Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Category: Live performance

Third of NZSO’s Shed series delivers some hits, some misses, and a couple of real successes

By , 09/08/2019
The NZSO’s Shed series is one of the orchestra’s gestures that seeks to attract new audiences. You stay out of conventional venues, you avoid any of the trappings of a forbidding classical music concert which finds the entire audience in white tie and tails and ball gowns; there are no rows of comfortable seats. Instead, just a few dozen seats with backs, a lot of padded benches scattered around... read more

Camerata continues exploring Haydn with an aside to Mozart: charm and surprises

By , 08/08/2019
Looking back on Middle C’s reviews of Camerata, I see they have been a peripatetic ensemble, having been in St Mary of the Angels, the Wesley Church, Taranaki Street and the Adam Concert Room in the university school of music, but most often at St Peter’s. St Peter’s may not be such a prolific provider of concerts as St Andrew’s, but it always shows its virtues when musicians choose to... read more

Illuminating, even sublime perfection in solo recital by cellist Lev Sivkov

By , 07/08/2019
Sadly, it is rare that major soloists with our professional orchestras are taken in hand by enterprising entrepreneurs and offered recitals around the country. Lev Sivkov is clearly in the hands of an enterprising manager in New Zealand who is making excellent use of him. Having heard him last Friday with Orchestra Wellington playing Barber’s cello concerto, I was delighted to be handed a flyer about this recital in St... read more

Emotion-laden concert an appropriate response to the remembrance of the Holocaust

By , 30/07/2019
Laurence Sherr is Composer-in-Residence and Professor of Music at Kennesaw State University, Georgia. He is a prolific and versatile composer. The son of a couple who escaped Poland just before the outbreak of the Second World War and settled in the United States, he has a strong interest in the Holocaust and Holocaust education. He lectures all over the world on Holocaust remembrance music and first came to Wellington... read more

The best drawn from Wellington Youth Orchestra in taxing programme under Donald Armstrong

By , 28/07/2019
The Wellington Youth Orchestra is the only full-size symphony orchestra for young players in Wellington. The ages of the members range from 25 to 13. They all have to go through a rigorous audition to join. The orchestra has an important place in the Wellington musical scene, not only for the varied and interesting programmes it offers, but because it is a stepping stone for young people who aspire... read more

A piano recital at St Andrew’s deserving a full house: Beethoven’s Eroica Variations surrounded by circus variety

By , 17/07/2019
Her name rang a bell, but I couldn’t recall actually seeing or hearing her play. The Middle C archive revealed that my colleague, Peter Mechen had reviewed an earlier lunchtime recital by her in August 2016 when, inter alia she had played Schumann’s Davidsbündlertänz, later Rameau’s Le rappel des oiseaux. Born in Taiwan and educated mainly in the United States, she now lives in Auckland. That sort of programming clearly... read more

Splendid, richly satisfying NZSO concert of four strongly contrasted works played with mastery and conviction

By , 13/07/2019
Anniversary: Cook’s first voyage and Matauranga  The first piece in Saturday’s concert was entitled Matauranga, which means ‘knowledge, wisdom, understanding, skill’, according to the programme note. It was in part to mark the 250th anniversary of Cook’s first voyage one of whose purposes was to observe the transit of Venus in Tahiti in June 1769. His reaching New Zealand was timely to observe the transit of Mercury on the Coromandel... read more

Medlyn and Greager give rewarding and intelligent recital of early 20th century songs, plus four by Vincent O’Sullivan/Ross Harris

By , 10/07/2019
A song recital by two internationally renowned singers based in Wellington is a significant musical event. The programme was like a snapshot of the music of the first half of the twentieth century across a wide range of countries, Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, with a more recent item from New Zealand. The concert began with Margaret Medlyn singing Alban Berg's Seven Early Songs (1907). These songs were written under... read more

Wellington Chamber Music’s fine, imaginative violin and piano recital from Beer and Watkins

By , 07/07/2019
Andrew Beer, Concert Master of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and Sarah Watkins, highly regarded chamber musician played an interesting recital in the Wellington Chamber music Sunday Concerts series. Two new New Zealand works were sandwiched in between a rarely heard sonata by Ravel and one of the most popular pieces of the violin repertoire, César Franck's violin sonata. Leonie Holmes is a prolific and versatile composer, teaching composition at the... read more

A joyful, exhilarating Barber of Seville, New Zealand Opera’s first offering of the year

By , 29/06/2019
Colourful, joyful, exhilarating are the words to describe this production of the Barber of Seville. From the very beginning of the Overture, taken at a moderate steady tempo that let every phrase be clearly articulated, we know that we are in for a treat. When the action starts with the chorus, the serenaders, horsing around it is clear that this will be an entertaining show. Almaviva, John Tessier enters... read more

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