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Category: Reviews – Concerts

Wellington entrants shape up for the National Junior Piano Competition Finals

By , 17/09/2020
New Zealand School of Music Head of Piano Studies in Wellington Dr. Jian Liu organised this recital for the above three Wellington pianists, all of whom are finalists in next month’s 2020 NZ Junior Piano Competition in Auckland, as a means of giving them a little extra “fine-tuning” concert performance experience. All three replicated a 20-minute recital programme of their own choice, including examples from at least three musical... read more

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

Beethoven 250th anniversary: first concert from New Zealand String Quartet

By , 11/09/2020
This was the first of six concerts this month of all 17 of Beethoven's string quartets (17 includes the Grosse Fuge, the original last movement of Op 130). They are being played in largely chronological order of publication, modified a bit to help in the appreciation of Beethoven’s developing genius: for example, here were the first two quartets alongside the first of the Op 59 (Razumovsky) group. While in... 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

“May the earth not be made desolate …” – Invocations from The Tudor Consort

By , 04/09/2020
It is an eerie reminder of how little the human condition has changed over time when we consider that, in the 21st century, our approach to dealing with a global pandemic is essentially medieval: practices of social distancing and quarantine have their origins in the 14th century when European populations were trying to control outbreaks of the bubonic plague. While we now have an 0800 Healthline number that 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

Young musicians of Poneke Trio deliver singularly revelatory concert

By , 28/08/2020
This was a promising recital by three young women who have lived around Worser Bay in Wellington: two are sisters, the cellist a long-time friend. Both Tarrant-Matthews are violinists who have played in Orchestra Wellington and the NZSO, but are also proficient pianists; both graduated in music from Victoria University. Claudia who is violinist in the trio, has been studying at the Royal Academy of Music in London while... 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

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