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Preview: Upbeat with Eva Radich

RNZ: Upbeat

What's going on in the world of music and the arts? From the concert hall to the cinema, we talk to musicians, composers, choreographers, dancers, actors, directors and artists - Upbeat finds out what makes them tick.


Sydney Male Choir brings joy through song

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 13:45:00 +1300

Formed more than 100 years ago, the Sydney Male Choir is more than just about music. It’s about bringing joy for those listening, and comradeship for those involved. The 52 strong choir is on an 11 concert tour across New Zealand. Musical director Keiren Brandt-Sawdy explains why the choir has survived for so long, how they choose their repertoire and why it’s become a place of solace for Sydney-siders.

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Does The Bone Feeder get close to the bone?

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 13:25:00 +1300

The New opera The Bone Feeder opened last night to a full house, but was it a success? English, Cantonese and Māori languages intertwine reflecting the story of a young New Zealand Chinese man trying to trace his ancestry. The story, composed by Gareth Farr, is told musically by combining western instruments with traditional Chinese flutes, fiddles and zithers, along with taonga pūoro, a combination that has not been heard previously.

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The Bone Feeder – A Haunting New Opera

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 13:05:00 +1300

Last night Gareth Farr and Renee Liang’s new opera The Bone Feeder premiered at the Auckland Arts Festival. The new opera is about the bones of nearly 500 Chinese gold miners that were aboard the SS Ventnor, which sunk off the coast of the Hokianga in 1902. Lynda Chanwai-Earle follows this story at the rehearsals and along our country's wild coastline in Voices.

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Awa – A personal story told through dance

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 13:50:00 +1300

The story of loss is told through dance in Awa, a multi-disciplinary arts piece opening on Saturday at the Auckland Arts Festival. It’s a personal story for artistic director and choreographer Moss Patterson, who lost his dad when he was 20. Awa weaves together the stories of New Zealand’s sacred rivers and China’s famous Yellow River, told through contemporary dance and music, kapa haka and Tai Chi. The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and an 80-strong choir play a supporting role alongside Atamira Dance Company.

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Rufus Wainwright's divas

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 13:23:00 +1300

It was all about the divas last night at American-Canadian singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright's Auckland Arts Festival performance. His debut opera Prima Donna opened the show, telling the story of a fictional diva in 1970s Paris, and was followed up by a recreation of Judy Garland's 1961 comeback concert at Carnegie Hall. Shaun Wilson was in the crowd.

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Comedy, Drama and All That Jazz

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 13:00:00 +1300

The Court Theatre in Christchurch has just announced its 2017 lineup, including Hudson and Halls Live!, In the Next Room: or the vibrator play – about the cure to hysteria, Steel Magnolias and musical Chicago. The Court’s artistic director Ross Gumbley explains how the audience will be laughing, crying and singing along this year.

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The virtual guide to Female Success

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 13:45:00 +1300

  Deciding what you want to do and how to do it can be a difficult task. What steps should we put in place? What about goal setting? Business mentor Kate Taylor coaches us on reaching our potential both in life and career with her book Killing It: A girl’s guide to KICKING ASS in her career and life.

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Battle of the Saxes

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 13:25:00 +1300

More than 100 saxophone players will march from either end of Cuba Street, meeting in the middle to battle it out as part of the CubaDupa festival in Wellington this weekend.

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Levi Patel’s Affinity with Music

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 13:05:00 +1300

Levi Patel’s intimate compositions are set for release on his new album Affinity. He explains how he injects so much emotion into them, and what he hopes the audience will get out of listening.

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Can’t stop the beat

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 13:40:00 +1300

Wellington's legendary all female group The Beat Girls is celebrating 21 years with a new show All Grown Up. Founded by Andrea Sanders, the group has been called "as iconic as the Wellington Bucket Fountain" by the Dominion Post. Andrea describes the history and continued success of her girl band.

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DeYoung's NZSO debut

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 13:00:00 +1300

Grammy award winning mezzo soprano Michelle DeYoung makes her debut with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra this week with Elgar's Sea Pictures. The song cycle is part of Music Director Edo de Waart's Elgar & Strauss concerts in Wellington and Auckland. The pair have worked together previously with de Waart describing his leading lady as "one of the world's best mezzo-soprano singers".

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The travelling cello studio

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 13:45:00 +1300

Anna-Marie Alloway first picked up a cello at age 3, so it’s no surprise that she went on to play cello with the NZSO-NYO and most recently participated at the Adam Chamber Music Festival. She’s now taking her love for the instrument on the road, with a purpose built studio, teaching more than 30 young cellists per week.

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Passio – great or gimmick?

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 13:25:00 +1300

Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir with Madeleine Pierard and Auckland Chamber Orchestra presented Passio featuring works of six composers including Jack Body and Dame Gilliam Whitehead. The Auckland Arts Festival audience was encouraged to wander around the hall during the concert to absorb the resonance of both musicians and singers. Reviewer Peter Hoar was there.

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Funny women

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 13:05:00 +1300

Women are funny. Full stop. That’s what Hens’ Teeth is all about. It began 30 years ago, when female comedians were considered to be as scarce as hens’ teeth. Women, from all walks of life, and generations have been taking to the stage in Wellington to tell their funny stories, including original cast members Pinky Agnew and Dame Kate Harcourt.

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Drawing inspiration

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 13:45:00 +1300

As we get older many of us see drawing as something only children do. But its power to communicate and impact on art and the national psyche is something British cartoonist Steve Bell knows only too well. His satirical political pieces appear in The Guardian and his work has been put on display at the Gus Fisher Gallery in Auckland. Steve Bell is visiting the University of Auckland as a Hood fellow.

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Fond NZSO memories

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 13:25:00 +1300

BBC Broadcaster Dr Paul Oestreicher, originally from Dunedin, has many fond memories of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.  He attended a National Orchestra concert in the southern city, and that cemented his lifelong love of music. The retired Anglican priest shares stories of family, love and music.

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Looking for mass appeal

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 13:05:00 +1300

Expanding audiences for classical music and opera is at the heart of two upcoming events. Next weekend opera is coming to Cuba Street as part of the Cubadupa Festival in the form Stravinsky’s Renard the Fox. The 20 minute opera includes acrobatics and professional opera stars including bass James Clayton. Then, the music of the film Raiders of the Lost Ark will attract a different audience when performed by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. Marc Taddei explains more.

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Opening the book for Writers Festival

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 13:40:00 +1300

Big literary names have been announced for the Auckland Writers Festival, which is being touted as the most expansive in its 18 year history. Detective novelist Scot Ian Rankin, Booker prize winner Paul Beatty, feminist icons Susan Faludi and Roxanne Gay, and Veep television writer Armando Lannucci are included in the lineup. Anne O’Brien turns the page on what we should expect.

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Jazzy classics delight

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 13:25:00 +1300

Classical purists might not enjoy it, but the crowd at last night’s L’Arpeggiata concert soaked it in. Peter Hoar reviews the performance, as part of the Auckland Arts Festival, by the European group that jazzes up Purcell. Does this style of music help or hinder people’s interests in classical music?

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Captivating violinist returns

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 13:05:00 +1300

Swiss-based violinist Simone Roggen, who has been busy touring the world as a soloist and concertmaster, is back on home soil. This weekend she’s performing Bruch’s violin concert no 1 in G minor with the St Matthews Chamber Orchestra conducted by up and comer Vincent Hardaker.

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Modern Day Anzac Story

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 13:45:00 +1300

Traveling to Anzac Cove for commemorations is almost a pilgrimage for many New Zealanders. It’s a chance to acknowledge those who stood there before us. Playwright Dave Armstrong’s new piece Anzac Eve tells the story of four young New Zealanders and Australians who’ve back-packed to Turkey to pay their respects.

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The Rebel Pink

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 13:25:00 +1300

Original works by three emerging choreographers take centre stage for Footnote Dance Company’s The Rebel Pink which opens at Cubadupa next week. The works explore the ups and downs of human communication and how that affects  relationships. World class drummer Tom Scrase provide the beats for the dancers, who will start their national tour in the South Island later this month.

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The urbane sexiness of Purcell

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 13:05:00 +1300

European early music group L’Arpeggiata give Henry Purcell’s famous songs a genre bending transformation into the 21st century in Music for A While. Familiar songs like Dido’s Lament and Strike the viol gain an urbane sexiness by the addition of jazz double bass, clarinet and percussion alongside early plucked instruments and the vocal prowess of male alto and soprano. Director Christina Pluhar explains how she loves the ambiguity of their sound. L’Arpeggiata start their Chamber Music New Zealand tour tonight as part of Auckland Arts Festival.

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Frock ‘n’ Roll

Tue, 14 Mar 2017 13:40:00 +1300

Richard O’Brien is the god-parent of combining frocks and rock and roll. The creator of Rocky Horror is celebrating being 75 with a musical extravaganza, with all the money going to the Starship Foundation, which is celebrating 25 years. Richard O’Brien talks about the good life he’s enjoying in the Bay of Plenty, the longevity of Rocky Horror, and why he’s so dedicated to helping charity.

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In your ear

Tue, 14 Mar 2017 13:25:00 +1300

Going to the theatre and putting on headphones could seem strange, but that is what performer Richard Katz gets his audience to do for The Encounter, a one-man show which takes you deep into the Amazon jungle. Richard gets up close and into the ears, and heads of those watching with a type of theatre that is both technical but very intimate.

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Homage to the greats

Tue, 14 Mar 2017 13:00:00 +1300

The Christchurch Symphony Orchestra is acknowledging the greats for this Saturday’s concert Homage. Great works reimagined will be performed including Anton Webern's interpretation of Bach's Ricercare in 6 Parts and Arnold Schoenberg's reimagining of Brahms' Piano Quartet No. 1 for full orchestra. University of Canterbury’s Head of Performance violinist Mark Menzies will also perform in the Australasian premiere of Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina's Offertorium which draws on inspiration from both Bach and Schoenberg.  

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Music in the Rotunda

Mon, 13 Mar 2017 13:40:00 +1300

The history of band rotundas takes centre stage today as an exhibition telling the story of rotundas in big towns and small opens at the National Library’s Turnbull Gallery. Co-curators Samantha Owens, Victory University Associate Professor of Musicology, and Alexander Turnbull Library Music Curator Dr Michael Brown discuss why the ornamental rotunda is such an important part of our national identity.

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A visual tapestry

Mon, 13 Mar 2017 13:25:00 +1300

Cloud Gate Dance Company’s RICE has been a much anticipated work at Auckland Arts Festival 2017. But did it live up to expectations? Dione Joseph describes “visionary” choreographer Lin Hwai-Min’s work, which tells of the lifecycle of rice (and life itself), “hypnotic and commanding.”

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Voices travel

Mon, 13 Mar 2017 13:00:00 +1300

Voices New Zealand, the country’s first premier professional choir, has released its first subscription series spanning four different concert programmes in five regions across the country. From Jack Body’s Passio at the Auckland Arts Festival, to Baroque classics with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Artistic Director Karen Grylls says the varied challenges will stimulate the choir and the audience.

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Voices from the Front

Fri, 10 Mar 2017 13:45:00 +1300

Stories of wartime told through song are coming to the Hannah Playhouse in Wellington in April. Voices from the Front tells the story of soldiers on the front line at Gallipoli, with the script, written by Amanda Stone, based largely on the diary and letters of WWI hero Lt Colonel William Malone.  Amanda, and director Sandy Brewer are part of the largely female team bringing the show to the stage.

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Masterpiece nudes bare all

Fri, 10 Mar 2017 13:25:00 +1300

Nude works by Picasso, Cindy Sherman and Matisse are part of The Body Laid Bare: Masterpieces from Tate on at the Auckland Art Gallery. It’s the first time many of these pieces have been seen in New Zealand. The exhibition featuring more than 100 artworks from the Tate in London, explores the fragility and beauty of the human form. Zara Stanhope explains how this exhibition explores privacy, eroticism and gender politics.

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All that Jazz

Fri, 10 Mar 2017 13:10:00 +1300

The Wellington Jazz Festival is back in June. Shelagh Magadza is in charge of getting audiences into the swing with local and international bands. Today she announces the first names who are coming for the mid-winter musical fest.

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Cloud Gate comes to Auckland

Fri, 10 Mar 2017 13:00:00 +1300

Prestigious Cloud Gate Dance Company of Taiwan is in Auckland as part of the Auckland Arts Festival which started this week. Run by Lin Hwai-Min the company brings RICE which depicts the lifecycle of rice and humanity. The company, which has been going 44 years, is well known for its abstract modern dance combined with stillness, acrobatics and martial arts skills.

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Naked Girls Reading

Thu, 09 Mar 2017 13:50:00 +1300

It’s a confronting headline right? But that is exactly what happens in Wellington every couple of months. A group of naked women sit and read important pieces of literature from feminist prose to sci-fi fantasy. Genevieve Fowler, aka drag king Hugo Grrrl – explains why the body is art, in more ways than one.

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Street art to stand out

Thu, 09 Mar 2017 13:25:00 +1300

Is street art legitimate art? The team behind Vivid Wellington believe so. Vivid encourages street artists and their art practices, with the hope of engaging discussions with Wellingtonians. In the coming weeks artists will be making their mark on walls around the capital, among them well-known English street artist Cityzenkane who creates sculptures and attaches them to walls.

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School of dance marks 50 years

Thu, 09 Mar 2017 13:00:00 +1300

This week the New Zealand School of Dance celebrates its 50th anniversary.  Turid Revfeim’s life has revolved around the Royal New Zealand Ballet for over three decades. She’s a revered mentor, teacher, choreographer and former dancer. And now she’s written a book looking back at the 50 years of the NZ School of Dance.

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Eye on the Arts

Wed, 08 Mar 2017 13:40:00 +1300

Resident arts critic and Suite Gallery owner David Alsop discusses admission charges; art auctions; the return of the Art Centre Gallery in Christchurch; farewell to Cindy Sherman; and  what we have to look forward to at City Gallery, Wellington.

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Escaped Alone

Wed, 08 Mar 2017 13:25:00 +1300

A new work by prolific female playwright Caryl Churchill is an exciting prospect for any actress. Ginette McDonald and Carmel McGlone are on fire about Escaped Alone Churchill’s play from 2016 which opens at Circa in Wellington this weekend. It features four old friends chatting in an English Garden while the world collapses around them. Ginette and Carmel say Churchill saw the writing on the wall even before last year’s momentous international events. 

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NZSO memories

Wed, 08 Mar 2017 13:00:00 +1300

Former New Zealand Symphony Orchestra players take us down memory lane with their fondest memories, who they loved working with, who is best forgotten, and what happens when things go wrong.

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Power Ballad

Tue, 07 Mar 2017 13:50:00 +1300

The US elections have inspired a new piece of theatre for the Basement Theatre as part of Auckland Fringe Festival. Power Ballad takes a swipe at politicians who don’t know the meaning of “feminist” and tries to break down language and ideologies associated with that word. Julia Croft draws inspiration in her story telling through the queens of power ballads – Annie Lennox and Pat Benatar.

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Sunday session with Saxophonist

Tue, 07 Mar 2017 13:30:00 +1300

Cantabrian turned Mexico based saxophonist and composer Jasmine Lovell-Smith is back on home soil for a series of concerts in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch promoting her new album Yellow Red Blue. Her work has been described as an “unashamedly rich tapestry of sound” by the Dominion Post. She tells us about her travels, time in New York and why she’s chosen to leave the bright lights behind for study in Wellington.  

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Birthday concert for NZSO’s 70th

Tue, 07 Mar 2017 13:00:00 +1300

The Michael Fowler Centre was packed to the brim for last night’s New Zealand Symphony Orchestra at 70 anniversary celebration. The three hour extravaganza featured works by Dvorak, Strauss, Brahms, Prokofiev and Gareth Farr, all chosen by the players to reflect the concerts they treasure the most. Peter Mechen was in the crowd.

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NZSO 70 today

Mon, 06 Mar 2017 13:30:00 +1300

70 years ago New Zealand Symphony Orchestra played its first performance. Rod Biss was in the audience that night listening to Dvorak’s Carnival Overture, which will also be performed at tonight’s celebration concert along with other music of special significance selected by the players. Rod talks about his favourite experiences with the National Orchestra over the 70 years, in and out of the concert hall.

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Cello claims Concerto Competition

Mon, 06 Mar 2017 13:05:00 +1300

Auckland cellist Matthias Balzat was the Grand Prize winner of the National Concert Competition on Saturday with his performance of Shostakovich’s first Cello Concerto. Tony Ryan was there and explains how the result of the piano prize was divisive and assesses whether Balzat was the stand out performer. We’ll also hear from winner Matthias Balzat about what it means to with the competition

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Pride and Pleasure: The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra celebrates 70 years

Mon, 06 Mar 2017 09:00:00 +1300

We asked listeners, RNZ Concert presenters and players from the orchestra to share their most memorable concert experience with us. Here's what they said...

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Clowning around

Fri, 03 Mar 2017 13:45:00 +1300

Clowning can be a funny business, but for Ruth Dudding and Zack McCracken it’s rather serious business. The duo is part of Clown Doctors New Zealand, a group that goes into hospitals and care facilities to help bring joy, and relief to those who need it.

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Out of Site

Fri, 03 Mar 2017 13:25:00 +1300

Earthquakes cause displacement, and that was the catalyst for a lot of rarely seen New Zealand art to be put on display at the Adam Art Gallery. The November earthquake saw more than half of Victoria University’s 576 piece collection needing to be relocated, so the new Out of Site exhibition was born. Stephen Cleland and Sophie Thorn walk us through the collection.

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State of Origin - the musical?

Fri, 03 Mar 2017 13:00:00 +1300

Rugby league and musicals might seem like strange bedfellows, but Australian journalist Hugh Lunn and composer Bradley McCaw have combined the two, for their new show Home Ground: The State of Origin Musical.

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Welsh language immersion bears musical fruit

Thu, 02 Mar 2017 13:30:00 +1300

Alternative folk group 9Bach perform songs rooted in Welsh culture which reflect their love for nature.

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Moving naturally with grace

Thu, 02 Mar 2017 13:05:00 +1300

Former deputy artistic director of the Royal Danish Ballet, Henning Albrechtsen is in New Zealand to coach at the New Zealand School of dance. He’s a specialist in the Bourneville method, a style created by Danish ballet master August Bournonville, which encourages students to perform with dramatic impact, natural grace and harmony between them and the music.

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On the Brink

Wed, 01 Mar 2017 13:45:00 +1300

Wellington’s photography festival Photival is a festival with a conscience. Spread around the city the installations reflect life on the brink. Ben Laksana’s photographs capture the isolation of those living in the remote hills of Papua, far from civilisation, healthcare and education. The festival runs until Saturday.

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Rising to the occasion

Wed, 01 Mar 2017 13:25:00 +1300

Opera and cake, what could possibly go wrong? That is the basis of Dunedin singer Claire Barton’s latest show Bon Appétit! Inspired by television chef Julia Childs, Claire whips, beats and bakes live on stage, and if it doesn’t rise some added ingredients are at hand. It’s part of a double bill with Haydn’s short comic opera La Canterina (The young diva).

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50 years of music making

Wed, 01 Mar 2017 13:05:00 +1300

The National Concerto Competition has been giving young musicians under 25 a chance to shine while playing classical music for 50 years. This year, 1988 winner Hamish McKeich will conduct the finals with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra with both piano and instrumental finalists. Executive Manager Howard Harvey explains the national importance of having a long running competition like this.  

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Dressing it up

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 13:45:00 +1300

From spacesuits for films and dresses for Game of Thrones, costumier Chantelle Gerrard has been busy. Now, she, and 30 others are turning their hands to creating both period and modern pieces for productions at the Pop Up Globe in Auckland. She talks about getting the old/new balance right, how much planning it takes to create interesting Shakespearean inspired costumes and what it’s like working NZ’s best talent.

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Warmth and beauty in APO performance

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 13:25:00 +1300

Warm, humourous and delicate is how Peter Hoar describes violinist Chloe Hanslip’s performance of Mozart’s Violin Concerto no. 5 with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. But how did the rest of the programme of Haydn Symphony No.21 and Brahms Symphony No.2 compliment the Briton’s performance?

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City Players to play The Piano

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 13:05:00 +1300

Christchurch has a new and unique chamber music ensemble that will perform their first concert at The Piano this week. The City Players combines flute, clarinet, cello and piano, and features some of the city’s most recognisable chamber music faces. On Sunday they’ll perform masterpieces, a new work by Christchurch composer Mark Walton who leads the City Players, and they’ll also give a student a chance to perform alongside them.

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Partnership leads to success

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 13:45:00 +1300

Mary Rinaldi and Sasha Nixon took out three major prizes for their short film The Anniversary at Tropfest NZ Short Film Festival last week. This was the first time the couple had worked together on a project like this and in turn they claimed Best Film, Best Actress and Te Tohu Auahatanga Maori award. They explain how being a partnership in life helps their partnership in art and why it’s important to tell simple, visual stories.

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Christchurch Symphony Orchestra's 2017 season opens

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 13:25:00 +1300

The CSO launched its 2017 season with a concert titled Romeo & Juliet last week. Tony Ryan went along to see what the year has in store for Canterbury orchestra-goers.

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Christopher’s Classics returns

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 13:05:00 +1300

The opening concert for the 2017 season of Christopher’s Classics comes to The Piano in Christchurch this Thursday. A selection of songs about nature, in all its many forms, will be performed by soprano Morag Atchison and mezzo Catrin Johnsson, and accompanist Rachel Fuller. It’s the start of a very busy year for the duo.

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