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Category: Reviews – Concerts

Visiting Russian cellist inspires a fine, short-lived piano trio and an interesting recital

By , 18/08/2019
It might be unusual to give a common name to a group of three musicians who are clearly going to have only a few weeks together because one of its members lives in another country. The owner of the first three letters of the name ‘Levansa’ is the Russian cellist whose residence looks peripatetic at the present time, though his appointment in 2017 as principal cello of the Zurich... read more

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

Jennifer Stumm and Te Koki Trio share honours at Wellington’s MFC

By , 08/08/2019
What an excellent idea it was of Chamber Music New Zealand’s to invite viola virtuoso Jennifer Stumm here to perform with Wellington’s Te Koki Trio! – her presence enabled a richly varied programme to be performed with a unique distinction in Wellington’s Michael Fowler Centre, a programme that’s currently on tour throughout the country. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Stumm currently holds Professorships of viola studies in institutions both in Vienna... 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

Innovative, adventurous, AND intensely musical!! – “Pictures” with Orchestra Wellington and Marc Taddei

By , 02/08/2019
Such a cornucopia of sound, image and incident, with projected images and robotic contraptions playing an integral part in the proceedings! One certainly sensed that something out of the ordinary was being enacted here in the Michael Fowler Centre, although it must be said that, right from the very beginning, in the foyers outside the auditorium was that familiar “buzz” of expectation which we’ve come to expect accompanying Orchestra... read more

Voices of the World – Stroma’s ambient “girdle round about the earth”

By , 01/08/2019
Every Stroma concert I’ve had the good fortune to attend has pushed back my frontiers regarding what I’d thought of as viable and coherent musical expression, and by use of techniques and/or media that I might have previously regarded somewhat removed from “musical” realms. This “giving voice” to unconventional objects and means could be seen as taking one’s listening back to a time when music existed only as natural... 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

Warming our hearts in mid-winter – Cantoris directed by Thomas Nikora

By , 27/07/2019
This was the kind of programme whose content and presentation couldn’t have done a better job of warming the cockles of both audience hearts and sensibilities, having already drawn our attention via the concert’s title to the evening’s delightful and characteristic seasonal ambiences. Choral items naturally enough made up the lion’s share of the presentations, but by way of contrast and variety we heard two songs for baritone with... read more

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