Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

End of the musical year for Wellington Chamber Orchestra with an Emperor and Franck’s symphony

By , 13/12/2020
Verdi: La Forza del Destino overture The overture to Verdi's opera, 'The Power of Fate' is much more popular than the opera itself. It encapsulates the drama of the opera, its lyricism and its wonderful melodies. It opens with three unison chords for the brasses, followed by repeated agitated phrases by the lower strings, which foreshadows the tragedy of the drama to follow. A beautiful mournful theme from Act 3... read more

Orchestra Wellington: huge percussion resources exploited in Psathas masterpiece from Olympus complemented by huge Rachmaninov symphony

By , 05/12/2020
The large line-up of percussion instruments at the front of the orchestra would have given an inkling to the audience that they would be in for a challenging, interesting evening of music. Although the John Psathas' View from Olympus has had many performances, premiered by the Halle Orchestra in Manchester in 2002, it is still music off the beaten track for an audience of predominantly older concert goers. The... read more

Unfamiliar music given a chance to shine in characterful performances at St. Andrew’s

By , 18/11/2020
One of the great joys of the lunch time concerts at St. Andrews on the Terrace is that these provide opportunities to hear some of the talented artists living among us, the other is to hear music that otherwise is seldom performed. Rebecca Steel is one of the most experienced flautists around, having played with orchestras both overseas and here in Wellington and Christchurch. Kris Zuelicke moved from Germany... read more

“Timeless” classics with a twist – latest in the NZSO’s “Podium” Series

By , 24/10/2020
This was the last concert of a tour of five centres. It was a programme of safe music by Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven, nothing to intimidate a conservative audience, though Beethoven laid down major challenges that audiences have grappled with since the work was first performed by the Schuppanzigh Quartet in 1825. The orchestra was reduced to strings two horns, oboes, clarinets bassoons and a flute. There were no... read more

An exhilarating piano duet concert from Duo Harmonics at St Andrew’s

By , 30/09/2020
Duo Enharmonics, the Nicole Chao and Beth Chen piano duo team, have become regular performers at the St Andrew's lunch time concerts. This year they offered a journey from a graceful Mozart Sonata of 1765 through Rachmaninov's nostalgic Russian group of six pieces of 1894, to the grand spectacular duo piano arrangement of Ravel's La Valse of 1920. The Mozart Sonata in D Major, KV.381 is a very early work... read more

Simon O’Neill generates plenty of “Spirit” in NZSO Podium Series Concert

By , 06/08/2020
Hurrah for the NZSO, one of the very few orchestras anywhere in the world able to give live concerts. The large audience showed its appreciation. For reasons not clear to this writer, the concert was labelled “Spirit” though there was nothing particularly spiritual about the programme. There was no narrative theme to the programme, but this didn't matter. Many in the audience came especially to hear the renowned New Zealand heldentenor, Simon O'Neill, star of the... read more

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

Panorama Theme by Themocracy