Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

New Zealand String Quartet’s second Beethoven 250th Anniversary concert

By , 13/09/2020
Though it doesn’t seem to me all that long ago that the NZSQ (well, THREE of the members of the present quartet!) were previously “wowing” us with their brilliant, uniquely engaging interpretations of Beethoven’s most significant and searching set of works, I suddenly felt, amidst the frisson of excitement and intoxication which rippled through the audience at Seatoun’s St.Christopher’s Church during Sunday’s concert, as if we had all actually... read more

Four-handed piano delights from Sunny Cheng and Kris Zuelicke at the NZSM’s Adam Concert Room in Wellington

By , 11/09/2020
I didn’t leave home early enough to find a park, or be able to walk to the concert venue in time for the first item’s beginning – so I came in with the first item still in midstream, actually waiting outside the door, so as not to disturb the music’s flow or the listeners’ concentration. I could hear it all reasonably clearly, and was soon caught up in the... read more

Intensity, conflict, and resolve from the Aroha Quartet and oboist Robert Orr at Lower Hutt

By , 08/09/2020
I thought this concert featured a most enterprising programme, a combination of familiar and relatively unfamiliar music, with works for oboe and strings framing two strings-only pieces, providing continual interest and variety for listeners. With each of the concert’s “halves” featuring a shorter, followed by a longer piece, the presentation had an unforced ease of both delivery and reception, the ensemble’s efforts warmly acclaimed at the concert’s end. Beginning the... read more

A memorable debut by a new ensemble – “The Capital Band” presents works by Mozart and Schubert

By , 05/09/2020
A warm welcome to “The Capital Band” and its conductor/Music Director, Douglas Harvey, on the spirited showing made by the musicians during their first Wellington concert on Saturday evening! At a time when Covid-19 is wreaking havoc for organisations planning concerts of live music-making, any fresh endeavours in such a respect are welcomed, but even more so when presented with the kind of enthusiasm and verve that greeted we... read more

“Passion” for once an apposite description of a stunning NZSO Concert with conductor Gemma New

By , 29/08/2020
In response to the “social distancing” restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra has, since March 25th of this year been giving free premieres of online performances on a newly-employed “microsite” enabling supporters of the orchestra and lovers of music in general to view some of the concerts originally scheduled for 2020. To this end, the orchestra has made... read more

At last! Chamber Music Hutt Valley’s 2020 Season!

By , 28/08/2020
If ever an organisation merited a special award for stickability in the face of troubles, it would, in my book, be Chamber Music Hutt Valley - after facing dissolution at the end of 2019 through difficulties in finding enough people “on the ground” to assist with running the concerts the Society overcame that problem only to find its well-crafted 2020 programme severely disrupted by Covid-19! The response was a... read more

Camerata’s latest Haydn in the Church concert elegantly “framed” by youthful endeavours

By , 20/08/2020
With a single downbeat at the beginning of this concert from Camerata we were taken, it seemed to me, into a kind of youthful magicland of creative wonderment, via the eleven year-old Mozart’s Sinfonia from a sacred Singspiel Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebotes  (translated as “The Obligation of the First and Foremost Commandment”), a kind of allegorical depiction of the trials of a Christian soul. This was Mozart’s first... read more

Baroque Voices’ “Bingen to Becker” a harmonious celebration

By , 16/08/2020
Thanks to a newly-emerged Covid-19 chapter in Auckland we were a precautionary “restricted” audience for this concert, but of good cheer, nevertheless, with convivial company and food and drink available at the venue, the evocatively-named “The Third Eye - Tuatara’s Temple of Taste", from out of which scenario “emerged” the musicians, informally dressed and congregating at the platform end of the listening-space, six singers and a bass violist, all... read more

The phenomenon of Beethoven – celebrated here by Wellington Chamber Music with Te Kōkī Trio

By , 09/08/2020
It’s a bit of a truism to say that Beethoven and his music represent a kind of apex of enduring creative expression for modern-day humankind; and while such pronouncements can be literally questioned in terms of world-wide demographics and cultural bias, they still carry weight in a kind of “perceived-by-many” fashion – it would be difficult to think of another composer whose music has penetrated such widespread spheres of... read more

Following last year’s NZ Opera production, another local “take” on Henry James’ famous ghost story “The Turn of the Screw”

By , 06/08/2020
A recent feather in the cap of New Zealand film-making has been the inclusion of “The Turn of the Screw”, an adaptation of Henry James’s classic ghost story by Wellington director Alex Galvin, in the recent Shanghai film Festival. Within a few days of the Shanghai showing the film had its New Zealand premiere at the Embassy Theatre in Wellington, an event that was sold out. Its audience witnessed... read more

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