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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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, 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).
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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!
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.
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:
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?
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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).
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.