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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.


Wrapping up the Tempo

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 13:40:00 +1300

Justin Gregory reviews Auckland’s Tempo Dance Festival shows Limbs@40, Java Dance's The Wine Project, Orchids, and "a world with your wound in it".

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Love through the lungs

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 13:20:00 +1300

Mezzo Soprano Catrin Johnsson and pianist Rachel Fuller hit the road this Labour weekend with Voices NZ for three concerts to celebrate Spring and Love.

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Stroma’s Maximum Minimalism

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 13:00:00 +1300

Maximum Minimalism is the paradoxical title of Stroma’s concert at Wellington’s City Gallery featuring the hypnotic, looping sound worlds of composers Steve Reich, Julia Wolfe, Alison Isadora and Terry Riley. Stroma’s artistic co-director Michael Norris is promising that the less is more approach will titillate your eardrums and stimulate your senses.

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Singing for the dispossessed with the GALS

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 13:40:00 +1300

GALS, the Auckland Gay and Lesbian choir is celebrating its 25th anniversary with an event that highlights an important issue for Auckland: homelessness. The choir will perform The Street Requiem composed back in 2014 to help Melbourne communities struggling with homelessness and street violence.  Composer and conductor Kathleen McGuire has worked for social justice all her life. She was based in San Francisco for many years and talks about the growing problem of homelessness and the importance of individual action.

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Was it an Ode to Joy?

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 13:20:00 +1300

Tony Ryan joined the sold out crowd at Wigram Airforce Museum on Saturday for the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra’s Ode to Joy featuring Beethoven’s famous 9th Symphony and his less well known Violin Concerto. How well did it live up to expectations?

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Nĭ Hăo! Chinese Language week kicks off

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 13:00:00 +1300

Today marks the beginning of the third New Zealand Chinese Language Week. So it’s a good time to get a primer on some of the basics. Language teacher Chunxiao Lu has been helping RNZ presenters up their skills, and she was kind enough to help to brainstorm a new name for Eva Radich. Chunxio also tells us about the history of the dialects, and its connection to other languages – including Te Reo.

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Acclaimed Irish songwriter visits NZ

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 13:40:00 +1300

Acclaimed Irish singer/songwriter Declan O’Rourke is a man of many skills. The acclaimed story teller guitarist has broken through those barriers  dividing pop, rock and classical. He’s worked with some of the biggest names in the business, and has orchestrated his own music – without any formal classical training. He’s playing in Wellington and Nelson this weekend.  

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The sound of Donna Dean’s guitar

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 13:20:00 +1300

Tui award winning singer/songwriter Donna Dean is in the spotlight for “The Sound of Her Guitar”, a documentary following her journey from state houses in Auckland’s Glenn Innes to Texas clubs performing country music. She joins us to discuss the film created by Bill Morris, how she found her voice in country music, and how winning three Tuis changed her life.

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CSO’s Joyful Ode

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 13:00:00 +1300

The Christchurch Symphony Orchestra presents a Beethoven feast with its Ode to Joy concert this weekend amongst the planes at the Airforce Museum in Christchurch. More than 200 performers lead by Chief Conductor Benjamin Northey gather their forces for this joyous night. Soloist Martin Riseley provides the gourmet element with Beethoven’s Violin Concerto.

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New Organ concerto for AYO

Thu, 12 Oct 2017 13:45:00 +1300

The Auckland Youth Orchestra, along with soloist Rebecca Lee is on the road performing an organ concerto written especially for them.  Composer John Wells has created the work for Rebecca to play either on digital or pipe organ. He explains the technicalities and why Lee was the perfect soloist and what organ associations are doing to attract the next generation to this music.

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Satirical swing by Andrew London Trio

Thu, 12 Oct 2017 13:25:00 +1300

Music should be fun, and the Andrew London Trio puts the enjoyment into it with their original arrangements. The trio is half way through a national wide tour as part of Arts on Tour NZ taking in 23 venues. Nothing is out of reach for the group who cover everything from the shearing shed of Southland to male insecurities presented with a folk, blues, country and hip hop vibe and some 1940’s swing.

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Pianist adds fusion to Auckland Jazz Fest

Thu, 12 Oct 2017 13:00:00 +1300

Belgium pianist Jef Neve is bringing his jazz fusion music to the Auckland Jazz Festival this week. He’s currently touring Australia and New Zealand with his jazz trio combined with a string quartet playing original material. His latest CD has featured on the Belgian pop charts all year; the high class playing sits easily within pop, jazz and contemporary classical genre.

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Keeping the NZSD students on their toes

Wed, 11 Oct 2017 13:25:00 +1300

The New Zealand School of Dance is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a number of events and guests. One of them is American dancer Victoria Simon who has been teaching the next generation how to perform George Balanchine. She’s the Ballet Mistress for the Trust that keeps his work alive. She discusses the unique aspects of dancing a Balanchine work as well as her own career as a dancer and choreographer.

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APO unwrapping Brahms

Wed, 11 Oct 2017 13:00:00 +1300

The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra continues to make classical music accessible through their Unwrapping concerts. Tonight the APO performs a section of Brahms’ Piano Concerto No 2, giving the audience a taste of what to expect in their upcoming Fire Music concert. Conductor Guy Noble deconstructs how Brahms created his symphonic scale concerto.

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Joachim Horsley plays the piano with knives

Tue, 10 Oct 2017 13:40:00 +1300

American composer Joachim Horsley has taken a stab at rearranging famous pieces of music from Beethoven to Bach, as well as the Psycho theme – for piano and knives.

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NZSO’s Dynamic 2018 season

Tue, 10 Oct 2017 13:00:00 +1300

Big blockbusters dominate the 2018 season from the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Core repertoire, crossover and cinematic sounds are in store for fans - there’s something to whet everyone’s appetite, from Beethoven and Brahms to Shostakovich and the Four Seasons. And for something a little bit different - there’s Frank Zappa, the Phoenix Foundation and Harry Potter. NZSO Chief Executive Christopher Blake discusses the dynamic programme.

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Protecting the voices of young singers

Mon, 09 Oct 2017 13:40:00 +1300

Being encouraged to sing louder in school and a lack of knowledge around vocal techniques is contributing to increased vocal problems for children.

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Why we should care about music education

Mon, 09 Oct 2017 13:20:00 +1300

Conductor James Judd is a vocal advocate for music education for all. It’s been a topic of much discussion around the election, with the consensus being arts and music is being pushed aside because of National Standards. He’s back to discuss what a good musical education looks like, why the community should get behind it and how music is for the common good.

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Wellington Mayor Justin Lester – How Creative is the Capital?

Mon, 09 Oct 2017 13:00:00 +1300

Earlier this year Wellington Mayor Justin Lester announced a half million dollar boost for the so-called Creative Capital’s art scene. It may have something to do with the closure of multiple venues – including the Town Hall due to proposed earthquake strengthening, as well as competing with other city’s growing investment in the arts. Wellingtonians clearly see being an artistic upstart as their unique selling point. So what does that actually mean and what is council doing to keep Wellington out in front?

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Review: Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra’s New Directions

Fri, 06 Oct 2017 13:40:00 +1300

The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra was taken in a new direction by conductor Andre de Ridder and violinist Robert McDuffie, both appearing in NZ for the first time. Reviewer Peter Hoar suggests it was a mixed bag. What did he think of the sensual, sultry, and languid Debussy Prelude? Was Glass’ first Violin Concerto earth shattering? And were Schoenberg’s Theme & Variations delightful?  

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Maxwell Fernie pupil returns to play much-loved organ

Fri, 06 Oct 2017 13:20:00 +1300

St Mary of the Angels has opened its doors to music again after four years of earthquake strengthening work. The 95-year-old Catholic church  is a much-loved space for Wellington music-makers and international guests and houses the special Maxwell Fernie Organ, named after the former Director of Music and organist who held the post for 40 years. Organist Christopher Hainsworth was a pupil of Maxwell Fernie and he’s visiting from France to perform a recital on the organ tonight. Proceeds raised will help the Maxwell Fernie Trust continue to offer opportunities to young and aspiring organists.

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Mass Band performance marks Battle of Passchendaele

Fri, 06 Oct 2017 13:00:00 +1300

2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele. The battle, known as New Zealand’s ‘darkest day’, claimed the lives of 843 men and remains the highest one-day death toll suffered by New Zealand forces overseas. Lieutenant Colonel Darren Wolfendale, Principal Director of Music of the British Army has travelled to New Zealand to help commemorate the anniversary with a massed bands concert uniting ensembles from the Royal NZ Navy, The NZ Police, The Royal NZ Airforce and the Royal Regiment of the NZ Artillery.

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Kiwi flautist to be sent on a mission to Honduras

Thu, 05 Oct 2017 13:25:00 +1300

Dame Malvina Foundation Arts Excellence award-winner flautist Hannah Darroch has been selected from hundreds of applicants worldwide to be one of just 35 members of the 2018 Global Leaders Program, empowering a rising generation of change-makers in music. The participants are tutored by the likes of Katie Wyatt, Executive Director of El Sistema USA and Gustavo Dudamel protégée Juan Felipe Molano, conductor of the Youth Orchestra of LA, and will be sent on a mission to Honduras.

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The meaning and importance of water

Thu, 05 Oct 2017 13:00:00 +1300

“Wai | Water | Woda” is a musical exploration of the meaning and importance of water to humanity. Flutists Tessa Brinckman and Adrianna Lis will perform music for multiple flutes and electronics by creative collaborator extraordinaire Jeremy Mayall, alongside pieces by Ben Hoadley, Randall Woolf and Finnish composer Tuukka Jokilehto.

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Bach Musica turns 40

Wed, 04 Oct 2017 13:45:00 +1300

Bach Musica is celebrating its 40th anniversary this weekend by inviting listeners on a romantic journey through Bohemia & Germany.  The programme features Dvorak’s Biblical Songs and Schubert’s late Mass No. 5 sung by acclaimed soprano Morag Atchison, young award-winning Samoan bass Joel Amosa, Swedish mezzo-soprano Catrin Johnsson, and one of Australia's finest lyric coloratura tenors, Henry Choo.

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Review: Auckland Symphony Orchestra’s Synthony

Tue, 03 Oct 2017 13:30:00 +1300

Electronic Dance Music was given a symphonic twist by Auckland Symphony Orchestra in front of a heaving Auckland Town Hall on Saturday Night. Reviewer Tony Stamp was in the glow-stick waving crowd.

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Well-travelled maestro takes us to Italy

Tue, 03 Oct 2017 13:00:00 +1300

Former NZSO music director Emeritus Maestro James Judd is back in New Zealand to conduct the orchestra’s next concert Travels in Italy. The conductor was the NZSO’s Music Director for almost a decade from 1999-2007 and was last here on business back in 2015 alongside superstar soprano Renee Fleming.

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Iconic TV show comes to the stage

Mon, 02 Oct 2017 13:35:00 +1300

Horrible Histories was a book, and then a television show, and now a highly popular stage show, which is currently touring New Zealand. It tells historical stories to the young, and the young at heart in a humorous way – with the nasty bits left in. The show, which has just come from the West End stars Robin Hemmings and Phillip Chamberlin.  

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The music of Katya Kabanova

Mon, 02 Oct 2017 13:00:00 +1300

New Zealand Opera’s final production of 2017, Katya Kabanova, continues its season in Wellington this week. Highly experienced musical director Wyn Davies chooses his favourite, and most poignant moments from the opera and explains what makes this music so captivating.

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Calls for more women in music

Fri, 29 Sep 2017 13:35:00 +1300

Last night the APRA Silver Scroll Awards were on in Dunedin. The Silver Scrolls recognises outstanding achievement in the craft of song writing and for the first time ever, all five finalists for the premier song writing category were women;  Bic Runga, Chelsea Jade; Aldous Harding; Lorde and Nadia Reid – with Lorde taking the title. The irony is that APRA membership is dominated by men. One person who’s doing her best to change that is Victoria Kelly – composer and Director of Member Services for APRA.

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SOUNZ Contemporary Award Winner 2017 - Salina Fisher

Fri, 29 Sep 2017 13:25:00 +1300

Composer Salina Fisher has won the SOUNZ Contemporary Award 2017, New Zealand's premier composition prize, for her work for string quartet 'Tōrino'. This is the second consecutive year Fisher has won the award - in 2016 she became the youngest ever winner for her work 'Rainphase'.

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The Unusual Silence world premiere

Fri, 29 Sep 2017 13:05:00 +1300

A number of voices are coming together this weekend for the world premiere of Victoria Kelly’s The Unusual Silence first in Auckland and then in Napier. Voices NZ will be joined by a 24-strong male youth choir from Auckland. The piece follows letters from soldiers during World War One. The concert is co-directed by Karen Grylls and Stuart Maunder.

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Peter Godfrey, the 'father' of NZ Choral Music has died

Fri, 29 Sep 2017 13:00:00 +1300

Peter Godfrey passed away last night at the age of 95. Peter was born in England but travelled to New Zealand in 1958 to take up the position of Lecturer in Music at Auckland University, which he held from 1958-1973,  later becoming Professor of Music until 1982 (1974-1982). During this time he directed Auckland’s Dorian Choir. He was then Director of Music at St Paul's Cathedral in Wellington (1983-89), and Director of the Orpheus Choir (1984-91). Peter was also one of the first conductors of the National Youth Choir and toured with them internationally.

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Pipa virtuoso Wu Man performs live

Thu, 28 Sep 2017 13:30:00 +1300

Wu Man is here to perform with the New Zealand String Quartet. The founding member of Yo-yo Ma’s Silkroad Ensemble plays her pipa live in the studio and discusses the fascinating evolution of her solo career which has seen her perform with Kronos Quartet and premiere works by Philip Glass, Lou Harrison, Bright Sheng and Tan Dun.

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German Masters with master conductor

Thu, 28 Sep 2017 13:00:00 +1300

Douglas Boyd was a founding member and principal oboist with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. He spent 21 years with them before stepping up to the podium to begin a career in conducting around the UK and Europe. He’s in New Zealand for German Masters with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, which RNZ Concert is broadcasting live this evening.

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Review: Imani Winds

Wed, 27 Sep 2017 13:35:00 +1300

Vivacious American wind quintet Imani Winds conclude the Chamber Music New Zealand 2017 season. Peter Mechen attended their performance at the Michael Fowler Centre last night, which featured works from Coleman, Rimsky-Korsakov and a new piece by rising Kiwi composer Natalie Hunt.  

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Drawing lines between mathematics and art

Wed, 27 Sep 2017 13:20:00 +1300

Artists find inspiration everywhere. For Kiwi-born, Australia-based artist Peter James Smith another passion – mathematics, influences his art. Peter is in New Zealand for Artweek Auckland next week with his exhibition Catchlight, which is inspired by lines of longitude. Those lines are connected to Smith’s favourite places in his home country – telling stories with both the pen and the paintbrush.

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Teddy Tahu Rhodes returns

Wed, 27 Sep 2017 13:00:00 +1300

Teddy Tahu Rhodes returns to his hometown of Christchurch for an intimate evening of song and opera with The Opera Club this weekend. Christchurch audiences will get a taste of Teddy Tahu Rhodes’ commanding vocal and physical presence this weekend when he sings the dramatic Te Deum from Puccini’s Tosca in concert.

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Debauchery comes to Auckland

Tue, 26 Sep 2017 13:30:00 +1300

We go beyond the red velvet rope for a glimpse of what Studio 54 might have looked like if it was a true circus. Aria nominated, Velvet is an Australian created hit show, which has been on the global festival circuit, including Edinburgh and Adelaide Fringe Fests, and the Taranaki and Christchurch Arts Festivals. It’s now bringing its hedonistic world of disco divas, acrobats and glitter balls to Auckland. Music master Joe Accaria shines on the importance of disco, how to combine the hits of that day with circus stunts, and what Marcia Hines brings to the group.

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Chamber Music NZ launch 2018 season

Tue, 26 Sep 2017 13:00:00 +1300

Chamber Music New Zealand has a jam-packed 2018 season. It includes celebrating the centenary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth, an audio described concert with The New Yorker music critic Alex Ross, mezzo-soprano Bianca Andrew & Stroma, 2017 Michael Hill Violin Competition winner Ioana Cristina Goicea and the Russian Borodin Quartet.

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Nota Bene’s Durufle Requiem

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 13:50:00 +1300

Wellington Choir Nota Bene is bringing the richly contemplative Durufle Requiem alive this week supported by Wellington singer and teacher Maaike Christie-Beekman. As a professional singer, Maaike has sung opera, oratorio and chamber music throughout the Netherlands and Europe and was a recording artist for Brilliant Classics, singing the title role of Mozart’s Ascanio in Alba and featuring on Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tiresias.

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Making the modern vintage and the vintage modern

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 13:30:00 +1300

Postmodern Jukebox has a reputation of giving modern music a vintage feel and PMJ founder Scott Bradlee hopes that’s enough to get Kiwi audiences on their feet. They are bringing their dance inducing swing, rag-time and blues inspired tunes to Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington. He tells Zoë George about how to match the old with the new, finding inspiration in strange places, and why they keep returning to NZ.

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Review: Michael Houstoun’s Diabelli Variations

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

Considered to be one the great sets of variations, the Diabelli Variations are widely heralded as among the finest works for solo piano ever written. Following the monumental set of the complete Beethoven piano sonatas, Michael Houstoun and Rattle release a superb account of the Diabelli Variations, thirty-three variations on a waltz by Anton Diabelli composed by Ludwig van Beethoven between 1819 and 1823. Peter Meechen reviews.

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Harmonic People wins Wallace Art Trust Paramount Award

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 13:50:00 +1200

New Zealand-Samoan artist Andy Leleisi'uao’s work Harmonic People has won the 2017 Wallace Arts Trust Paramount Award. He wins a six month residency at the International Studio and Curatorial Program in New York. He talks about the ideas behind his work and what winning the Paramount Award means.

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Fan favourites and Kiwi Classics for CSO’s 2018 season

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 13:30:00 +1200

The Christchurch Symphony Orchestra is mixing it up in 2018, bringing fan favourites and different flavours to their 60th anniversary year. Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Ravel, Prokofiev and Beethoven feature alongside Kiwi classics from the 80s, Hollywood blockbuster Moana and Broadway smash hits. Ben Northey explains how the CSO is shaking up classical music.  

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The Real Group’s pitch perfect

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 13:00:00 +1200

This week the VoCo Festival is on in Auckland. It celebrates singing in all its shapes and forms and has attracted groups from around the world. The festival includes a cappella, choral and barbershop singing, workshops and master classes. The jewel in the festival’s crown in The Real Group, an a cappella group from Sweden. They perform some pitch perfect songs live.

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Stars that burned too bright

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 13:40:00 +1200

Singer, actor, musician: all those skills are required when Cameron Goodall performs his solo show The Sound of Falling Stars. The cabaret work was created with Australian theatre veteran Robin Archer, who in 1979 did her own show about female singers who died young. From soul singer Sam Cooke to country artist Hank Williams and rock bad boy Kurt Cobain the question remains: why does the music business take such a huge toll on its favourite stars?   

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Anahera will make you question everything

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 13:20:00 +1200

Liz and Peter Hunter have it all. A great marriage, successful careers, a beautiful house and two wonderful children. Until their son Harry goes missing. But all is not what you think. Anahera written by Emma Kinane, provokes a strong reaction while shining the spotlight on a big issue facing all layers of New Zealand society.

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Women in the spotlight for APO 2018 season

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 13:00:00 +1200

Women step into the spotlight for the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra’s 2018 season. Women appear in different roles across the season including A Woman’s Place marks 125 years of the suffragette movement, female conductors Gemma New, Xian Zhang and Tianyi Lu and Argentinan pianist Ingrid Fliter.

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A mass of voices join together for festival

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 13:50:00 +1200

The VoCo Festival, which celebrates singing in all its shapes and forms is on in Auckland. From choral to a cappella performances and workshops, the festival is attracting people from far and wide, including European favourite a cappella ensemble The Real Group. Festival organisers Brian Lee and Belinda Sydenham explain why it’s important for everyone to have their voices heard.

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Auckland Theatre Company’s Focus on Family

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 13:35:00 +1200

The 2017/2018 season from the Auckland Theatre Company focuses on family, from mothers and daughters, and a father and son, to brothers, twins and a grandmother across nine productions. Highlights include Maurice Gee’s Under the Mountain and George Orwell’s 1984. Colin McColl takes us through what else we can expect in the next 12 months.

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National and Labour respond to claims that arts education is being degraded

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 13:10:00 +1200

Nikki Kaye, National’s Education spokesperson, and Labour’s Chris Hipkins put forward their parties' views on National Standards and their effect on arts and music education.

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Politics: Are National Standards degrading Arts and Music education?

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 13:00:00 +1200

Arts and Music education is being diluted – that’s according to organisations within the education sector and some major political parties. The groups say National Standards are preventing children from being creative, and that in turn has a flow-on effect into secondary and tertiary education. NZEI, MENZA, and the PPTA, along with Act, NZ First and The Greens give their stance.

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Review: Edinburgh Festival

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 13:40:00 +1200

Tony Ryan has been globe-trotting to catch some of the best (and most interesting acts) at this year’s Edinburgh Festival. The festival is celebrating 70 years, so what took Tony’s fancy and was it worth the trek?

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Visual arts to soak in during spring

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 13:20:00 +1200

David Alsop returns with what’s worth soaking in during spring. He shines the spotlight on current arts policies and what they have meant for the visual arts in the lead up to this week’s election. He also looks at what’s on at the Auckland Art Gallery, Laurence Aberhart’s photography at Christchurch Art Gallery and the late Sir Paul Holmes art collection.

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Day at Night

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 13:00:00 +1200

  Doris Day is the inspiration behind Ali Harper’s new show A Doris Day Special. Ali documents the “singing sweetheart” of America though a string of movie hits and top 10 songs, with music direction from Rodger Fox. It’s on, at night, at Circa Theatre until the middle of October.

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