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Posts tagged: contemporary music

Delightful, delicious, and declamatory – a “no-holds-barred” night with Marc Taddei and Orchestra Wellington

By , 20/10/2019
Orchestra Wellington has earned a special niche for itself amid the welter of artistic activities supported by the capital, one that’s steadily developed over the years of Marc Taddei’s tenure as Music Director, and in recent times enjoyed obvious fruition in terms of its enthusiastic audience following. Its appeal is based on several factors, not the least of which is the unflagging wholeheartedness and enthusiasm of conductor Taddei for... read more

Iconic singer/composer Björk celebrated by Claire Cowan’s Blackbird Ensemble

By , 17/10/2019
Fans of the Icelandic singer Björk Guðmundsdóttir (known internationally by her first name, Björk)  will probably have little more than a certain “academic” interest in the following review, written by someone, myself, who’s a dyed-in-the-wool follower of what’s popularly known as “classical” music, and, up until attending this concert didn’t know even whether the singer in whose honour the event took place was male or female! I’d vaguely heard... read more

HK Gruber’s critique of classical music with the NZSO a hit with a younger, if smaller, audience

By , 10/10/2019

'Why serious?' the programme notes asks, presumably quoting HK Gruber. The music in this programme was meant to be fun. Gruber wanted to make music simple, approachable, and break down the demarcation between classical and popular music. Simplicity, however does not mean stupidity. Gruber's models were Kurt Weill and Hans Eisler, and their iconoclastic music of Berlin of the 1920s. So this evening's music was a long way... read more

Piano fantasies, dreams and forebodings, from Tony Chen Lin at Wellington’s St.Andrew’s

By , 29/09/2019
Can it really be three years almost to the day that Tony Chen Lin was last playing for us in this same venue? - delighting and enthralling us on that occasion with a programme remarkable as much for its explorations of the music’s connecting threads and echoings as its contrasts and differences? Perhaps it was the unifying factor of having a similarly “only connect” spirit hovering about the music... read more

Stroma breathes life into its collection of “Sonic Portraits”

By , 19/09/2019
I came across an interesting article on the American composer Virgil Thomson when exploring the idea of “Portraits” in music. Inspired by novelist Gertrude Stein in Paris during the mid-1920s, who had made a series of free-association "literary portraits" written in a single sitting, Thomson thought he would try the same technique in music composition – his subject would “sit”, and Thomson would compose, on the spot... 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

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

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

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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