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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.


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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Pianomania hits the country

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 13:40:00 +1200

There’s something charming, yet manic, about Pianomania, a concert following the history of the piano with charismatic pianist/director Freddy Kempf and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. The series is already underway and continues this week featuring some of the most recognizable piano works from the past 300 years including Mozart’s Piano Concerto no. 21 and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue

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Review: New Zealand Opera’s Katya Kabanova

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 13:20:00 +1200

New Zealand Opera’s final production of 2017, Janacek’s Katya Kabanova, opened in Auckland this weekend. It follows house wife Katya, who is expected to stay at home and obey her husband and cruel mother. But she’s determined to break free of the shackles of home. Justin Gregory reviews Katya Kabanova at Auckland’s Aotea Centre.

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Spring fling for Auckland Uni

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 13:00:00 +1200

Spring is being celebrated through opera, jazz, movie screens and musical collaborations at University of Auckland’s School of Music. The two week festival of events involve young performers and the APO. Composed a documentary about performance anxiety is also showing. Students will show their skills in jazz, song writing, choral and classical disciplines and a staff performance of Saint-Saëns's humorous suite of fourteen movements, The Carnival of the Animals.

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Powerful messages through song

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 13:40:00 +1200

Punk Rock musical That Bloody Woman is currently touring the country. While the main focus is on suffragette Kate Sheppard’s  fight for the female right to vote, young singer Phoebe Hurst nearly steals the show with her anthem by an abused housewife Quarter Acre Dream. Phoebe shines the spotlight on being part of the 100 percent Kiwi made musical, her classical music training and her original song recordings.

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Rising star to perform rarely-heard violin concerto

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 13:20:00 +1200

Rising star Tamsin Waley-Cohen is described by The Guardian as performing with “fearless intensity”. She’ll be bringing that passion to her performance of Samuel Barber's rarely-heard Violin Concerto with Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Conductor Benjamin Northey. Tamsin is the only British recipient of the European Concert Hall Organisation Rising Stars Awards for this year which means wide exposure across Europe. In her spare time she runs her own music festival.

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Political discussion: Arts, Culture and Heritage with National’s Maggie Barry

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 13:00:00 +1200

In our final political discussion around Arts, Culture and Heritage policy, recent Minister for the Arts Maggie Barry outlines where National stands on funding for the Arts, what the Arts contribute to our national identity, and how National intends on growing the sector.

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Disabled musician’s musical path

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 13:40:00 +1200

Georgia Steel is a high flying young violist and conductor who is legally blind. She’s currently studying at the New Zealand School of Music and plays in the New Zealand Youth Orchestra. The young musician guides us through her experiences in music, how technology has allowed her skills to develop and what it’s like learning from some of the best violists in the country.  

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A Maori boy’s musical about a Hollywood star

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 13:20:00 +1200

Rutene Spooner grew up on the East Coast and he was so inspired by Hollywood and Broadway actor Hugh Jackman that he wrote a musical about him. Super Hugh-man makes its debut at the Auckland Live Cabaret Festival and brings together original songs, Kapa Haka and Broadway smash hits. Rutene performs live, explains to Zoë George why Hugh Jackman was his inspiration and how he manages to juggle his solo show with his Modern Maori Quartet appearances.

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Political discussion: Arts, Culture and Heritage with Maori co-leader Marama Fox

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 13:00:00 +1200

Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox contributes to this week’s ongoing discussion on arts, culture and heritage policy. With just over a week until the general election what will the Maori Party offer for Arts? Where should funding go? What is the importance of repatriating New Zealand artifacts?

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Kiwi peace campaigners’ words brought to life for International Day of Peace

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

September 21st marks the International Day of Peace. The Tudor Consort presents a concert full of choral music dedicated to peace. Among the works is the premiere of Gemma Peacocke’s Pacific, a song cycle featuring words from famous Kiwi peace campaigners including Te Whiti, David Lange and Archibald Baxter.

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Political discussion: Arts, culture and heritage with the Greens’ Barry Coates

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

The Greens contribute to our ongoing discussion about arts, culture and heritage policy in the lead up to the general election. Greens Party Arts spokesperson Barry Coates delves into saving heritage buildings, why New Zealand artists need better representation on the international scene and who should control funding for the Arts.

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Behind the glitz and glamour of Cole Porter

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 13:40:00 +1200

Anything goes for Cole, a retelling of Cole Porter’s life, on at the Auckland Cabaret Festival and Christchurch Arts Festival. Love affairs, loss and toe tapping songs make up the show performed by award winning Australian performer Michael Griffiths. He explains how Porter got under his skin and why his musical genius is so nice to come home to. 

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EDM with a symphonic twist

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 13:20:00 +1200

Auckland Symphony Orchestra is teaming up with some of the best DJs and vocalists in the country to bring top EDM hits to life with an orchestral accent.  

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Political discussion: Arts, culture and heritage with TOP’s Mika Haka

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 13:00:00 +1200

We are continuing our series of conversations with arts spokespeople from some of New Zealand’s key political parties in the build-up to the general election. The Opportunities Party is the new player on the political scene. Mika Haka, who is running for Auckland Central, draws on his experience as a dancer and talks about why the Arts are important to TOP.

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Orchestra Wellington’s Invitation to the Dance

Mon, 11 Sep 2017 13:40:00 +1200

  Orchestra Wellington’s Invitation to the Dance concert on Saturday continued Music Director Marc Taddei’s focus on Ballet’s Russes impresario Sergei Diaghilev’s commissions with several waltzes by Ravel. Peter Mechen gives his appraisal of whether the addition of Grieg’s piano concerto played by Jian Liu gave the concert enough variety and substance for a complete programme.

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Championing and celebrating diversity in classical music

Mon, 11 Sep 2017 13:20:00 +1200

Chineke! Orchestra is challenging the stereotypes associated with classical music. The orchestra recently made their Proms debut, which was described by the Guardian as “… arguably one of the most important concerts that the Proms have ever hosted”. It’s being broadcast on RNZ Concert this Sunday. The orchestra was founded by Chi-Chi Nwanoku and gives opportunities to young Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) classical musicians across the UK, Europe and USA.

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Political discussion: Arts, Culture and Heritage with Grant Robertson

Mon, 11 Sep 2017 13:00:00 +1200

Every day this week we put the tough questions to the major political parties’ Arts spokespeople. Labour’s Associate Arts spokesman Grant Robertson discusses the importance of Arts, how Labour will bring back Art apprenticeships and whether the Arts should be funded by gambling.

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Matilda’s perfect villain

Fri, 08 Sep 2017 13:45:00 +1200

In every good story there’re always the goodies and the baddies. James Millar is currently playing the evil tortuous villain that is Trunchbull, the school mistress in Matilda. She’s a former Olympic hammer thrower, a cruel and sadistic disciplinarian who throws children around by their pigtails, makes them eat entire cakes on stage and forces them into the hold. And it’s a role James Millar is loving.

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Expect an Odyssey

Fri, 08 Sep 2017 13:30:00 +1200

The New Zealand Festival 2018 is going to be an odyssey of epic proportions. Waka Odyssey is the centre piece involving waka from around the Pacific descending on Wellington with much fanfare. Shelagh Magadza talks through the importance of Waka Odyssey, and what else we can expect for next year’s festival.

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Bringing the Kiwis home

Fri, 08 Sep 2017 13:00:00 +1200

New Zealand Opera announced its 2018 season this week, with a big emphasis on giving lead roles to New Zealand singers. NZO’s Executive Director Stuart Maunder talks about bringing back top Kiwi names in operas that cover the range from modern to classic, popular to challenging.

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The Greek tragedy told in song

Thu, 07 Sep 2017 13:40:00 +1200

The University of Canterbury’s Classics and Music departments are putting on an operatic drama called The Oresteia Experience.  It’s based on the Greek playwright Aeschylus’ story of murder and revenge in ancient Greece, set to music by Xenakis. The experience begins in the Teece Museum of Classical Antiquities with Head of Classics Patrick O’Sullivan and Mark Menzies from the School of Music setting the scene before top counter tenor Randall Scotting and chorus sing the visceral score.

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The importance of curating and celebrating contemporary Maori art

Thu, 07 Sep 2017 13:20:00 +1200

We are a creative nation. No one knows that better than art historian and contemporary-art curator Ngahiraka Mason. The former Indigenous Curator Māori Art at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki is now based in Hawaii, but she’s in the country to give talks about the role of Colin McCahon in addressing the differences between Maori and Pakeha, and the importance of curating and celebrating contemporary Maori art.

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Slice of Kiwi History revisited

Thu, 07 Sep 2017 13:00:00 +1200

A classic Kiwi book has been modernised thanks to playwright and actor Arthur Meek. Erewhon Revisited revamps the famous Samuel Butler satire about life on a back country sheep station. Meek tells the story through a magic lantern show, a new art form for him, accompanied by a score played live by Eva Prowse.

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Functionality and beauty in architecture

Wed, 06 Sep 2017 13:40:00 +1200

The functionality and beauty of architecture, and the role of women are being captured in a new photography exhibition curated by the National Association of Women in Construction. Emma Weir has an eye for detail and has overseen the exhibition that is also part of the inaugural Festival of Architecture starting on September 7.

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NZDC’s Provocative and poetic performance

Wed, 06 Sep 2017 13:20:00 +1200

The New Zealand Dance Company is touring The Absurdity of Humanity to the regions. Described as “provocative and poetic” by NZDC’s artistic director Shona McCullagh, it will challenge the audience’s perception of humanity through a range of contemporary dance styles.

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Leading by example on the keys

Wed, 06 Sep 2017 13:00:00 +1200

By day Jian Liu is a busy teacher at the New Zealand School of Music, but by night he’s busy preparing for a packed schedule. The pianist is performing the Grieg Piano Concerto with the Orchestra Wellington and then heads off to China and the United States. He talks about keeping the balance between teaching and performing right and his ideas on playing Grieg for the first time.

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Christchurch Arts Festival has flair

Tue, 05 Sep 2017 13:40:00 +1200

The Christchurch Arts Festival is underway bringing the city’s creative streak to the fore. Reviewer Tony Ryan has attended a few events, including the Michael Houstoun /Bella Hristova Beethoven mini festival and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra’s performance under cellist / director Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt.

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Madison Nonoa hitting the high notes

Tue, 05 Sep 2017 13:20:00 +1200

Hamilton based soprano Madison Nonoa is leaving New Zealand on a high note after winning first prize at the Dame Malvina Major Foundation Wellington Aria competition last week. She’s now heading to London to refine her skills further at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

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The Kiwi Pacific Records Story

Tue, 05 Sep 2017 13:00:00 +1200

For thirty years Tony Vercoe ran Kiwi-Pacific Records until his retirement in 1989.  When he began there was almost no interest in New Zealand music, but he saw the potential and helped develop the careers of artists like Malvina Major, Kiri te Kanawa and Douglas Lilburn along with folk singers like Peter Cape. Kiwi Pacific was also the first to record Maori and Pacific Island music and performers.  98 year old Tony Vercoe has told the story to his nephew Tony Martin through a series of interviews published by Steele Roberts under the title The Kiwi Pacific Records Story.

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The neverending sound of suspense

Mon, 04 Sep 2017 13:40:00 +1200

Following the release of Hollywood blockbuster Dunkirk, film buffs and audiophiles alike have been buzzing about a tone used to build suspense. New Zealand School of Music’s Blake Johnston explores the auditory illusion of the Shepard Tone.

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Remembering the Japanese Tsunami through music

Mon, 04 Sep 2017 13:20:00 +1200

A violin made from wood from a pine tree that remained standing after the devastating 2011 Japanese Tsunami is being played on a nationwide charity fundraising tour by the piano and violin duo The Isomura Brothers.  Kent and Shauno talk with Zoe George about their memories of the tsunami, why the violin is so special and what repertoire they have chosen.

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Spring is in the air

Mon, 04 Sep 2017 13:00:00 +1200

Baroque violinist Lucinda Moon is sharing her gifts with Kiwi audiences this week as she joins NZ Barok to celebrate the start of spring. The former concertmaster for the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra brings exuberant classics alive with a repertoire spanning from Bach to Vivaldi – of course. She talks about her travels, her recordings and what it’s like being back on home soil.

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The spoken words of the flute

Fri, 01 Sep 2017 13:40:00 +1200

New Zealand flutist Tessa Brinkman is combining her virtuoso playing with poetry for When Flutes Spoke Words tonight at the University of Waikato. Described as a “flutist of chameleon-like gifts” and “virtuoso elegance” by Gramophone, Tessa has very busy career in the United States and Europe. She and composer Martin Lodge discuss the intricacies of combining words with the flute, and how she’s drawn inspiration from her famous great uncle the poet R A D Fairburn.

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Intensely theatrical Elijah in Auckland

Fri, 01 Sep 2017 13:30:00 +1200

Mendelssohn’s Elijah is intensely theatrical with its substantial orchestra, large number of soloists and a chorus that adds nuance. It’s being performed by Auckland Choral, conducted by Uwe Grodd, with Helen Medlyn, Martin Thomas Buckingham and Martin Snell singing. Soprano Jennifer Barrington is hitting the high notes in the performance tomorrow at the Auckland Town Hall.

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Dating, dinosaurs and David Lange – the musicals

Fri, 01 Sep 2017 13:00:00 +1200

An original New Zealand musical is about to be unleashed on the world. The Things Between Us, written by Cantabrian composer, conductor and lyricist Luke di Somma is an intimate, boutique musical offering a playful and provocative look at love. It’s the second musical by di Somma that has premiered at the Christchurch Arts Festival. He talks dating, dinosaurs and David Lange.

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Thu, 31 Aug 2017 13:40:00 +1200

A sonic smorgasbord is being offered up by staff performers and composers from the University Auckland. Its performing arm the Karlheinz Company presents MouthPiece featuring weird and wonderful pieces to delight and challenge the ears. Eve de Castro Robinson explains how toy pianos and balloons, along with avant-garde works and aural gymnastic make up the dynamic concert.

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Charismatic cellist returns to Christchurch

Thu, 31 Aug 2017 13:20:00 +1200

Sought after charismatic German cellist and conductor Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt returns to Christchurch to perform with the CSO. He was the winner of the first Adam International Cello Competition and has had a strong relationship with the Garden City ever since. He chats about cello duels, mentoring young Kiwi cellists, and directing the CSO.

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Tango has violist dancing on stage

Thu, 31 Aug 2017 13:00:00 +1200

The Argentinian tango adds an extra frisson to violist Anna Serova’s performances. She’s one of the top viola players around and she’s treating her Wellington audience to something special at the 44th International Viola Congress. Anna discusses working with Hamish McKeich, her love of tango dancing and how she’s only got a couple of days to get her moves down with her new dance partner before hitting the stage on Monday night.

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Voices sing up to open Chch Arts Festival

Wed, 30 Aug 2017 13:40:00 +1200

Ravil Atlas is descended from the Tartars and like his ancestors he takes chances. He moved to New Zealand from San Francisco, and has used his own Broadway and Opera singing experiences to establish himself as a choral director in Christchurch. His choir Atlas Voices helps open the Christchurch Arts Festival tonight and his other choir the Christchurch Pops Choir goes from strength to strength.

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Audio description en pointe for blind audience

Wed, 30 Aug 2017 13:20:00 +1200

As soon as you hear Prokofiev’s Dance of the Knights you’ll recognise it. It’s one of the most famous pieces, and scenes from Romeo and Juliet, currently being performed by the Royal New Zealand Ballet. It’s a stunning scene, but what happens if you can’t see it? Nicola Owen is an audio describer for this season. It’s the first time a ballet has been audio described in NZ. She speaks to producer Zoë George about how her job helps the blind experience art in new ways.

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Under the big top

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

It’s difficult to imagine circus artists and an orchestra working together, but that is what’s happening this weekend when trapeze artists and acrobats team with Orchestra Wellington for Under the Big Top. The circus artists will be flying, and leaping through the air, while the orchestra performs some well-known, family friendly pieces. Choreographer, and former Cirque du Soleil trapeze artist Rosalie Ducharme on the intricacies of performing stunts in the Michael Fowler Centre.

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The bitter taste of sugar slavery

Tue, 29 Aug 2017 13:40:00 +1200

Imagine being stolen from your homeland and forced to work on a sugar plantation. Many people are unaware of that happening in this part of the world, but it did. Colonial Sugar, the new exhibition at City Gallery Wellington, by Jasmine Togo-Brisby, addresses the dark history of sugar-cane plantations in Queensland where the artist’s great-great-grandparents were taken from Vanuatu as children to work in the plantations.

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Hristova & Houstoun on tour with Beethoven

Tue, 29 Aug 2017 13:20:00 +1200

Bella Hristova won the 2008 Michael Hill International Violin Competition. As part of her prize, she toured the country with pianist Michael Houstoun and loved it. Bella is back for another extensive tour with Michael this time performing all ten Beethoven violin sonatas. She delves into why their working relationship is so good, what makes the Beethoven sonatas so special, and why her composer husband is a keeper.

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Making music accessible

Tue, 29 Aug 2017 13:00:00 +1200

Everyone should be able to access live music. That’s the ethos behind a series of concerts by Chamber Music New Zealand and the IHC Foundation that encourages inclusion and participation for diverse audiences. The relaxed concerts are in Wellington, Hawkes Bay and Christchurch. Community musician Julian Raphael and CMNZ’s Sue Jane explain the importance of providing musical experience for everyone.

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Goethe-Institut new director

Mon, 28 Aug 2017 13:45:00 +1200

Christian Kahnt is the new Director of Goethe-Institut New Zealand. He talks about what appealed to him about New Zealand and what he wants to achieve here. One of his many jobs is creating the German Film Festival. 

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Hymn to the Sun

Mon, 28 Aug 2017 13:20:00 +1200

Wellington painter Melanie Mills created a stir in the visual arts world when her first show of paintings based on flowers was an immediate sell-out. Melanie Mills and curator Kathlene Fogarty from FHE Galleries in Auckland talk about how their relationship has fostered the development of Melanie’s second show Hymn to the Sun which opens this weekend at the same gallery, again under Kathlene’s care. 

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A once in a lifetime experience

Mon, 28 Aug 2017 13:00:00 +1200

The Damnation of Faust by Berlioz was performed by Edo de Waart, with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and an international cast this past weekend. The concert performance of an opera has been a music highlight for Auckland audiences through the APO’s regular winter opera. For reviewer Rachel Hyde it was an absolute joy to hear the work performed by a seasoned conductor with high calibre singers and the orchestra on form.

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