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, 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.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

By Stephen Fisher, Manawatu Standard

Seemingly only yesterday Michael Houstoun thrilled audiences throughout New Zealand with his stunning performances of Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas and now, two decades later, Houstoun has returned to these works, considered by many to be at the very heart of piano literature, providing fresh insight and undoubted maturity.

2014 Kaleidoscopes Concert Season
Friday, 11 October 2013
Bringing you back to the heart of chamber music
The New Zealand String Quartet at St Mary of the Angels. Credit: Megan Ward
Monday, 7 October 2013
Violin I. Violin II. Viola. Cello. Possibly the best ensemble ever created: sharing in common all the richness of timbre a bow can create upon a string, but also startlingly different, the pitch of each voice able to sing out in complete independence as well as blend seamlessly into the whole.
Sunday, 6 October 2013

by Peter Williams, Hawkes Bay Today

It was a pleasure to welcome back the Goldner String Quartet from Australia - violinists Dene Olding and Dimity Hall, violist Irina Morozova and cellist Julian Smiles - in the first concert in the Century Theatre after an absence of three years.

Piers Lane and Goldner String Quartet NZ Tour 2013
Saturday, 5 October 2013

by William Dart, The New Zealand Herald

A week ago, the Goldner String Quartet cellist, Julian Smiles, extolled the pleasures of exploring Mendelssohn, and the composer's Opus 13 launched the group's concert on Thursday night.

Lazarus String Quartet 2013 NZ Tour
Wednesday, 2 October 2013

by Hanno Fairburn, Rotorua Daily Post

The Lazarus String Quartet combined spirit and polish in their concert chamber performance.

The young members of this well integrated and committed group were originally from Christchurch and now study together in Germany.

Monday, 30 September 2013

by Stephen Fisher, Manawatu Standard

Australia's foremost string quartet joining forces on Friday with one of that country's leading pianists to present a programme including one of the great string quartets - Schubert's Death and the Maiden - along with one of the great piano quintets - Edward Elgar's Piano in A minor.

Encore supports pianist Michael Houstoun in his Beethoven concerts
Monday, 30 September 2013

The Encore Supporter Programme provides extraordinary opportunities

Saturday, 28 September 2013

by William Dart, The New Zealand Herald

The Goldner String Quartet is already in the country on its Chamber Music New Zealand tour.

Cellist Julian Smiles is looking forward to crossing Cook Strait and playing in some of our North Island venues, including Napier's just-opened MTG Hawke's Bay.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

By Elizabeth Bouman, Otago Daily Times

Last evening's recital in the Glenroy by the touring Goldner Quartet was a presentation of chamber music at its very best.

Monday, 23 September 2013

By Ruth Allison, Nelson Mail

Stories abounded in this concert, and there was not a lot of levity in any of them. Dark moods, impending death, ghosts, restless seas and depression played major roles. This is the stuff of a cleverly chosen programme.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

By John Button, Dominion Post

After the first three concerts in Michael Houstoun's return to Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas, which were held in the dryness of the Ilott Concert Chamber, we enjoyed the fourth in the lovely, open acoustics of the town hall. And how it suited the name sonata in this recital, No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57 'Appassionata'.

CMNZ Christchurch Venue Change 2013 St Margarets College
Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Based on how popular our Beethoven reCYCLE concerts have been and developments in seeking a suitable venue for our 2014 season, Chamber Music New Zealand has decided to relocate the final three Beethoven reCYCLE concerts from The Grange Theatre at Middleton Grange School.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Christchurch Arts Festival Youth Ambassador Review

The Barocca concert “A Baroque Dawn to Dusk” featured Erin Helyard on Harpsichord, Kamala Bain playing Recorders, Emma Goodbehere playing Cello and Rowena Simpson singing various 17th and 18th Century European Baroque compositions.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Christchurch Arts Festival Youth Ambassador Review

Wednesday, 4 September 2013
This spring pianist Piers Lane is touring the country with the Goldner String Quartet and will be playing two of the finest piano quintets in the repertoire - Elgar's Piano Quintet in A minor and Franck's Piano Quintet in F minor. Piers took some time to play a game of 'complete the sentence' with us, so we could get to know him a little better...
CMNZ 2013 Concert Season venue change in New Plymouth
Sunday, 1 September 2013

The TSB Showplace in New Plymouth, including the Theatre Royal, where CMNZ holds all of the Kaleidoscopes Concert Season performances will be closed from 2 September 2013 until 1 March 2014 in order to strengthen and upgrade the building to meet the latest National Building Standards for earthquake resilience.  This work is the result of the building being i

Friday, 30 August 2013

By Andrew Buchanan-Smart, Waikato Times

CMNZ Mixed Ability concert with Julian Raphael and BonaNZa
Tuesday, 27 August 2013
There was no obligation to stay glued to your seat in silence at a chamber music concert at TSB Theatre Royal yesterday. The audience shouted, clapped, danced, sang along and stomped their feet as trombone quartet BonaNZa and musical director of Wellington Community Choir Julian Raphael performed.
Tuesday, 27 August 2013

By Allan Purdy, Taranaki Daily News

A full house witnessed double genius in action in last night's Beethoven Recycle 2013 concert presented by Chamber Music New Zealand as part of the Taranaki International Arts Festival.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Christchurch Arts Festival Youth Ambassadors Reviews

by Matt

The New Zealand Guitar Quartet revealed itself as one of the treasures of New Zealand Music this afternoon to a full Christchurch Arts Festival Audience.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

By Margot Hannigan, Nelson Mail

To celebrate his 60th birthday, Michael Houstoun decided to tour New Zealand and play the complete piano sonatas of Beethoven.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

By Brenda Harwood, The Star

Beethoven's rippling, intricate harmonies and clever rhythms were given sparkling life by leading New Zealand pianist Michael Houstoun on Sunday.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

By Amy Johnstone, Southland Express

Michael Houstoun is celebrating his 60th birthday this year - but it's the pianist who is giving a gift to New Zealand audiences.

Antipodes String Trio NZ Tour 2013
Thursday, 15 August 2013

by Paul Serotsky, Seen and Heard International

Monday, 12 August 2013

by Hanno Fairburn, Rotorua Daily

The Antipodes Trio Rotorua Convention Centre The Antipodes String Trio gave an eloquent and assured performance in the Rotorua Convention Centre's concert chamber on Friday night.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Diverting and highly accomplished lunchtime guitar quartet concert at St Andrew’s

By Lindis Taylor, Middle C

Gillian Bibby receives the Marie Vandewart Memorial Award, presented by Hon Christopher Finlayson
Monday, 5 August 2013

Each year Chamber Music New Zealand bestows on someone the Marie Vandewart Memorial Award in recognition of their outstanding service and commitment to fostering the love of chamber music.

The Sollertinksy Trio - 2013 NZCT Chamber Music Contest Winners
Saturday, 3 August 2013

The winners of this year's NZCT Chamber Music Contest are Sollertinsky Trio from Auckland with their performance of Piano Trio No. 2, Mvts 2 and 4 by Shostakovich.

New Zealand Guitar Quartet NZ Tour 2013
Thursday, 1 August 2013

by Petrina Hodgson, Northland Age, Kaitaia

The New Zealand Guitar Quartet chose their best repertoire from arrangements of Bach and Rimsky-Korsakov to guitar star Leo Brouwer and Craig Utting for their performance in Kaitaia on Sunday.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

by Marian Poole, Otago Daily Times

Monday, 29 July 2013

By Katherine Dowie & Ann Nighy, Audience Review

New Zealand Guitar Quartet NZ Tour 2013
Sunday, 28 July 2013

Shaun Purkiss, Whangarei

The New Zealand guitar quartet returned to Whangarei for the first performance of their 2013 tour. They delivered a superb concert dazzling with virtuosity and musicianship.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

By Tina White, Manawatu Standard

Professor Brian Foster tours NZ with Einstein's Universe
Friday, 26 July 2013

By Richard Mays, The Tribune

Science is in vogue, if Warwick Grady's experience is anything to go by.

The Palmerston North Intermediate Normal School science teacher was impressed when he received 55 applications from pupils to give up an evening and a morning of their school holidays and in school uniform.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

By Ray Watchman, Manawatu Guardian

The early Greek philosopher-mathematician Pythagoras is credited with the concept of music of the spheres, an idea that endured down the ages and even helped the revolutionary 17th century German astronomer Johannes Kepler formulate his laws of planetary motion.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

By Allan Purdy, Taranaki Daily News

Einstein's Universe, presented by Chamber Music New Zealand and the Royal Society of New Zealand on Wednesday evening, was a rare opportunity to be inspired by the worlds of physics and music side by side.