Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

An Eastern European smorgasbord at St.Andrew’s

By , 23/06/2022
We are very fortunate in Wellington to have artists of the calibre of Robert Ibell and Rachel Thomson. They are both very versatile musicians. Ibell is the cellist of the Aroha Quartet, a past member of the NZSO, and now he plays with a number of different ensembles. Rachel Thomson is an accompanist, associated with many local artists. They presented a program of largely unfamiliar works from Eastern Europe... read more

Goldner Quartet – old friends return to Wellington

By , 17/06/2022
Chamber Music is back after a long break, and a glorious return it was. The Goldner Quartet were once regular visitors, but it was nine years since they were last here. The four members of the quartet had played together for 27 years, rare among touring string quartets, and they developed an understanding over the years and a wealth of musical experience that places them among the best quartets... read more

A solo tour-de-force from violinist Monique Lapins

By , 08/06/2022
I left this concert on a high, and started composing my notes and comments on the way home in the bus! One violin, one solitary violinist at the centre of the stage, and a program of music largely unfamiliar to concert audiences; this promised to be an exceptional musical experience. Monique Lapins is a very versatile musician, a member of the NZ String Quartet, of the Ghost Trio with Gabriela... read more

Two centuries of Spanish keyboard music

By , 02/06/2022
Solo piano concerts are rare these days, apart from the occasional lunch time recitals, and Wellington Chamber Music should be complimented on featuring this concert. Lorelle McNaughton studied in Spain with  renowned Spanish pianists and is something of a specialist in performing Spanish music. She has toured Australia and New Zealand with a programme of Spanish piano works and this concert is part of a nationwide tour taking her... read more

Wellington Youth Orchestra – an appealing programme delivered with rich orchestral sound

By , 30/04/2022
This was a delightful program of very appealing music, appropriate for the young musicians of the Wellington Youth Orchestra. The orchestra has grown in size since I last reviewed their concert in 2019, when they were short of strings. This time there were 26 violins, 5 violas, 6 cellos, 2 basses, and a full complement of winds, brass and percussion, and they produced a rich orchestral sound. The program... read more

Music of our time – Duo Enharmonics and Ensemble Gȏ, at St.Andrew’s

By , 20/04/2022
This was a varied concert of mainly short works by contemporary composers, two New Zealanders, Ross Harris and John Psathas, one Turkish, Fazil Say, and two American, Paul Schoenfeld and Glenn Stallcop. They are hardly household names, but this short concert of about 60 minutes gave us a glimpse of what composers of the present time are writing, although each of the five pieces on the programme were quite... read more

Brahms’ Schicksalslied gives its name to a programme of uplifting music from the NZSO

By , 25/11/2021
Welcome back! We have been starved of orchestral concerts for the last three months. It was a delight to have a full symphony orchestra on the stage, albeit with the players discreetly separated. A very special welcome back was due to James Judd, who was principal conductor of the NZSO for some eight years, and who has been closely associated with the orchestra ever since. And a great thank... read more

Individual and ensembled tributes to JS Bach from Pohl-Gjelsten and Friends at an inspired St.Andrew’s Lunchtime Concert

By , 14/10/2021
J.S. Bach: Chaconne from Partita in D minor A well planned concert has an underlying narrative. In this case it was twofold, Bach, and the scope of a solo violin. Bach's Partitas and Sonatas for solo violin are landmarks in the violin repertoire and indeed in the development of the violin as a solo instrument. The Chaconne is the final movement of the second Partita. The great violinist, Yehudi Menuhin, describes... read more

Sounds of friendship from Vieux Amis at Wellington Chamber Music’s St.Andrew’s concert

By , 15/08/2021
Vieux Amis (Justine Cormack, James Bush and Sarah Watkins), are old friends indeed. They grew up together in Christchurch, they were neighbours and long-standing colleagues, and their bonds run deep. They put together an innovative programme of music that is, apart from the Shostakovich Trio,  seldom heard in concerts. To add to the innovative aspect of the programme, they asked the audience not to applaud between the Arvo Pärt... read more

The Queen’s Closet at St.Andrew’s – a window into a seventeenth-century world of music

By , 11/08/2021
The Queen's Closet is a baroque orchestra that uses historically inspired performance practice, on period instruments at baroque pitch. Their concerts at various venues have been reviewed on Middle C, but this is the first time that I had heard them play as part of the regular Wednesday Lunch Time Concert series at St Andrews. The music in this programme was pleasant occasional music, but it also represented the musical... read more

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