News & Reviews

This is the place to get the latest news on chamber music in New Zealand, read special features on artists, music and events, and find out what the critics have to say about our most recent concert tours. 

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

“revealing the familiar as unfamiliar, making the most traditional of works feel radical once more” The New York Times

Contest national Finals 2017
Monday, 24 July 2017

The NZCT Chamber Music Contest is well-known for nurturing young musicians who go on to successful musical careers. Founded in 1965, it is New Zealand’s oldest music competition, and its longest running school music event. In the very first event in 1965, there were 60 groups entered in the competition. Illustrating the growth of the contest year on year, this year there were 439 groups, involving 1675 high school students from all around the country.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Need a ride from Hamilton to Auckland?

Monday, 10 July 2017

The Pettman/ROSL Scholarship for a New Zealand Chamber Ensemble is organised in partnership with our ROSL Branch in New Zealand and is made possible through the generous support of Barrie and Maureen Pettman.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Sigiswald Kuijken is widely considered a leader in historical performance - over the years, Sigiswald and his family’s rich experience of baroque and classical music have inspired and influenced generations of musicians. After his first visit to Aotearoa in 1979 with his two brothers and harpsichordist Gustav Leonhardt, he's now returning for string quartet performances with his wife and daughter and cellist Michel Boulanger, and special solo recitals.

Monday, 26 June 2017

We spent our Queen's Birthday Weekend in Nelson, surrounded by good music, good people and even better vibes. Multi-day residencies, like this one, always have a particular kind of atmosphere - the idea of a group of people flying from all over the country, as well as Australia and UK (yes you've read that right!), to make music together is always magical.

Regional Series: Xena Peristova - Photo by Carla Rees
Tuesday, 20 June 2017

London-based New Zealand pianist Xenia Pestova is touring the country in July, as part of the CMNZ Encompass Regional Series. After a childhood in Siberia she moved to Wellington when she was 12 years old and later completed her tertiary studies at Victoria University, with Judith Clark.


It is four years since you have been in New Zealand, what are you most looking forward to about being back?

Regional Series: The Troubadour Quartet
Tuesday, 20 June 2017

With over 60 years of collective experience, this vibrant and energetic young string quartet was formed in 2016 as part of the Adam Chamber Music Summer School. The quartet is an eclectic group of emerging professionals, aspiring to grow their skills and enthusiasm for chamber music.


Monday, 19 June 2017

In May we offered an audio description service and touch tour for our Auckland Masaaki Suzuki & Juilliard415 concert. Prior to the concert  members from Juilliard415 provided an explanation and practical demonstration of each of their instrument; the audience also got the chance to touch the instruments, feel the different shapes and materials and have a go at playing them. 

Friday, 19 May 2017

Masaaki Suzuki and Juilliard415 are in New Zealand for a 10 centre tour, during May and June. Maestro Suzuki is an internationally-acclaimed and award-winning Japanese organist, harpsichordist and conductor, and the founder and musical director of the Bach Collegium Japan.


Here are Five Fast Facts, you might not know about: 

Sigiswald Kuijken
Friday, 19 May 2017

Sigiswald Kuijken, a world leader in establishing historical performance practice, founded the baroque orchestra, La Petite Bande in 1972 and the Kuijken Quartet in 1986. The Kuijken Quartet is a family affair, with Sigiswald and his wife Marleen Thiers (viola), with daughter Sara (violin) and for this CMNZ tour, Michel Boulanger (cello).

Black Strings Jazz Festival
Thursday, 18 May 2017

If you saw The Jac on tour earlier this month you’ll want to know about their latest project Seoul Jazz. This unique collaboration with South Korea’s fresh and fiery Black String will have its world premiere at the Wellington Jazz Festival on 10 June.

Alistair Frase matariki
Thursday, 18 May 2017

This year we are teaming up with Wellington Museum and, for the first time with Pātaka Art + Museum, to celebrate Matariki. These family friendly concerts will weave the hauntingly beautiful music of taonga puoro and traditional chamber music instruments in a unique homage to Matariki.

Friday, 12 May 2017

(From left to right: Keiran Campbell, Karen Dekker, Jeffrey Girton, Ūla Kinderyté,)

Monday, 8 May 2017

Tell us three things you already know about New Zealand!

Great rugby team! Great landscapes, ocean sides, fauna, flora etc.. There is also this punk music band “die die die” that I listened to several years ago.

What is it like being part of the “Juilliard Family”?

Friday, 5 May 2017

Reviewed by Stephen Fisher

In its search for engaging programming, Ensemble Paladino maintains a flexible line-up of musicians with strong New Zealand and international links, chosen according to programme.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017


Wednesday, 26 April 2017

From movies to the media, The Juilliard School’s reputation spreads far and wide. But what’s it really like to be part of the Juilliard family? We talked to violinist Alana Youssefian, one of the 18 Historical Performance students that will join maestro Masaaki Suzuki for a two-week NZ tour.


First of all, do you know anything about New Zealand?

royal new zealand ballet
Wednesday, 26 April 2017

RNZB: Three by Ekman

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Described as being “on par with any global contemporary jazz bands (The Jac) is an exquisite slice of NZ jazz and one that deserves to be heard”.

Each year CMNZ supports tours by New Zealand musicians as part of our Encompass Series. In May, jazz octet, The Jac, will tour to seven centres spanning the length of the country in concerts presented by local music societies, music schools and the Southland Festival of the Arts.


Thursday, 30 March 2017

You have announced Justine’s decision to leave the trio after an amazing partnership of 15 years. Justine, I’m sure our audience would love to know if you have any plans already in store for the future?

Crown Plaza
Thursday, 23 March 2017

From our Partners:

The Key to a Great Weekend - Crowne Plaza Auckland Weekend Special

Transform your evening at the concert hall to a weekend in the centre of it all. Enjoy accommodation for two adults including breakfast and late checkout.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

To celebrate the beginning of our partnership with Driving Miss Daisy we want to treat you to something special this month. We are giving away a double pass to Kathryn Stott & NZSQ concert in May, together with a ride to and from the concert hall! 

L'Arpeggiata Christina Pluhar Review
Friday, 17 March 2017

Reviewed by William Dart

It was an exhilarating launch for both the Auckland Arts Festival's classical programme and Chamber Music New Zealand's upcoming season. In 90 minutes, the 11 stylish musicians of L'Arpeggiata laid out a baroque musical banquet spiced with the tastiest jazz flavourings.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Kathryn Stott will join the New Zealand String Quartet for a two-week tour in May.


Here are Five Fast Facts, you might not know about:

Thursday, 23 February 2017


Enter the draw to win one of two Music for a While: Improvisations on Henry Purcell CDs recorded by our first international guest artists of the Season, L'Arpeggiata.

Wellington Region
Thursday, 23 February 2017

In the Wellington region, we enjoy plenty of opportunities to experience beautiful chamber music.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017


The 2017 Kaleidoscopes Season is opening in grand style, thanks to early music legends, L’Arpeggiata. Considered chamber music “rock stars”, this ensemble has a reputation to turn every concert into a party, thanks to their inexhaustible energy and charisma.


Here are Five Fast Facts, you might not know about: 

Monday, 20 February 2017

Is it Early Music played superbly that gets you excited? With so much on offer in 2017 you can have it all for an incredible price with this specially tailored series.  


Friday, 17 February 2017

The 2017 Season has been announced and the line up is one of a kind, ranging from solo artists to ensembles of 20 musicians, from early music and the classics, to more contemporary sounds.

Kick-off is fast approaching and the office is fizzing with anticipation. To satisfy your curiosity (and ours) we ask around to find out what Season highlights the staff are looking forward to most!


Photo of Ensemble Paladino
Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Most great things are created or come into being because of necessity. The need to present uncompromising, diverse and fearless chamber music on the highest level is what sparked the creation of Ensemble Paladino, according to Martin Rummel, the cellist and founder of the ensemble.


From Vienna to the other side of the world – what was the appeal of joining the faculty in Auckland?

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

In 2017 we are offering an Audio Description service at our Auckland Masaaki Suzuki and Juilliard415 concert, on Friday 26 May. The concert will start at 7:30pm, with the touch tour at 6pm.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Review by  James R. Oestreich , New York Times

The bass Alex Rosen, center, with William Christie leading Juilliard415 in Jean-Philippe Rameau’s “Castor et Pollux” at Alice Tully Hall on Wednesday evening. CreditHiroyuki Ito for The New York Times

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Reviewed by MARIAN POOLE

Stomping and cheering from a full house at Glenroy Auditorium on Saturday evening won two encores from Brahms' Hungarian Dances. Performed with full gypsy flair and vigour by the London Conchord Ensemble, they left the audience zinging.

These were preceded by a programme which received equally energetic and passionate performances from the varying mix of instrumentalists.

Tony Chen Lin, piano, talks to a captive audience in Rangiora (credit Jeffery Wen)
Tuesday, 18 October 2016

On Monday we officially farewelled the 2016 Kaleidoscopes Season with a brilliant final tour by the London Conchord Ensemble, concluding  concerts in Hawke’s Bay and Palmerston North.

On Sunday we also wrapped up the 2016 Encompass Series with the final performance of the Marimba and Percussion Duo in Tauranga. It has been a great year for our regional circuit, that saw muscians traveling to centres from Kaitaia to Gore.

Tony Chen Lin with captive audience in Rangiora (credit Jeffery Wen)
Friday, 14 October 2016

Celebrated young Kiwi pianist Tony Chen Lin returned from studies in Europe for a national tour in September and October, performing in more than ten New Zealand centres as part of Chamber Music New Zealand's 2016 Encompass Series. These concerts are presented by an extraodinary network of presenters, mostly volunteer music societies, across the country.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

"We are immensely looking forward to our series of concerts for Chamber Music New Zealand this Autumn, and are excited to be playing programmes that put every one of the musicians centre stage.  As an ensemble for wind, strings and piano, we often find that we are playing concerts as a quartet, quintet, or sextet, but rarely get the opportunity to have eight of us involved in a programme.

Friday, 2 September 2016

This month James Dunham will embark on his first trip to NZ, to join NZSQ for special tour highlighting masterpiece from Brahms and Mozart. In Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch the quintet will take over the city with the unique format of a one day-mini festival. 

We caught James Dunham between a masterclass and a performance at the Aspen Music Festival to have a quick chat. Here is what we found out.


Friday, 2 September 2016

Salina Fisher is one of the most remarkable young NZ composers. Chamber Music Contest Alumna, she will have her new piece, Tōrino, premiered by the New Zealand String Quartet during the QuintEssence Mini Festival in Wellington

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

QuintEssence Mini Festival:  celebrate Brahms and Mozart all in one day: a once-in-a-lifetime experience!


Thursday, 18 August 2016

Monique Lapins, still in her 20s, has already an enviable curriculum with experiences in Australia, Singapore, Japan and New Zealand. She recently joined the New Zealand String Quartet as second violin, taking over from Douglas Beilman who played the second violin with the quartet for 26 years.


Here are 5 Fast Facts to introduce you to this young talent.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Hamilton ensemble Yerevan Trio are the 2016 overall winners of the NZCT Chamber Music Contest – the first time a Hamilton group has won the contest!

Sophie Zheng (violin), Hyein Kim (cello) and Marianna Kang (piano) won the contest performing Babadjanian's Piano Trio in F-sharp minor (movements 2 and 3). This piece, written in commemoration of the Armenian Genocide in 1915-1917, is a very demanding work both emotionally and technically.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

We are over the moon for the reception of the Arts for All Award, at The Arts Access Awards 2016.

It all started as a big experiment to try and take chamber music back to its original intent: a universal language that can bring people together.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

You don’t need to be an expert in classical music to know about Brahms and Mozart. Their talent and popularity is recognized worldwide.

But how many of you know about the man behind the composer. And most of all, who would win the ultimate face-off?

Only one way to find out!


Photo credit: Andy Crown
Monday, 8 August 2016

After a week-end full ot talent, laughs and many memorable moments, we have a winner for the 2016 NZCT Chamber Music Contest.

NZCT Chamber Music Contest Auckland
Monday, 1 August 2016

Review by William Dart, NZ Herald

Trinity Trio Chamber Music
Monday, 1 August 2016

Review by Hanno Fairburn, Rotorua Daily Post  

Messiaen Quartet for the end of time
Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Olivier Messiaen (1908 – 1992). He was a French composer, organist, and ornithologist, one of the major composers of the 20th century. He travelled widely and wrote works inspired by diverse influences such as Japanese music, the landscape of Bryce Canyon in Utah and the life of St. Francis of Assisi.He said he perceived colours when he heard certain musical chord(a phenomenon known as synaesthesia).

Monday, 18 July 2016

The NZCT Chamber Music Contest is one of the most anticipated events on the calendar of many New Zealand music lovers. It’s an event in continuous metamorphosis, growing and changing through the years.