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Category: Reviews – Concerts

A state of extreme delight

By , 07/08/2022
This was the third and final concert of the Immerse series, programmed and timed to attract a family audience. And some kids attended, although they were quite hard to spot. It’s not every parent or grand-parent who thinks to bring the smalls to an NZSO concert, and not every child who has the patience to sit still for more than 40 minutes at a stretch. That was a great... read more

NZSO under New management

By , 06/08/2022
This was the second concert of the Immerse series, and the second outing of the acclaimed violinist Hilary Hahn with the NZSO under the baton of Gemma New, its newly appointed Artistic Adviser and Principal Conductor. The house was almost full, with such a happily expectant air that everyone must surely have been here on Thursday for the first concert of the series. Gemma New is a local girl made good – only 35... read more

The band is back – NZSO with Hilary Hahn and Gemma New

By , 04/08/2022
The band is back. This was the first concert by the NZSO for some time, apart from their outing to open the St James Theatre a couple of weeks ago. And what a splendid concert this was! The orchestra was at its best. I have never heard them play better. They appear to have a special rapport with Gemma  New, the newly appointed Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of... read more

Plaudits for the Wellington Youth Orchestra with Donald Maurice

By , 31/07/2022
Donald Maurice has had a long association with both Boris Pigovat and Anthony Ritchie. He perfumed and recorded Pigovat's Holocaust Requiem with Orchestra Wellington, a major work for viola and orchestra, and commissioned Ritchie's First Viola Concert and other works. It is appropriate that he programmed works by both of these composers, though Pigovat's piece was a late substitute for the Second Symphony by the youthful Richard Strauss, which... read more

Yuka and Kemp – a concert of popular violin music

By , 10/07/2022
Yuka Eguchi is the Assistant Concert Master of the NZSO; Kemp English is a solo organist, a specialist in playing the fortepiano, and a collaborative pianist. The two put together a programme of violin music that most people know from such collections as the 'best loved violin pieces', but which are seldom featured in concert programmes. They are light, and lack substance that form the backbone of serious classical... read more

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

The long way to Bohemia

By , 19/06/2022
A cold grey afternoon in the middle of winter. But the programme looked interesting: a Czech club sandwich with a slice of Bowater. The New Zealand Chamber Soloists have a history of commissioning new works. The work by Helen Bowater was commissioned in 2020 as part of their ‘Seven by Seven’ project: seven works by seven New Zealand women composers, lasting seven minutes, with support from Creative New Zealand... 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

Rhapsody and Rapture

By , 11/06/2022
‘It’s all about Clara Schumann,’ said Marc Taddei, Orchestra Wellington’s conductor. Brahms wrote his Alto Rhapsody for the wedding of Clara’s third daughter, Julie, in 1869. The second work on the programme was written by Clara Weick, as she then was, between the ages of 13 and 15. And Robert Schumann’s Symphony No 4, written in the first rapturous year of their marriage, has the word ‘Clara’ musically encoded throughout One... 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

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