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, 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.

This Australian group of two married couples, who are all best mates as well as musical colleagues, has performed as a string quartet for 16 years, and possess immaculate rapport and understanding of each other's musical interpretation and expectations.

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 identified as earthquake-prone.

Friday, 30 August 2013

By Andrew Buchanan-Smart, Waikato Times

Michael Houstoun last performed part of his Beethoven cycle in Hamilton in 2000. This time we were treated to five sonatas: No 20 in G, Op 49 No 2; No 3 in C, Opt No 3; No 24 in F sharp, Op 78 A Therese; No 16 in G, Op 31 No 1; and No 3 in F minor, Op 57 Appassionata.

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.

New Zealand's foremost pianist applied his interpretative genius to five sonatas by genius composer Beethoven.

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.
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.

A large Glenroy Auditorium audience enjoyed the Dunedin leg of Houstoun's ambitious Beethoven reCYCLE 2013 project, in which he plans to play all of Beethoven's sonatas. The project is supported by Chamber Music New Zealand.

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.

Houstoun is part-way through a huge journey, travelling around the country presenting Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas in 40 concerts throughout the year.

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.

This young and newly formed group, which includes two New Zealanders, must stand out among numerous others which have appeared recently.

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. Sollertinsky Trio, made up of Ray Ong (violin) from Westlake Boys High School, Mathias Balzat (cello) from Wentworth College and Delvan Lin (piano) from King's College were awarded the top prize of the twelve ensembles who made it through to the National Finals.

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

Stamping and cheering greeted the final movement of the Brahms alternatively majestic, joyful and loving Quintet in F minor. Performed excellently with passion and vigour by pianist Stephen De Pledge, violinists Jack Liebeck and Victoria Sayles, violist Julia Joyce and cellist Andrew Joyce, it is indeed a tour-de-force.

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.

The group now consist of Christopher Hill, Jane Curry, Timothy Watanabe and Owen Moriarty. All, are established musicians based in Wellington.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

By Tina White, Manawatu Standard

An open letter to Michael Houstoun: last night, sir, you seduced me in the most auditory way possible. I had never heard you play in person (I was out of New Zealand for a long time) and at your concert of five Beethoven piano sonatas at the Regent on Broadway, there were times I could hardly believe my ears. Every crystal note you played seemed to have a life of its own, spinning musical stories and building mind-pictures.

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.

Barocca Tour NZ 2013
Thursday, 25 July 2013

by Margot Hannigan, Nelson Mail

This was a very beguiling concert. Four purists delighting in the music of a bygone era – the early 18th century in France and Italy – and playing on original instruments.

The Harpsichordist, Erin Helyard, began without unnecessary introduction, with the music of Couperin, a joyful evocation of a dawn chorus of nightingales.

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.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

By William Dart, New Zealand Herald

Some in the audience had been expertly primed in Brian Foster's early evening lecture, but Chamber Music New Zealand's Einstein's Universe concert on Monday night was a stimulating experience in itself, regardless of any connections there may have been with the man who gave us the Theory of Relativity.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

by Val Sherriff, Bay of Plenty Times

Coming away from a concert with which you could find no fault is a rare experience.

The young musicians who made up "Barocca" - brought here by Tauranga Musica and Chamber Music New Zealand - showed impeccable musicianship and a healthy rapport with their audience on Sunday.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

By Stephen Fisher, Manawatu Standard

With its sense of imaginative programming to the fore for this concert, Chamber Music New Zealand joined forces with the Royal Society to give an insight into Albert Einstein and his world, both through his work and also his lifelong love of music, touching on his legacy to contemporary science, most particularly as evidenced by the large hadron collider in Switzerland.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

By Peter Williams, Hawkes Bay Today

This was a double-barrelled occasion -a unique combination of science and music in collaboration with the NZ Royal Society.

A talk, Einstein's Universe, by Oxford University Professor Brian Foster, as interwoven with imagery and music played by British violinist Jack Liebeck - music likely to have been associated with scientist Albert Einstein who was also a fine amateur violinist.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

By Talia Shadwell, Manawatu Standard

The compositions of musical greats interwoven with tales of the life and legacy of one of the world's most influential scientists make for a fascinating lecture on the 20th-century physicist Albert Einstein.

Monday, 15 July 2013

By Shelby Maples, CMNZ Hamilton Social Media Ambassador

Monday nights “ Einstein’s Universe” concert in Hamilton displayed a wide variety of ensemble combinations from violin sonatas, to piano trios and piano quartets.

Monday, 15 July 2013

By Andrew Buchanan-Smart, Waikato Times

The concert followed on from a lecture recital presented by Professor Brian Foster on Einstein’s life and work with musical interludes performed by Jack Liebeck.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

By Roger Buchanan, The Tribune

From Beethoven at his most Classical to his most Romantic; from the introspective Beethoven to the overtly dramatic; Beethoven working inside traditional guidelines and Beethoven pushing boundaries to the limit; the comic side of the composer juxtaposed with the serious and passionate - this programme of no less than five piano sonatas from the great cycle presented the audience with every facet of the master's personality and genius.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

By Peter Mechen, Middle C

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

By Ray Watchman, Horowhenua Chronicle

Heartfelt thanks must go to Chamber Music New Zealand for having taken up Michael Houstoun's suggestion that he again perform the full cycle of the 32 Beethoven piano sonatas for which he gained much critical acclaim in 1993.

Jason Bae NZ Tour 2013
Sunday, 30 June 2013

Published by Otago Daily Times

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

By Peter Williams, Hawkes Bay Today

Bravo! Bravo! The audience was immediately on its feet in rapturous, sustained applause as the last notes sounded at the end of Michael Houstoun's superlative performance of Beethoven's Sonata No 23 in F Minor Opus 57 Appassionata. This is one of the truly great works of the piano repertoire, given a performance which could hardly be bettered.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

by Ruth Allison, Nelson Mail

Sergey Malov must have had a great night's sleep and a good meal sometime during the day. These are the ingredients that ensure a good concert, according to him. Friday night's concert was more than good, so maybe he slipped in a little practice on his violin as well.

Tokyo String Quartet NZ Farewell Tour 2013
Monday, 17 June 2013

By William Dart, The New Zealand Herald

Tokyo String Quartet's final Auckland concert drew a large, loyal audience to the Town Hall. The reward was superlative chamber music of a quality rarely savoured in our part of the world.

Tokyo String Quartet NZ Farewell Tour 2013
Monday, 17 June 2013

By John Button, The Dominion Post

Tokyo String Quartet NZ Farewell Tour 2013
Monday, 17 June 2013

By David Larsen, Metro

“I don’t confuse greatness with perfection. Perfection takes no risks with itself. To be great is the higher achievement”. This is a quote from memory, and therefore it is probably not word-perfect; the author (Lois McMaster Bujold) would presumably have no problem with that.

Jason Bae NZ Tour 2013
Saturday, 15 June 2013

by Hanno Fairburn , Rotorua Daily Post

The skills and musical abilities of a young Korean-born pianist awed the audience at the Concert Chamber on Friday night.  

Jason Bae who studied with the eminent Auckland teacher Rae de Lisle showed that he is able to meet the technical challenges of even the most difficult pieces.

Nikki Chooi performing in the 2013 MHIVC finals
Monday, 10 June 2013

Canadian Nikki Chooi has won the 2013 Michael Hill International Violin Competition.

Nikki (24) performed the Sibelius Concerto in D minor with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in the Grand Final of the prestigious competition on Saturday 8 June 2013.

Earlier in the week Nikki was awarded the also won the Best Performance of the New Zealand Commissioned Work ‘Caravan’ by Jack Body.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

The district rounds of the 2013 NZCT Chamber Music Contest began this week with more than 450 ensembles taking part across 14 locations.

Tokyo String Quartet NZ Farewell Tour 2013 Q and A with Martin Beaver
Wednesday, 5 June 2013

This is Tokyo String Quartet's first violinist Martin Beaver. We played a game of 'complete this sentence' and found out all sorts of insightful tidbits! As Wellingtonians the CMNZ National Office will reserve judgement on his coffee of choice, but we applaud his superhero pick and of course the reasons why he loves NZ!

If being a musician was out of the question – my dream job would be… airline pilot

Sergey Malov MHIVC 2011 Winner CMNZ 2013 Concert Tour
Saturday, 1 June 2013

by Paul Serotsky, Northern Advocate, Whangarei

“Bach on 13 Strings”? Yes, but not all together.