moved around. Their last... read more

Strong, exemplary student performances of string orchestra masterpieces

By , 19/09/2018
I confess I was unprepared for the actual nature of this concert, entitled string students of the NZSM. Naively I’d thought of a string(?) of solos, duets and threesomes, perhaps a string quartet. I was a bit late, arriving as Martin Riseley finished his introduction to the recital, and launched into Handel’s Concerto Grosso in D, Op 6 No 5, inspiring playing that sounded as if it was a... read more

Amici Ensemble consolidates its reputation as valuable, adventurous Wellington adornment

By , 16/09/2018
We have owed a great deal to this splendid, many-facetted ensemble over the years, held together by NZSO Associate Concertmaster Donald Armstrong. Most ‘chamber music’ groups are either trios or quartets, and occasionally a quintet by adding a piano, a cello, a clarinet... Here we had enough variety to give us Mozart’s clarinet quintet, and also Ravel’s septet that is disguised as Introduction and Allegro for string quartet, flute... read more

Some great hits from NZSO’s popular classics concert; a win by a big margin

By , 15/09/2018
I don’t know what sort of audiences have been showing up at the other ten performances of this concert between Invercargill and Kerikeri, but the thin population in the MFC was a bit of a surprise. There was certainly competition from the rugby on Saturday evening; but there was probably also a more insidious factor: no glamorous overseas soloist; no internationally recognised conductor. Other inhibitors: a deterrent for the serious... read more

Diverting recital by Liszt and Bartók specialist, Judit Gábos at St Andrew’s

By , 13/09/2018
The Thursday recital was by a visiting Hungarian pianist who was also to give a lunchtime concert in the Adam Concert Room at Victoria University on Friday and a second one there, with Jian Liu, playing piano duets, on Tuesday 18 September, 7 pm. As in other recent weeks, there have been lunchtime recitals on both Wednesday and Thursday, evidently the result of demand for an appearance at St Andrew’s... read more

Impressive piano recital: Haydn, Beethoven and Liszt, from three NZSM students at St Andrew’s

By , 12/09/2018
This was another in the series of concerts from NZSM students that have been presented recently in the lunchtime concert series at St Andrew’s on The Terrace. There were three pianists here: two, first year, and one in her third year. Both the first year students played a minor key Haydn sonata, while the third year student, Claudia Tarrant-Matthews, played the formidable first movement of Beethoven’s Appassionata (another minor key... read more

Excellent choral concert from three young Wellington choirs and the New Zealand Youth Choir

By , 09/09/2018
This concert by mainly young choral singers was promoted as ‘A celebration of great choral and ensemble singing’. Each choir was to sing alone and with one or two other choirs and finally all joined to sing David Hamilton’s Dance-song to the Creator. The publicity also remarked on the choice of venue: the gorgeous Opera House. And of course I share their affection for one of the few remaining turn-of-the-century... read more

Polished recital from Steel and Irons of flute and piano masterpieces at St Andrew’s

By , 05/09/2018
While the series of concerts from students that occupies St Andrew’s lunchtime series regularly around this time of the year, are always a delight and sometimes expose unusual and interesting music, it’s nice to get back to the mainstream, with truly accomplished professional musicians. The concert’s pun-prone title (Steel and Iron{s}} did announce a couple of New Zealand’s finest artists in their fields. Though I tend to be wary of arrangements-of-convenience... read more

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