Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Goldberg Variations from NZSO musicians with Stephen De Pledge – “a journey of life with its full gamut of emotions”

By , 22/07/2020
Bach's Goldberg Variations is one of the greatest, if not the greatest set of variations in the keyboard repertoire. Count Kaiserling, Elector of Saxony, commissioned Bach to write it for his protege, the young keyboard player, Johann Gottlieb Goldberg. The work consists of thirty variations on a theme, an Aria, that Bach might have heard or found in his wife's, Anna Magdalena's, notebook. Playing... read more

Ghost Trio makes an auspicious debut at St.Andrew’s with music by Beethoven and Panufnik

By , 01/07/2020
  This was a concert of music by two young composers living more than a century apart, still finding their musical language, but already foreshadowing the great works they were to produce later. Panufnik is hardly a household name. He was a prolific composer of 10 symphonies and other orchestral works, songs, chamber music and piano pieces. He was not yet twenty when he wrote the  Piano Trio in C... read more

Large audience for a delightful concert by Camerata chamber orchestra

By , 16/12/2019
Camerata’s vision is to ‘perform high quality joyful chamber music accessible alike to newcomers and classical aficionados’. The small chamber orchestra includes members of Wellington’s professional orchestras as well as students and graduates of the NZ School of Music. It is a very accomplished ensemble. Corelli: Christmas Concerto Anne Loeser and Ursula Evans violins, Robert Ibell, cello This is probably Corelli’s most popular work, often featured in anthologies of Christmas music. It is now... read more

Enthusiastic reception by big audience for Orchestra Wellington’s final 2019 concert of remarkable but unfamiliar music

By , 30/11/2019
This was the last of this year's subscription concerts by Orchestra Wellington. The Michael Fowler Centre was filled almost to capacity, despite the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra playing another concert at the same time in Shed 6. Orchestra Wellington played a difficult programme, made no concession to popular taste, yet it had the largest audience of any orchestra in New Zealand. There is something remarkable about this. I believe... read more

NZSO and Orchestra Wellington players, with a Slovenian pianist deliver fine performances of Mendelssohn and Mozart

By , 13/11/2019
Listening to a concert of happy, delightful music is a lovely way of whiling away a lunch hour. This week members of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Wellington presented a programme of charming music by Mendelssohn and Mozart. Mendelssohn: String Symphony No. 2 The prodigious talent of Mendelssohn is hard to comprehend. He grew up in a home that was a gathering place for writers, musicians and artists. He... read more

Exceptional recital from Alexander Gavrylyuk gets tumultuous applause at Waikanae

By , 03/11/2019
Alexander Gavrylyuk, the internationally celebrated Ukranian/Australian pianist, has become a regular visitor to Waikanae. He played there in 2017 and 2016, so I knew that we would be in for an exceptional concert. Peter Mechen, my colleague at Middle C, had written about the pianist's ability to enchant his listeners with every note and in doing so, display a Sviatoslav Richter-like capacity to invest each sound with a kind... 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

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

Martinborough Music Festival – an overview of a delightful feast of chamber music

By , 29/09/2019
Martinborough is a charming, tastefully preserved and restored little country town 65 km from Wellington. Running a Music Festival there, featuring some of  New Zealand's finest musicians is an incredibly ambitious project. The festival, held this year over three days, 27-29 September, was their third. It featured Michael Houstoun, piano, Jenny Wollerman, soprano, Wilma Smith, violin and viola, Vesa-Matti Leppanen, Yuka Egochi, Amy Bookman and Alan Molina, violins, Christopher... read more

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