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Preview: Upbeat with Eva Radich

RNZ: Upbeat

What's going on in the world of music and the arts? We talk to musicians, composers, choreographers, dancers, actors, directors and artists.


Going West with words

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 13:30:00 +1200

The Going West Books and Writers Festival is characterized by friendliness, intimacy, hospitality, accessibility and good food. Director Nicola Strawbridge talks about getting the right balance between community minded events, literary encounters and state-of-the-planet thinking. Opening night on 8th September features artists Norman Meehan and Hannah Griffin singing the words of Bill Manhire, with more poetry highlighted by the launch of a book celebrating forty years of poetry in Titirangi, the home of Going West festival.

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Pressure on children causes performance anxiety later in life

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 13:00:00 +1200

There’s a systemic and endemic problem with the music industry and music education, which is causing debilitating performance anxiety among not only professional and community based musicians, but children as well, according to University of Sydney Professor Dianna Kenny. She tells Zoë George there’s too much focus on success rather than enjoyment in music, which is leading to incapacitating levels of performance anxiety later in life.

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Secondary students show their musical talents

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 13:45:00 +1200

The KBB Music Festival, which attracts music groups - from orchestras and jazz bands to ensembles from secondary schools around the country – starts next week. It’s a celebration of classical and jazz music and the next generation and gives blossoming musicians the chance to explore their interest in music and performance.

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Classical music for headbangers

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 13:20:00 +1200

The words 'Bach' and 'metal' don't often appear in the same sentence. But American cellist Aaron Minsky is closing the divide between the two genres - and in turn generations - using his cello.

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Review: Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Romeo & Juliet

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 13:00:00 +1200

The RNZB’s Romeo & Juliet choreographed by outgoing artistic director Francesco Ventriglia had its world premiere last night at the St James in Wellington before heading on a nationwide tour. Is it to die for? Deirdre Tarrant was in the audience and examines how this tragic love story is told through a combination of dance styles and Prokofiev’s complex score.

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APO gets musical with guest conductor

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 13:30:00 +1200

Get your jazz hands ready and your vocals warmed up as the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra brings musical smash hits to life this week. New Zealand bass-baritone Teddy Tahu Rhodes and Australian soprano Taryn Fiebig add their voices to the Freemason’s Opera Chorus and APO under guest conductor, Vanessa Scammell. The Australian talks about her wealth of musical theatre experience, her favourite musicals and some of the big (and unusual) names she’s worked with.

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State of the World with Edo de Waart

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 13:00:00 +1200

Edo de Waart, NZSO's MD is half way through his current programme this week with violinist Karen Gomyo, and next week taking on Berlioz' dramatic Damnation of Faust, a work he's excited to tackle because of its extreme risks. The 76 year old globe-trotting conductor shows no sign of slowing down but is more concerned with the state of the world than his personal achievements.

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Young Canterbury voices sing up

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 13:30:00 +1200

In their first major concert of 2017 the Christchurch Youth Choir present A Bolt from the Blue. The works take the audience through a journey of choral history, from the renaissance to the 21st century featuring a Jazz Mass by current composer Will Todd.

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Te Kōkī NZSM’s new leader

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 13:00:00 +1200

Sally-Jane Norman recently took over as the head of Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music at Victoria University. She brings a wealth of international experience to the role, having founded a number of creative arts centres and research labs for music. She discusses the importance of shaping the next generation, how music adds to our cultural identity and what she hopes to achieve in her role.

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Review: New Zealand Symphony Orchestra

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 13:30:00 +1200

Wellingtonians got the first taste of violinist Karen Gomyo this past weekend when she joined the NZSO for two performances. Friday night Mahler & Berg took centre stage, along with Salina Fisher’s Rainphase. Saturday it was all about Beethoven and Bruch, with a splash of John Adams – both performances conducted by Music Director Edo de Waart.  Elizabeth Kerr was at the Michael Fowler Centre both nights and reviews the concerts which will be replicated in Auckland later this week.

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Sought-after violinist adds spunk to NZSO

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 13:00:00 +1200

One of the world’s most sought-after young violists Karen Gomyo is back with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Conducted by Edo de Waart, Gomyo performs two concertos by Alban Berg, and Max Bruch. She talks about coming back to our shores.

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RNZBC's Romeo and Juliet

Sun, 13 Aug 2017 13:35:00 +1200

There's a reason Romeo and Juliet is one of the ultimate love stories - the young star-crossed lovers' story is the stuff of stage, screen, music and of course literature. The Royal New Zealand Ballet company is about to reveal a new interpretation, one its choreographer Francesco Ventriglia promises will draw deeply emotional performances from his dancers. Lynn Freeman also speaks to Romeo - Joseph Skelton and to Juliet, Madeleine Graham. The national tour starts in Wellington on Wednesday.

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Young conductor brings French composers to life

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 13:40:00 +1200

What were you doing at 25? For Andrew Atkins, he’s preparing to bring to life Ravel, Berlioz and Faure this weekend when he conducts performance of their works by the Manawatu Sinfonia. The assistant conductor of Orchestra Wellington speaks to Zoë George about why French music is so special, how it’s important to encourage the younger generation into classical music, and who he looks up to in the conducting world. [image_crop:39665:full]

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Israeli New Music Stars

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 13:20:00 +1200

One of new music's funkiest ensembles is in the country at the special invitation of the NZ School of Music. They are Ensemble Nikel, electric guitar saxophone percussion and piano, they’re based in Israel with their own subscription series in Haifa and Tel Aviv, and they’re the darlings of all the famous festivals from Ultraschall in Berlin to Bang on a Can in New York and Vienna’s Wien Modern. What makes them so successful, and what is it about new music and Israel? They brought their infectious enthusiasm into the studio, along with their latest album, A DECADE, so we can find out. [embed]

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Cellist to send chills in wintery Dunedin

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 13:00:00 +1200

Chinese cellist Li-Wei Qin is expected to send chills down the backs of the audience this week when he takes to the stage with the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra. Described as a “superbly stylish, raptly intuitive” performer by Gramophone Magazine, Li-Wei Qin will show his skills performing Dvorak’s Cello Concerto. [embed]

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Identity is at the heart of it all

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 13:40:00 +1200

The Cultural Sustainability International Symposium is on Victoria University this week, attracting critical thinkers from around the world. Australian Ellen van Neerven is a talented, award winning young writer and poet who is here to talk about identity in many shapes and forms. Zoë George speaks to her about being a queer Indigenous Australian and how her poetry is connected to Maori Culture.

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The sound of silence

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 13:20:00 +1200

What does silence sound like? For deaf people, life isn’t silent. In fact noise and sound is part of their life. Audiences will have an opportunity to experience what it’s like to be deaf in a new film Tama. Zoë George speaks with deaf film maker Jared Flitcroft and interpreter Angela Murray about sounds, sights and creating short films.

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Team Tibet at NZIFF

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 13:00:00 +1200

Veteran New Zealand International Film Festival film maker Robin Greenberg’s new film follows the life of New Zealand’s first Tibetan refugee. Team Tibet is about the extraordinary life of Thuten Kesang who arrived in NZ in 1967.

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The spell-binding percussion concerto

Tue, 08 Aug 2017 13:30:00 +1200

Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra’s principal percussionist Eric Renick will perform Einojuhani Rautavaara’s spell-binding percussion concerto Incantations with the APO this week. RNZ’s Adrian Hollay went to the APO rehearsal space to talk with Eric about his percussion setup and to hear excerpts of the piece.

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NZTrio's Spiral

Tue, 08 Aug 2017 13:00:00 +1200

Auckland-based NZTrio is in a year of transition following the recent departure of founding violinist, Justine Cormack. They’re about to launch themselves into a new era by inviting some of the world’s top violinists to join them on tour. For their upcoming concert ‘Spiral’ they’ll be joined by guest violinist Natalie Lin.

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Top flight flutist in Auckland

Mon, 07 Aug 2017 13:40:00 +1200

University of Auckland celebrates the appointment of new flute lecturer Eric Lamb to the School of Music. American born, Eric has an ongoing performing career working at a top level with Sydney's Omega Ensemble and as principal flutist of the Chineke! Orchestra London, Europe's first Black and minority ethnics orchestra. Eric gives his recital on Wednesday with colleagues Marin Rummel and Kent Isomura.

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Review: Takács Quartet

Mon, 07 Aug 2017 13:20:00 +1200

Considered to be chamber music “royalty” the Takács Quartet held court over the weekend in Wellington and Auckland. Elizabeth Kerr was in the crowd to hear the dynamic group perform Haydn, Webern, Dvořák and a quartet by New Zealand composer Anthony Ritchie.

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Wellington group claim NZCT Chamber Music title

Mon, 07 Aug 2017 13:00:00 +1200

Wellington ensemble Druz’ya Quartet has won the NZCT Chamber Music Contest with their performance of Shostakovich’s String Quartet no. 8. The players talk with Clarissa Dunn about the difficult work they chose and how their other talents add to their musical performances. Judge pianist Stephen de Pledge explains how the strong competition is a positive thing for chamber music in New Zealand.

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Global adventures for kiwi singers

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 13:40:00 +1200

The Piano is hosting a special concert to raise funds for several young Christchurch musicians who are studying  overseas: pianist  Bradley Wood, and tenor Oliver Sewell, Lyric soprano Anna Hoetjes is joining the concert to support her friends and will sing several arias with Oliver Sewell as part of the fundraiser. Anna and Oliver discuss why overseas study is still a must for aspiring classical musicians, whether the scene in NZ is able to meet demand and their hopes for their respective careers.

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Two for the price of one

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 13:20:00 +1200

Two pianos are better than one! Audiences lap up the fun, and quite a few pianists and composers as well judging from the music that’s been written for piano duo. Putting that philosophy to the acid test is the Silver Garburg Piano Duo who are back playing with the CSO this weekend Poulenc’s vivacious Concerto for Two Pianos.

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Farr In The Wars

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 13:00:00 +1200

Composer Gareth Farr is In The Wars. He’s writing the music for a new show written by acclaimed Paris-based kiwi Juliet O’Brien. The show is premiering at BATS theatre next week and tells different stories from conflict areas, from a mother trying to delay the birth of her baby in a warzone, to an Afghan bomb-sniffer dog who now requires a psychologist.

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“Chamber music royalty” return to NZ

Thu, 03 Aug 2017 13:40:00 +1200

Takács Quartet is known for its unique blend of drama, warmth and humour in its performances. The quartet is here for a flying visit playing Wellington and Auckland this weekend. Violist Geraldine Walther and violinist Edward Dusinberre discuss their unique combination, why they put a NZ composer on the programme and whether the quartet is “chamber music royalty”.

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The man behind The Proms

Thu, 03 Aug 2017 13:00:00 +1200

The Proms is underway in the UK, with RNZ Concert broadcasting many concerts over the next six weeks. BBC Proms Director David Pickard talks to us during a rehearsal from the Royal Albert Hall about this year’s programming, why he included Welsh pop singer Tom Jones in the line-up, and the fallout the BBC has faced since conductor Daniel Barenboim’s speech on the need for European unity.

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Review: Xenia Pestova

Wed, 02 Aug 2017 13:40:00 +1200

Piano combined with birdsong produced through an app on the phones of the audience was the highlight of the Xenia Pestova’s concert in Wellington. Pianist Fiona McCabe reviews Xenia’s engaging performance of music from Scarlatti to Sierra, Lockwood to Bach, and the premiere of The Grey Ghost by Kiwi composer Miriama Young.

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“Nureyev was an animal on stage”

Wed, 02 Aug 2017 13:20:00 +1200

Frederic Jahn danced with Rudolf Nureyev in his ground breaking production of Romeo and Juliet. The boy from Dunedin has had a career working with ballet royalty and brings that experience to the Royal New Zealand Ballet. He’s ballet master for Francesco Ventrigilia’s new production of Romeo & Juliet. Frederic explains how telling the Shakespearean story of love and loss has evolved since 1977 when he created Tybalt in Nureyev’s famous version, one that he still helps create worldwide.

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The Sexual Politics of Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro

Wed, 02 Aug 2017 13:00:00 +1200

Sex and politics go hand in hand in Mozart’s opera The Marriage of Figaro. Mozart played fast and loose with censorship rules in in writing an opera about the right of the lord of the manor to have sex with every new bride on his estate. Kate Lineham who plays the Countess in Eternity Opera’s new production talks with director Alex Galvin about how Mozart’s sublime music allowed him to get away with discussing the controversial European practice in one of his most popular operas.

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Creating sound with unusual technology

Tue, 01 Aug 2017 13:00:00 +1200

Using technology you necessarily wouldn’t associate with artistic or musical applications is what drives composer Clovis McEvoy. His creative thinking has seen Clovis awarded a Professional Development Award from APRA. He describes his methods of combining technology with artistic pursuits and the importance of spending time in Paris.

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Special concert by former Jack Body student

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 13:45:00 +1200

Composer professor Nalin Shen studied with famed New Zealander Jack Body. He’s back at the New Zealand School of Music for China Crossing concert tonight featuring both traditional and contemporary Chinese music including the NZ premiere of Shen’s work Meng Yuan for guzheng, piano, violin, and cello. Shen is joined in the studio by Liu Le and Professor Du Rusong with his bamboo flute.

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Chamber Orchestra’s contribution to “visceral essay”

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 13:20:00 +1200

The Australian Chamber Orchestra has contributed to the stunning soundscape for MOUNTAIN, a collaboration between the group and film maker Jennifer Peedom. The film, described by the Hollywood Reporter as “one of the most visceral essay films ever made” is narrated by Willem Dafoe. Peedom explains the connection between classical music and the planet.

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Best young talent compete for top spot

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 13:00:00 +1200

The best young musical talent from around the country will participate in the NZCT Chamber Music Contest this week. From hundreds of ensembles only 12 make it through to the Finals weekend, with the winners being announced on Sunday. NZSO cellist Brigid O’Meeghan discusses what the judges are looking for from the talented secondary school musicians and the lessons she learned as a competitor.

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Andrew Beer - Baroque Voices

Sat, 29 Jul 2017 11:35:00 +1200

Violinist Andrew Beer has been described as a performer displaying "accuracy and subtle charisma" by the Boston Globe, and as a "musical gift" by the New York Times. He has performed extensively throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australasia, and his performances have been broadcast widely. Beer also teaches both privately and at the University of Auckland. He frequently serves as a judge for competitions and scholarship funds throughout New Zealand, including the selection panel for the Michael Hill International Violin Competition. Humanitarian and outreach concerts have also played an important role in his musical output, and through such endeavours he was awarded a US Congressional Commendation in 2006. Beer, concertmaster for the APO, will play lead violin in the upcoming APO production of Baroque Voices, which will feature one of Bach's happiest works, Orchestral Suite No.3 in D Major - the second movement has become famously known as the 'Air on the G String'. Andrew Beer will play for Kim and discuss the upcoming performances.

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Injecting life into heritage organ

Fri, 28 Jul 2017 13:40:00 +1200

The Heritage Pipe organ at St Andrew’s on The Terrace is the focus for tonight’s fund raising concert. The cabaret show features singer Jane Keller, accompanist Michael Nicholas Williams and Peter Franklin on the organ. Roy Tankersley is a former Music Director at the central Wellington church and consultant for the St Andrew’s organ restoration.

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War Hero shines spotlight on conscientious objector

Fri, 28 Jul 2017 13:20:00 +1200

Opera Otago is presenting the world premiere of John Drummond’s new opera War Hero, which tells the story of Otago farmer and World War 1 conscientious objector Archibald Baxter. NZ international tenor Andrew Glover leads the all-male cast telling the Otago farmer’s story of horrific abuse on the battlefield. The work is based on Baxter’s autobiography We Will Not Cease and dramatization by Michael Galvin.

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Getting creative in the capital

Fri, 28 Jul 2017 13:00:00 +1200

Victoria Spackman is arguably one of the most influential business people in the country. She’s been a strong advocate for the arts – from film and television to theatre. The former CEO of The Gibson group discusses her new role at, and her vision for, Te Auaha New Zealand Institute of Applied Creativity and making Wellington the hub for creativity.

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Nota Bene gets a pop injection

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 13:50:00 +1200

What happens when you cross a classical choir with an indie pop group and throw in a guest conductor? Pure magic is the hope of Nota Bene along with Wellington three-piece The Mermaidens and conductor Ivan Patterson. Their concert Cactus Cat Tears bridges the gap between classical choral music and popular music with tunes from Amy Winehouse to David Bowie and Flight of the Concords to Prince.

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An intimate insight into gay history

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 13:20:00 +1200

Imagine hunting down all the people you have shared an “intimate” moment with, asking him to reflect on their experiences with you and then filming it. New Zealand documentary film maker Paul Oremland gives an intimate insight into 40 years of his life as a gay man, the key moments that have defined the contemporary gay experience, and his own inner struggle for acceptance. His film 100 Men is showing at the New Zealand International Film Festival.  

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CD Review: Sarajevo – Jian Liu

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 13:40:00 +1200

Sarajevo, a new release by Wellington pianist Jian Liu features a collection of New Zealand piano works from some of the country’s most eminent composers. The album features two contrasting works by Jack Body, the title track Sarajevo and On the Street Where I live, Gareth Farr’s The Horizon from Owhiro Bay, and works from Ross Harris and Anthony Ritchie. But are these works cohesive and complementary? Peter Mechen takes a listen to the artistry of Jian Liu.

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Don’t like classical guitar? You will now!

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 13:00:00 +1200

If you don’t like classical guitar, you’ll change your mind once you’ve seen and heard Spanish virtuoso Pablo Sainz Villegas. He’s on tour with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and is considered to be one of the greatest classical guitarists in Spain. It’s not hard to see why he’s popular - he plays from the soul and he truly means every single note. He’s passionate, effervescent and utterly mesmerizing to watch.

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Celebrating the weird and wonderful

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 13:44:00 +1200

Sugar and spice, and all things nice… and naughty make up a variety spectacular coming to Wellington. The Menagerie Deluxe combines burlesque, circus acts, opera singers, jazz vocalists, drag queens, and comedians in a show that celebrates the weird and wonderful. Producer Rachel Rouge discuses vaudeville, starting small, and how her own colorful past has helped bring the show to life.

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Kiwi culture inspires international trio

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 13:20:00 +1200

Tom Warrington and his trio are back in their adopted homeland for a small North Island tour. The bass player finds the New Zealand environment so restful and stimulating he has decided to make the country home.Tom Warrington takes time out of his teaching schedule at NZSM to talk about why he wants to become a Kiwi, the way the music industry has changed and the future for his students.

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Chamber Music brought to life with technology

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 13:00:00 +1200

New Zealand pianist Xenia Pestova is playing a collection of new music by mostly contemporary and female composers as part of her Chamber Music New Zealand tour. One of the works she has commissioned from Miriama Young called The Grey Ghost, for piano and electronics, uses a bespoke App SyncSound which audience members can use to stream the electronic part during the performance from their Smartphones. Xenia and Miriama talk about this new way of helping audiences engage directly with the music.

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The lifelong implications of telling children they can’t sing

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 13:45:00 +1200

Were you told as a child that you shouldn’t or couldn’t sing? What about being told you were tone deaf? As an adult do you sing now? Telling a child they can’t sing has life-long implications. But there are ways to reverse it. Zoë George speaks with Steven Demorest, an expert in choral singing from Northwestern University about talent versus skill, tone deafness and how we can encourage our children to sing up.

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New album for classical guitarist Gunter Herbig

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 13:20:00 +1200

The guitar’s at the centre of music performance in Aotearoa; everyone plays it from country and western through to rock stars and classical stylists. That’s been helped by the impact of the many classical guitarists who’ve made Aotearoa their home. Gunter Herbig is one of them. He talks about the ideas behind his new CD: Dream Weaving, New Zealand Guitar Music which includes everything from fellow guitarist Bruce Paine through to the extended electric style of John Rimmer’s Hauturu.

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The Cunning Little Vixen

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 13:00:00 +1200

Singers from the New Zealand School of Music are finding their inner animal as they bring to life Janáček’s opera The Cunning Little Vixen. Director Jon Hunter is turning convention on its head with his contemporary realisation of the opera. His Vixen sung by soprano Pascale Orchard lives on the fringes of both the animal and human worlds, as industrialisation takes over spaces where animals once lived.

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Review: Violinist Alina Ibragimova with APO

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 13:40:00 +1200

European star violinist Alina Ibragimova gave a blistering account of the Bartok 2nd violin concerto last night with the APO and Giordano Bellincampi. Her Shostakovich was electrifying when the young violinist made her debut here five years ago so her return visit has been eagerly anticipated. Peter Hoar gives his gut reaction to her Bartok, a work not for the faint hearted. It was followed by a crisp and joyful performance of Schubert’s 5th Symphony.   

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Why conductors are polygamous

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 13:20:00 +1200

  Conductors are polygamous, according to Englishman Alexander Shelley, who is about to begin his fourth tour with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. This time he’s conducting Spanish classical guitarist soloist Pablo Sainz Villegas. He discusses Bartok, growing up in a musical family and how conducting the NZSO stands out for him as a very rewarding experience musically.

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The drug that is love

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 13:00:00 +1200

What happens to your body when you fall in love? Is the reaction stronger than a drug? That’s the basis of The Effect at Auckland’s Q Theatre. A duo meet and fall in love while part of an anti-depressant clinical trial. Director Ben Henson discusses how the play questions who we really are and asks if our emotions can be controlled by chemicals.

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