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. 

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.

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

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.

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.

Kelemen Quartet with guest cellist Akos Takacs
Thursday, 13 March 2014

by Margot Hannigan, Nelson Mail

Thursday, 13 March 2014

by Brenda Harwood, The Dunedin Star

Youthful energy abounded in the performance of Hungarian string quartet Kelemen Quartet, in a brilliant programme showcasing the music of their home country.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

by Andrew Buchanan-Smart , Waikato Times

Kelemen Quartet, L to R: Barnabás Kelemen, Dóra Kokas, Gábor Homoki, Katalin Kokas
Wednesday, 12 March 2014

by Nicci McDougall, Southland Times

A small but ‘‘spell-bound’’ Invercargill audience enjoyed a musical ensemble of four string players on Monday night.

Playing to audiences throughout the country on their first New Zealand tour, Hungarian musicians Kelemen Quartet entertained more than 90 people at the Civic Theatre.

Kelemen Quartet, L to R: Barnabás Kelemen, Katalin Kokas, Dóra Kokas, Gábor Homoki
Tuesday, 11 March 2014

by Marion Poole, Otago Daily Times

The vibrancy of Hungarian music and generous programme had a full house at the Glenroy shouting and stamping. 

Forbidden City Chamber orchestra and the New Zealand String Quartet
Monday, 10 March 2014

by John Button, The Dominion Post

The Forbidden City Chamber Orchestra
Thursday, 6 March 2014

This weekend the Tales from the Forbidden City tour begins in New Zealand featuring familiar instruments to the Chamber Music New Zealand stage (violin, viola, cello and piano) as well as a number of less familiar instruments which hail from China .

Friday, 28 February 2014

February 7 - 9 2014 saw music teachers from across the country gather in Taranaki for the annual Institute of Registered Music Teachers (IRMT) conference.

Kelemen Quartet, L to R: Barnabás Kelemen, Dóra Kokas, Katalin Kokas, Gábor Homoki
Thursday, 27 February 2014

Before heading to New Zealand for their début tour with us the Kelemen Quartet have been in Australia with Musica Viva. It was here that their cellist had an unfortunate injury resulting in her not being able to continue performing. Nonetheless the tour went on and the reviews of the concerts and how the musicians handled the situation have been tremendous. 

John Chen in the Saguaro Trio (Photo: Inga Sommer)
Thursday, 27 February 2014
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Tuesday, 25 February 2014
We have a highly-skilled and experienced group of professional chamber musicians lined up to adjudicate this year's Chamber Music Contest, see who will be on the panels...
L: Dóra Kokas (Kelemen Quartet cellist), R: Ákos Takács (guest cellist)
Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Just when you least expect it – disaster strikes.

Over the weekend we were saddened to hear that the cellist in the Kelemen Quartet, Dóra Kokas (pictured left), had injured herself in Australia.

Jack Body (Composer)
Thursday, 20 February 2014

Introducing New Zealand composer Jack Body, the co-producer and one of the key collaborators behind Chamber Music New Zealand's upcoming tour Tales from the Forbidden City

Dóra Kokas
Monday, 10 February 2014

Introducing cellist Dóra Kokas from the Kelemen Quartet who will be in New Zealand this March to open our concert season with works from Ligeti, Mozart, Haydn, Bartók and Kurtág.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Tales from the Forbidden City is the culmination of a year's work, of travel between two countries, of music that will astonish your ears, elight your eyes and stretch your mind.

Saturday, 8 February 2014
This week marks the 20th year of the Adam Summer School for Chamber Music. Run by the New Zealand String Quartet Trust it was founded by our advocate Michael Houstoun alongside members of the Quartet with an aim to provide the country’s best young string players and pianists with an opportunity to commit themselves to intense chamber music-making over one week together.
New Zealand String Quartet - Photography: Patrycja Szwarczyńska © ScorpionMedia
Tuesday, 7 January 2014

The Queen’s 2014 New Year Honours List features many distinguished New Zealanders, including Chamber Music New Zealand extended family members.

Tuesday, 31 December 2013
By Peter Williams, Hawkes Bay Today - "It is difficult to pick out a single highlight but top place on the list probably belongs to pianist Michael Houstoun for his outstanding achievement in the performance, after a gap of 20 years since first performed, of all 32 of the Beethoven Piano Sonatas. They were memorable last time but this time there was an added maturity and assurance in his playing that resulted in some truly stunning performances. A standout for me was his superlative playing of the Appassionata Sonata – Sonata No 23 Op. 57 in F Minor."
Seasons Greetings
Friday, 13 December 2013

It has been a mammoth year of concerts and events for Chamber Music New Zealand. We hope you have enjoyed all that's been on offer as much as we have enjoyed bringing it to you.

The Puertas Quartet Winery Plus Tour
Friday, 6 December 2013

Puertas Quartet, who toured in our Encompass 2012 series, are returning for a summer of concerts in Auckland, Martinborough, Christchurch and Arrowtown. The series will feature Wolf's Italian Serenade, Mendelssohn A minor & Beethoven's Rasumovsky No.1.

Salina Fisher, 2013 NZSO TODD Corporation Young Composer Award Winner
Tuesday, 3 December 2013

20-year-old Salina Fisher, a member in the 2007, 2008 and 2010 Chamber Music Contest winning ensembles, last week was named the winner of the NZSO TODD Corporation Young Composers Award for 2013. 

Become a Chamber Music New Zealand Encore Supporter
Sunday, 1 December 2013

Every December our year-end appeal creates an opportunity to reflect on the achievements and challenges of the previous 12 months.

Now in existence for over 64 years, Chamber Music New Zealand continues to strive to expand our programmes and experiences to all New Zealanders.

TRINITY TRIO - Tina Kim, Stella Kim, Sally Kim. Photo Credit: Rhys Palmer
Monday, 25 November 2013
Sibling musicians Stella (violin) and Sally Kim (cello) and their friend Tina Kim (piano) of Auckland’s Trinity Trio, were announced the winners of the 8th Annual Pettman/ROSL Arts International Scholarship for a New Zealand Chamber Ensemble which took place over the weekend in Hamilton.
Monday, 18 November 2013

Wellington-based business leader Paul Baines, has been a Trustee  on the Board of Chamber Music New Zealand since 2008.

Paul Baines

Confetti raining down on Michael Houstoun at the close of his BEETHOVEN reCYCLE concerts
Wednesday, 13 November 2013

November 11th 2013 saw the final performance of Michael Houstoun's year-long journey reCycling Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas in 40 concerts around the country.

Throughout this year more than 15,000 seats have been filled with audience members from Auckland to Invercargill experiencing the magical combination of Michael Houstoun and Beethoven.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

by John Button, Dominion Post

With this, the seventh concert in his epic journey through the 32 sonatas Beethoven composed between 1793 and 1822, Michael Houstoun reached the end. Not just the end of the series in Wellington but the whole series - 40 concerts from Auckland to Invercargill. 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

by John Button, Domion Post

This was the second of the last three concerts in this momentous series to be held in the Michael Fowler Centre. 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

by Allan Purdy, Taranaki Daily News

This could be the shortest review of all time! PERFECT. 

However, for those unfortunately unable to be there, a few supporting comments will help. 

Monday, 11 November 2013

by John Button, Dominion Post

After a gap of four months Wellington heard the next instalment in Michael Houstoun's 2013 traversal of all 32 Beethoven Sonatas, and this was the first in a short burst of three concerts that will bring this epic journey to a close. 

Michael Houstoun Beethoven reCYCLE 2013
Monday, 4 November 2013

by William Dart, The New Zealand Herald

As Michael Houstoun nears the end of his heroic Beethoven reCYCLE series revisiting the 32 Piano Sonatas, I am reminded of a comment that the pianist made back in 1989.

Discussing Beethoven, he singled out the essential feature of the music as its organic development, from Opus 1 to Opus 135.

Cavaleri Quartet New Zealand Tour 2013
Monday, 4 November 2013

This November the UK's Cavaleri Quartet will feature on stage, adjudicate and coach at the highly regarded Pettman/ROSL Arts Scholarship Auditions, as well as touring the country and raising money for charity. 

The Tallis Scholars. Credit: David Alexander
Friday, 25 October 2013

by William Dart, The New Zealand Herald

A full Holy Trinity Cathedral is usually reserved for midnight mass or funerals of the famous, but there were few empty seats at the Wednesday concert by the Tallis Scholars under Peter Phillips.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

by Jenny Campbell, Invercargill Eye

Southland people were treated to a feast of Beethoven last Sunday with Michael Houstoun playing part of his repertoire of 32 Beethoven piano sonatas at the Civic Theatre on the occasion of his 60th birthday.

Nelson School of Music, sold out for Beethoven reCYCLE Part 3
Thursday, 24 October 2013

by Margot Hannigan, Nelson Mail

The spiritual journey that Michael Houstoun has made to celebrate his 60th birthday is truly inspiring. I admire his stamina, his incredible memory, his dedication and aloneness.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013


By Rachel Hyde, Radio New Zealand Concert

Peter Phillips, Tallis Scholars Director
Wednesday, 23 October 2013

by Simon Holden ,

The Tallis Scholars. Credit: David Alexander
Wednesday, 23 October 2013

by John Button, Dominion Post

In the world of early music the Tallis Scholars are about as big a name as there is. Founded in 1973 by Peter Phillips they have become a household name, with their reputation extending beyond the narrow world of Renaissance music.

The Tallis Scholars. Credit: Eric Richmond
Tuesday, 22 October 2013

By Lindis Taylor, Middle C

The Cathedral of Saint Paul was sold out for this second concert in the New Zealand tour: Christchurch on Saturday, Auckland and Napier in the following days. I had a seat in the Choir gallery above the west door and it was a splendid position both visually and aurally.

Counterstreich Quintet: (Samantha Dench - flute | Annabel Lovatt - oboe | Kenny Keppel - clarinet | Sasha Rasmussen - bassoon | Lilla Dittrich - horn)
Monday, 21 October 2013
This year’s Auckland Chamber Music Society Prize winners were decided on Sunday 20 October, 2pm at the Music Theatre, Auckland University School of Music. Congratulations to the Counterstreich Quintet.
Saturday, 19 October 2013

by Marion Poole, Otago Daily Times

Michael Houstoun enraptured a full house at the Glenroy Auditorium with the final of his Dunedin performances of the Beethoven sonatas.

All four works were performed with the brilliance of a perfectionist.

Friday, 18 October 2013

By Peter Williams, Hawkes Bay Today

Sustained applause in a standing ovation erupted as the final notes of Beethoven's last piano sonata - Sonata No 32 in C minor Opus 111- died away under Michael Houstoun's fingers as he completed his prodigious achievement of the performance of all 32 of the Sonatas.