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Steadfast Wellington Chamber Orchestra brings off an exhilarating concert to finish an eventful year

By , 12/12/2021
Congratulations right at the outset are in order to whomever devised such a scintillating programme for the Wellington Chamber Orchestra to finish this remarkably unpredictable year of years with!  It certainly was one that made up in part for earlier schedules being plagued by the vagaries of Covid-19 and the resulting ripplings of disruption! Here we were freely delivered plenty of satisfyingly full-blooded excitements and festive revelries, side-by-side with... read more

“Roxy” at Te Auaha, from WITCH Music Theatre – a whirl of visceral impressions from Tinseltown’s golden age of movie musicals

By , 08/12/2021
“Reimagining the Golden Age of the Silver Screen” ran the blurb announcing ROXY – A New Hollywood Cabaret, a no-holds-barred delivery of a collection of classic movie-musical hits, which certainly lived up to its publicity in terms of its sheer visceral impact – “…a rip-roaring revue, fuelled by an exhilarating fusion of musical theatre, drag, dance and circus” indeed. The directors of the show, Greta Casey-Solly and Ben Emerson... read more

An Orchestral Feast Showcasing a Rising Star – Peter Gjelsten (violin) with the Wellington Youth Orchestra

Livestreamed and archived at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMCG9f1OeXk

Pre-concert interview with Peter Gjelsten on RNZ Concert's Upbeat:

https://www.rnz.co.nz/concert/programmes/upbeat/audio/2018815593/peter-gjelsten-plays-tchaikovsky

An atmosphere of excitement pervaded St. Andrews as the sold-out Alert Level 2 crowd sorted out its seating arrangements for this much-anticipated season-closing concert showcasing the winner of WYO's 2021 Concerto Competition, Peter Gjelsten, in Tchaikovsky's famous violin concerto.  I carefully mulled my seating options -- either... read more

Musicam scribo cogito ergo sum! – with a vengeance! – from the remarkable Ghost Trio

By , 13/08/2021
This was a concert that packed a great deal into a short time, an out-and-out “moments-per-minute” affair which encouraged and repaid the listener’s active involvement, but also “came to get you” if you had any thoughts of hanging back as if you were some kind of passive observer! Each of the three composers with the help of some extraordinarily dynamic and impactful, infinitely varied playing from the musicians of... read more

Monstrous and idiosynchrophiliac goings-on with Stroma at Wellington’s Bats Theatre

By , 25/07/2021
The perils of reviewer-conviviality are never so real as when one attends a concert of contemporary music, and sits next to someone in the audience one knows by sight but has never had a chance to talk with seriously, so most pleasantly spends the entire pre-concert time getting properly acquainted, as a result of which one completely forgets to read the concert’s programme notes before the lights are dimmed... read more

“The Long Day Closes” – Mozart, with “Evening Music and Lullabies” from the Bach Choir of Wellington

By , 24/07/2021
This was a concert of two halves, as they say in rugby. The first half consisted of the advertised Mozart Solemn Vespers, and the second half consisted of ‘Evening Music and Lullabies’, on the basis, I suppose, that Vespers is the evening prayer service, one of the Canonical Hours in the Catholic liturgy, although you wouldn’t find any of these items following a Catholic Vespers. But more of this... read more

Henry Purcell’s “Food of Love” at Wellington’s Cathedral of St.Paul

There is a particular pleasure in hearing a duet sung by two voices that are well-matched in timbre, especially when the singers obviously share not only a vocal quality but a musical sensibility and a personal rapport.  Such were the harmonies on offer at this presentation of Purcell songs, performed by old friends Anna Sedcole and Helene Page, and accompanied fluently and unobtrusively on harpsichord by Michael Stewart, the... read more

Dazzling star music for “Matariki’ from Gareth Farr

By , 09/07/2021
A new work by Gareth Farr is always an event, so it was no surprise to see the Michael Fowler Centre completely full. The stage was completely full as well, with an enormous percussion section hard up against the back wall. The house lights went down, and the spotlights fell on three cloaked figures standing at the foot of the choir stalls, a man flanked by two women. The woman... read more

Stylish, varied and compelling – Inspirare’s tribute to Great Britain’s music

By , 30/05/2021
This concert was billed as ‘five centuries of British music’, but in truth it was two and a half centuries plus Tallis, or even one and a half centuries plus Handel and Tallis. Nonetheless, it was a stylish concert. Inspirare is a small choir (18 voices) of mostly soloists. Founded by Mark Stamper five years ago, it gave its first concert on 4 September 2016. Known for its polish, the... read more

Megiddo and Thomson present ‘cello-and-piano treasures at St.Andrew’s

By , 09/05/2021
‘Cellist Robert Ibell was originally scheduled to perform in this concert, but was prevented from doing so by injury,  his place being taken by Inbal Megiddo. I’m not certain whether the programme was the original performer’s choice, or whether Megiddo and pianist Rachel Thomson made changes – there was a rearrangement of the programme’s printed order, which Megiddo announced after she and Thomson had performed their opening item, an... read more

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