Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

“Rockin’ On” with the Lockdown Quartet at St.Andrew’s on-The-Terrace

By , 20/10/2021
From 26 March to 27 May 2020, when New Zealand was locked down in Alert Level 4 and many of us were watching Netflix in our pyjamas until it was time for the 1 pm press briefing, the Maurice-Maitra family were putting in some useful quartet practice. Soon they were giving concerts on Zoom ‘to audiences all over the world’. In this charming lunchtime concert at St Andrew’s, they... read more

Individual and ensembled tributes to JS Bach from Pohl-Gjelsten and Friends at an inspired St.Andrew’s Lunchtime Concert

By , 14/10/2021
J.S. Bach: Chaconne from Partita in D minor A well planned concert has an underlying narrative. In this case it was twofold, Bach, and the scope of a solo violin. Bach's Partitas and Sonatas for solo violin are landmarks in the violin repertoire and indeed in the development of the violin as a solo instrument. The Chaconne is the final movement of the second Partita. The great violinist, Yehudi Menuhin, describes... read more

Wellington’s Ghost Trio’s flair and brilliance concludes an eventful 2021 for Chamber Music Hutt Valley

By , 13/10/2021
What a year for Chamber Music Hutt Valley! – a glance at my season ticket brings back ripples of musical pleasure as memories crowd in of concert following extraordinary concert, with only one pang of disappointment clouding the glow of satisfaction generated by the Society’s 2021 series. This was the cancellation of August’s “Sweet Chance” Vocal Duo presentation - Morag Aitchison (soprano), and Catrin Johnsson (mezzo), with Rachel Fuller... 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

The pleasures of intensity – chamber music liberated by distinctive voices, superbly delivered

By , 03/10/2021
Violinist Donald Armstrong is always an interesting programmer. I loved his innovative programming for the NZ Chamber Orchestra. But this concert had me fooled: Liszt, Mozart, Chausson. I was looking forward to hearing the Chausson, but not sure about the rest. How wrong I was! The audience was restricted to 100, under Alert Level 2 conditions, and everyone showed up for the last concert of the Wellington Chamber Music season. This has been a mostly... read more

Sounds of friendship from Vieux Amis at Wellington Chamber Music’s St.Andrew’s concert

By , 15/08/2021
Vieux Amis (Justine Cormack, James Bush and Sarah Watkins), are old friends indeed. They grew up together in Christchurch, they were neighbours and long-standing colleagues, and their bonds run deep. They put together an innovative programme of music that is, apart from the Shostakovich Trio,  seldom heard in concerts. To add to the innovative aspect of the programme, they asked the audience not to applaud between the Arvo Pärt... 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

The Queen’s Closet at St.Andrew’s – a window into a seventeenth-century world of music

By , 11/08/2021
The Queen's Closet is a baroque orchestra that uses historically inspired performance practice, on period instruments at baroque pitch. Their concerts at various venues have been reviewed on Middle C, but this is the first time that I had heard them play as part of the regular Wednesday Lunch Time Concert series at St Andrews. The music in this programme was pleasant occasional music, but it also represented the musical... read more

Orpheus Choir’s Concert title “I Was Glad” eponymously shared by audience response at Wellington’s Cathedral of St.Paul

By , 07/08/2021
We were, I think, all imbued with gladness at Wellington’s Cathedral of St.Paul on Saturday evening at the splendours of the music-making by the Orpheus Choir in partnership with the instrumentalists throughout most of the concert and with the vocal soloists in the concluding  Szymanowski work, the whole directed to lustrous effect by conductor Brent Stewart. It was an occasion whose intensities and excitements seemed, throughout the evening, to escalate... read more

Roger Hall’s “terrific couple” at last back on stage in Wellington – “Winding Up” at Circa Theatre

By , 01/08/2021
Sir Roger Hall’s “Winding Up”, an exploration of love weathering age and untoward circumstance, has finally made the stage at Circa Theatre, over a year after being first scheduled and then waylaid by Covid-19 and Lockdown. This afternoon its performance by Ginette McDonald and Peter Hayden as the play’s two characters, Gen and Barry, flickered all about to begin with, gradually warmed, then connected with, and finished up conflagrating... read more

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