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. 

Monday, 14 July 2014

by Margot Hannigan, Nelson Mail

This beautiful alliance of three differently talented musicians happened in Dunedin-Tessa Petersen on violin, John Van Buskirk on piano, and soprano Rebecca Ryan. Ryan pregnant with child, but also pregnant with glorious musical feeling.

Their programme displayed their individual musicality and their shared pleasure in discovering soulful music in different genres.

John Myerscough
Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Meet John Myerscough, the cellist from Britain's Doric String Quartet who are touring with us around New Zealand this July. We asked John to play our game of 'complete the sentence' to find out more about him and the upcoming tour...

Thursday, 3 July 2014

by Brenda Harwood, The Star (Dunedin)

Youthful exuberance and energy combined with stunning technical skill as Canadian violinist Nikki Chooi took Saturday's audience on a merry dance around the world.

Making a triumphal tour with Chamber Music New Zealand as the winner of the 2013 Michael Hill International Violin Competition, Chooi was accompanied and well-matched by versatile New Zealand pianist Stephen De Pledge.

Amadeus Quartet
Tuesday, 1 July 2014
Ahead of our July 2014 tour with Britain's shining Doric String Quartet, we share the rich history of British string quartets and their contribution to Chamber Music New Zealand.
Monday, 30 June 2014

by Marion Poole, Otago Daily Times

Nikki Chooi, winner of the 2013 Michael Hill Violin Competition, supported by world-renowned pianist Stephen de Pledge, performed an excellent programme with exceptional commitment to technical and interpretative prowess before a large audience at the Glenroy Auditorium on Saturday evening.

Nikki Chooi and Stephen De Pledge
Monday, 23 June 2014

by John Button, The Dominion Post

This concert was one from the Winner's Tour - part of the prize package for the winner of the 2013 Michael Hill International Violin Competition. That was a lovely recital by an immensely talented violinist supported by two superb New Zealand musicians.

Wanganui's Trio Exotique: Fumiko Koshikawa (violin), Jamie Gillespie (saxophone) and Max Munneke (piano)
Thursday, 19 June 2014

By Anne-Marie McDonald, Wanganui Chronicle

Some of the best young classical musicians in the North Island will be performing in Wanganui this weekend.

Ten chamber music ensembles will take part in the New Zealand Chamber Music secondary schools regional showcase, to be held at the Prince Edward Auditorium on Saturday.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

by William Dart, The New Zealand Herald

Over 13 years, the Michael Hill International Violin Competition has proved a formidable energy force for New Zealand music. Not only has it helped to put us on the global map, but it has brought a host of superlative musicians to our concert halls.

On Monday, Nikki Chooi revealed why he carried off last year’s big prize. The Canadian violinist and pianist Stephen De Pledge introduced themselves with a Mozart sparkler.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014
During June 507 secondary school ensembles of between three and eight musicians including 19 octets and involving close to 2000 students, took part in the District Rounds of the 49th NZCT Chamber Music Contest. We are pleased to announce the groups that have been selected to progress to the Semi-Finals of the National Finals.
Monday, 16 June 2014

by Margot Hannigan, Nelson Mail

L to R: Ingrid Culliford and Alistair Fraser
Sunday, 15 June 2014

On June 19 2014 at Museum of Wellington City & Sea we'll be celebrating Matariki with a unique mus

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

by Allan Purdy, Taranaki Daily News

Brilliant young Canadian violinist, Nikki Chooi, charmed and wowed his audience at the Chamber Music New Zealand concert on Monday evening.

As the winner of the 2013 Michael Hill International Violin Competition he has a 14-centre tour of New Zealand with pianist Stephen De Pledge as part of his prize.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

by Andrew Buchanan-Smart, Waikato Times

Nikki Chooi, 2013 Michael Hill International Violin Competition winner
Monday, 9 June 2014

by Kate Holland, Rotorua Daily Post

At the first recital of a 14-concert tour, Nikki Chooi showed that he was indeed a worthy winner of last year's Michael Hill International Violin Competition.

The young Canadian effortlessly performed the moods and styles of six challenging works on the programme.

Friday, 30 May 2014

Good music and great wine

This June Chamber Music New Zealand is delighted to announce a new partnership with Kono Beverages, the award-winning Māori owned New Zealand wine company behind Tohu and Aronui wines.

Nikki Chooi, 2013 Michael Hill International Violin Competition winner
Monday, 26 May 2014

We know that Canadian Nikki Chooi is a winning violinist.He took the top prize at last year's Michae

Buz Bryant-Greene
Monday, 26 May 2014

The Malrborough Express

Pianist Buz Bryant-Greene Marlborough Music Society concert St Andrew's Church, Blenheim Friday, May 23 Reviewed by Alastair Elliott

An entire programme of contemporary New Zealand compositions performed on a 90-year-old Steinway - it may well have had some of the audience thinking: ‘Take this, it will be good for you!"

Stephen De Pledge
Thursday, 22 May 2014
Pianist Stephen De Pledge, who will feature in The Winner's Tour this June, played a game of 'complete the sentence' to reveal what he is looking forward to while on the road...
Tuesday, 20 May 2014

by Ann Nighy, Nelson Mail Mailbox

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

by Alan Purdy, Taranaki Daily News

Immaculate rapport between Canadian clarinettist James Campbell and the New Zealand String Quartet, playing sublime quintets by Weber and Mozart, made this second concert in Chamber Music New Zealand’s ‘‘Kaleidoscopes’’ series a joyous occasion. 

Monday, 19 May 2014

by Margot Hannigan, Nelson Mail

James Campbell is no stranger to Nelson, having performed chamber music with the New Zealand String Quartet for 11 years. Making this concert so memorial was the performers' musical rapport, mutual understanding and sheer enjoyment of one another's company.

Monday, 19 May 2014

by Peter Williams, Hawkes Bay Today

Community musician Julian Raphael (Photo by Alphapix)
Saturday, 17 May 2014

by Tania Maccauley, Hawkes Bay Today

The Hawke's Bay Opera House plaza was filled with the sound of happy children, taking part in a unique musical performance with the New Zealand String Quartet.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

by Andrew Buchanan-Smart , Waikato Times 

Thursday, 15 May 2014

by Brenda Harwood, Dunedin Star

The vast experience of the New Zealand String Quartet and Canadian clarinettist James Campbell shone through in an impressive, yet relaxed, concert on Sunday for Chamber Music NZ.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

by William Dart, The New Zealand Herald

Monday's evening of quintets featuring Canadian clarinettist James Campbell with the New Zealand String Quartet could not have featured finer music than Mozart and Brahms. Both composers' Quintets emerged from special friendships with a clarinettist, Mozart with Anton Stadler, Brahms with Richard Muhlfeld.

Monday, 12 May 2014

by Elizabeth Bouman, Otago Daily Times

New Zealand String Quartet with James Campbell
Thursday, 8 May 2014

by John Button, The Dominion Post

This was the second concert in the New Zealand String Quartet's 10-centre tour for Chamber Music New Zealand, and is featured some lovely playing.

James Campbell
Tuesday, 6 May 2014

by Tom Cardy, The Dominion Post

 In the early 70s clarinettist James Campbell was a 23-year-old music student who was starting to get a name for himself as a clarinet player.

One day the phone rang and his wife answered. "Can I speak to James please," asked the voice on the end of the line.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

by Rosemary Collier, Middle C

The gorgeous opening of the Weber quintet told the audience that we were in for a treat of mellifluous tonalities and contrasting sonorities.  Here was a wonderful programme of music by clarinet-loving composers.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

by Stephen Fisher, Manawatu Standard

Clarinettist James Campbell, from Canada, joined the New Zealand String Quartet for this concert, which featured two of the most popular works in the chamber music repertoire, Mozart’s Quintet in A for clarinet and strings and Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet in B minor.

Monday, 7 April 2014
We're looking for volunteers to help at the Auckland District Rounds of our nationwide NZCT Chamber Music Contest.The event takes place across four days (Thur 5 – Sun 8 June 2014). "Seeing how everything runs from the other side and making sure everything is set up just right for the performers to do their best is incredibly rewarding." - Todd Gibson-Cornish, 2013 Contest Volunteer. Please help us by volunteering before 14 May 2014 - give back to your music community and gain valuable skills involved in running a concert!
Saturday, 5 April 2014
Left: Michael Houstoun. Right: Douglas Lilburn, 1945 Watercolour, 444 x 336mm Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, on loan from the Rita Angus Estate
Thursday, 3 April 2014

Michael Houstoun (a man for whom little introduction is required in New Zealand's classical music circles) last year won Best Classical Album at the NZ Music Awards for his recording of composer Douglas Lilburn's works.

But what inspired these recordings? Michael writes in the album booklet:

James Campbell. right photo credit: Tim Leyes
Thursday, 3 April 2014
James is touring the country in May with the New Zealand String Quartet. They'll perform absolute greats from the chamber music repertoire - sublime clarinet quintets by Brahms and Mozart. Campbell is no stranger to the repertoire; he’s given more than 300 performances of the Mozart Quintet with over 35 different string quartets. His recording of Brahms’s Clarinet Quintet with the Allegri Quartet was voted the “Top Choice” by BBC Radio 3 and The London Times. We played a game of 'complete the phrase' to get to know James a little better...
Tuesday, 25 March 2014

by Anne Bovett, Taranaki Daily News

Chamber Music New Zealand’s concert series this year is billed ‘‘Back to Basics’’, with an emphasis on string quartets, and the standard was firmly planted with Friday night’s performance by the Kelemen Quartet. 

This youthful group brought Hungarian flair and dramatic energy to all the pieces they presented in a gripping programme. 

Friday, 21 March 2014

by William Dart, The New Zealand Herald

The magic was there at the start when the Kelemen Quartet launched Wednesday's Chamber Music New Zealand concert with the mercurial Adagio that opens Mozart's Dissonance Quartet and gives it its name.

Friday, 21 March 2014
Chamber Music New Zealand encourages emerging ensembles in Aotearoa to seek out international opportunities for learning and growth. The Royal College of Music in London and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester UK are seeking out chamber music groups to apply for Artist Diplomas and Junior Fellows in chamber music.
Thursday, 20 March 2014

by Andrew Buchanan-Smart, Waikato Times

The Kelemen Quartet continues a long tradition of New Zealand and Chamber Music New Zealand hosting some of the finest Hungarian quartets.

The programme contained a symmetry of works, with two works from each of the 18th and 20th centuries. This balanced expose could have clearly shown the journey which the form and medium has travelled with clarity.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

by Hanno Fairburn, Rotorua Daily Post

The Rangitoto Trio gave compelling performances at the Concert Chamber.

This young New Zealand group of violin, cello and piano used their fine chamber music skills, unaffected eloquence and instrumental colour to capture the individual styles needed for the three demanding works on the programme.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

by Karen Carter, the Tribune Palmerston North

Passion, fire and drama opened the 2014 Kaleidoscopes concert season as Chamber Music New Zealand pays homage to the string quartet.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

by Peter Williams, Hawkes Bay Today

This young quartet, violinist Barnabas Kelemen, violinists/violists Katalin Kokas and Gabor Homoki and guest cellist Akos Takacs, came with plenty of plaudits related to its music talent and expertise. The reason for such praise was quickly obvious in the concert, especially following an accident to  regular cellist Dora Kokas while touring in Australia. Takacs was a replacement player.

Mihi whakatau for Toi Māori Aotearoa and Keriata Royal
Monday, 17 March 2014

Today marked a significant moment for Chamber Music New Zealand as we welcomed Keriata Royal under the new Māori Arts Internship Programme through Toi Māori Aotearoa, further developing the partnership between our two organisations.

GOING PLACES: The Kelemen Quartet, from left, Barnabas Kelemen, Gabor Homoki, Dora Kokas and Katalin Kokas. Dora was replaced by Akos Takacs when she broke her wrist after a surfer crashed into her at Manly beach.
Monday, 17 March 2014

by John Button, Dominion Post

This was the final music event of the 2014 New Zealand Festival but it was really a Chamber Music New Zealand concert, and it featured a young Hungarian string quartet destined to go places.

The Forbidden City Chamber Orchestra with the NZ String Quartet and Jack Body.
Monday, 17 March 2014

by William Dart, The New Zealand Herald

The Forbidden City Chamber Orchestra's brief 2011 visit left one eager for more of the virtuoso Chinese ensemble.