FAQ's

Chamber Music Questions

About Chamber Music

What is chamber music?
What sorts of instruments will the musicians play?
How should I act at a chamber music concert?
What should I wear?
When should I clap?
How long are concerts?
How can I get the most out of a concert?

About Chamber Music New Zealand (CMNZ)

Where do CMNZ concerts take place?
How do I buy tickets?

How much do tickets cost?
I am a musician, how can I perform with CMNZ?
I am not a musician, how can I get involved / support CMNZ?

Have you got a question we haven't answered? Then get in touch with us by calling 0800 CONCERT (266 2378) or emailing info@chambermusic.co.nz.

About Chamber Music

What is chamber music?

Imagine being in a room with a group of really good friends. The conversation flows freely - one idea bounces off another, sometimes people take turns to speak, sometimes they all talk at once.

Chamber music has been called the music of friends, and it’s rather like a conversation - musically each voice is important and adds something to the whole. Unlike going to see an orchestra perform, chamber music ensembles are not led by a conductor.

People define chamber music by where it came from - music for small groups (ensembles) originally played in chambers or rooms rather than concert halls. Maybe we should define it by what it is - a musical conversation, which has the capacity to enlighten, entertain, enthrall and even surprise us at times.

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What sorts of instruments will the musicians play?

The make-up of a chamber music ensemble varies widely. Chamber Music New Zealand presents all sorts of concerts with groups that play a range of different instruments. These include traditional string quartets (two violins, viola and cello), piano trios (piano, violin and cello), solo violinists with accompanying pianists, wind quintets (flute, french horn, bassoon, oboe and clarinet), saxophone quartets, chamber choirs, solo vocalists and guitar quartets - to name a few! This variety is one of the great things about chamber music, each concert is a completely different experience in the same wonderfully intimate setting.

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How should I act at a chamber music concert?

There is no right or wrong way to respond to music. It's a very personal experience and the way the music affects you may be completely different to how it affects the person sitting next to you. In general, it's good manners to listen to the music in silence. Try to avoid any interruptions such as noisy lollie wrappers, beeping watches or phones, whispering, etc.

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What should I wear?

In New Zealand, concerts typically have been semi-formal, but increasingly they are becoming more casual. People are there for the music, not to look at the audience. So if you like dressing up for the occasion, that’s good; but if you don’t, and feel more comfortable in jeans and a loose fitting shirt or tee, that’s fine too. 

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When should I clap?

At chamber music concerts it is accepted practise to clap at the end of the piece. The music is often separated into movements with gaps between each movement. It will seem like you should clap when there is a break but do wait until the end of the final movement. For many musicians and listeners the movements create a mood that contributes to the overall feel of the piece of music.

You can usually tell when the piece has been completed by the way the musicians act. If you're in doubt, wait until everyone else starts! If you're so incredibly affected by a movement and cannot suppress spontaneous applause, don't panic. No one is going to ask you to leave for being enthusiastic!

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How long are concerts?

Our concerts are normally about two hours long including a 20 minute interval to give you time to grab a drink or go to the restroom.

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How can I get the most out of a concert?

If you’re a first-timer then you may find it helpful to familiarise yourself with the music and musicians before coming along. Have a listen to samples of the music that’s going to be played beforehand. Read up about the composer and ensemble too - our concert programme notes are a good place to start! And if you still find that your first concert doesn’t really ‘do it’ for you, that’s okay. Remember that while all of our musicians are professionals in their field (both from New Zealand and internationally) the feel and mood of each concert will vary widely, so perhaps try a few different kinds to see what appeals to you the most.

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About Chamber Music New Zealand (CMNZ)

Where do CMNZ concerts take place?

Chamber Music New Zealand presents our annual Kaleidoscopes Concert Season in Auckland, Hamilton, New Plymouth, Napier (Hawke's Bay), Palmerston North (Manawatu), Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch,  Dunedin and Southland (Invercargill).

In addition to this our network of regional presenters have their own vibrant and exciting concerts that include Chamber Music New Zealand artists which are promoted in our What's On section under Encompass Regional Concerts. Our regional presenters are located in Blenheim, Cromwell, Gisborne, Gore, Kaitaia, Kerikeri, Lower Hutt, Motueka, Rangiora, Rotorua, Taihape, Tauranga, Te Awamutu, Upper Hutt, Waikanae, Wanaka, Wanganui, Warkworth, Wellington, Whakatane, and Whangarei.

Within each of these locations venues vary greatly, and when looking at a specific concert on our What's On page you can find out more information about the venue.

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How do I buy tickets?

There are a number of ways to purchase tickets to our events. For the Kaleidoscopes Concert Season, the most cost effective option is to buy a season subscription. We have lots of subscription package options available for purchase at the start of each year depending on what you're after and some are available throughout the concert season. To find out more about how to subscribe and the benefits you receive visit our Subscribe to the Season page.

If you're not interested in subscribing, or if you're looking to attend one of the Encompass Regional Concerts, single tickets can be purchased through a number of different ticketing agencies and/or at the door just prior to the concert starting. For more information about where to purchase tickets for particular concerts in your area visit our Tickets page.

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How much do tickets cost?

Single ticket prices vary depending on the ensemble/concert type, the venue and the location in NZ. For our Kaleidoscopes Concert Season we offer $10 child prices (for primary and secondary school ages), as well as $15 'on the day' Tertiary Student Rush tickets. Adults tickets typically cost from between $35 - $65 for B and C Reserve tickets and between $65 - $85 for A Reserve tickets. As our Kaleidoscopes Concert Season single tickets are sold through third party ticketing agents, booking and transaction fees normally also apply. However, all of our Kaleidoscopes Concert Season subscription packages offer up to 20% discount on standard adult tickets and ordinarily do not have booking or transaction fees applied.

Ticketing of our Encompass Regional Concerts is organised through our regional presenters, and each regional presenter sets their own ticket prices. Ticket price ranges for these concerts can be found on specific tour listings in the What's On section of our website.

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I am a musician, how can I perform with CMNZ?

The best place to find out about how to tour / perform under Chamber Music New Zealand is on our For Artists pages. This section outlines the different opportunities available to artists, the performance / experience levels required and how to get in touch.

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I am not a musician, how can I get involved / support CMNZ?

Chamber Music New Zealand relies on the help and involvement of people like you! Whether it be donating your time by volunteering, spreading the word by sharing our facebook page / YouTube videos / In The Loop Enewsletters with your friends or by making a donation to our Encore Supporter Programme we'd love to hear from you.

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Have you got a question we haven't answered? Then get in touch with us by calling 0800 CONCERT (266 2378) or emailing info@chambermusic.co.nz.