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.
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.
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.
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'.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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