Haydn - String Quartet in D major, Op. 20, No. 4 Shostakovich - String Quartet No. 2 in A major, Op. 68 Walton - String Quartet No. 2 in A minor Programme Tickets
The ensemble has been Quartet-in-Residence at the New Zealand School of Music at Victoria University of Wellington since 1991 and in 2019 celebrated 25 years running the Adam Summer School for Chamber Music. Violinist Helene Pohl and violist Gillian Ansell are co-artistic directors of the biennial Adam Chamber Music Festival in Nelson. Gillian, Helene and cellist Rolf Gjelsten have received MNZM honours for services to music in New Zealand.
All concerts are held at
The Philip Carter Family Concert Hall The Piano 156 Armagh St Christchurch. www.thepiano.nz
Tickets are available at the door $40 cash, $45 EFTPOS/credit card for adults; $15 cash, $17 EFTPOS/credit card for students or from Eventfinda (charges apply).
We ask that patrons be seated 5 minutes before the scheduled starting time.
Christopher’s Classics 2022 – Series XXVII Reviewer Tony Ryan looks forward to the expanded programme for the 2022 season.
With a few modifications of date, programme and personnel, Christopher’s Classics in 2020 and 2021 have been a life-saver for Christchurch concert-goers. For 2022, an ambitious ten-concert schedule with top-line New Zealand musicians and even more affordable ticket prices comes as a much-needed booster dose of musical excellence after the uncertainties of these last two years.
2022’s CHRISTOPHER MARSHALL CONCERT (which proved to be a highlight of the 2021 series) this time features baritone Will King in a recital of English and French songs accompanied by David Codd. The programme includes Britten’s wonderful Songs and Proverbs of William Blake, which I’m especially looking forward to. Will King has already made a notably favourable impression on those who have heard him recently so, apart from this welcome opportunity of having a singer in the 2022 season, I’m very much looking forward to hearing this rising star in the Christopher’s Classics opening concert in March.
PIANO TRIO ENSEMBLES are quite a thematic thread running through the 2022 series. Three such groups can be heard in April, June and July; four if you count the welcome return of the Morton Trio, also in July, with French horn replacing the cello of the other ensembles. The very wide range of repertoire that these trios are scheduled to play easily justifies their inclusion in this expanded season, and it will make for some fascinating comparisons as the different personalities bring their individual insights to the music-making. All three of the standard ensembles will include works by New Zealand composers: in July the Levansa Trio will play Ultraviolet by Claire Cowan, while both the NZ Chamber Soloists and the NZTrio will première new commissions whose details are yet to be announced. The NZ Chamber Soloists’ programme is a very innovative mix of New Zealand-Chinese-American works along with Shostakovich’s rarely heard First Piano Trio, and I’m rather excited to see that NZTrio’s programme also includes a work by Nikolai Kapustin, who died just last year at the age of 82, and whose music has been receiving increasing attention in recent years. Another interesting feature of these concerts is that NZTrio and Levansa Trio will each include a Beethoven Piano Trio, which just happen to be the same two that the Argyle Trio played in the 2021 series – so this will make another fascinating comparison; it’s always intriguing to hear the diversity of approaches as different musicians bring their own individual vision to the music, especially the great Archduke Trio which is always a favourite.
PIANIST LIAM WOODING, who appears in July with the Morton Trio, returns in September with an enticing solo programme of Mozart, Bach-Busoni, Prokofiev (the quirky and inventive Vision Fugitives) and a Sonata by Australian composer Carl Vine. The inclusion of the occasional solo musician in the Christopher’s Classics series is always a welcome feature.
TWO STRING ENSEMBLES are scheduled for August and September. The Aroha String Quartet have an appealing programme of Mendelssohn, Brahms and John Psathas, along with a real favourite of mine – Shostakovich’s Tenth String Quartet. Strings Amore is the other string group, which comprises five of New Zealand’s finest players in a programme of baroque works by Vivaldi, Graupner, Telemann and Bach. This concert features Donald Maurice on viola d’amore, one of the baroque era’s most exquisitely beautiful and favourite instruments.
TWO DUOS complete the 2022 line-up. In May the Darroch Cowan Duo bring a collection of pieces for flute and guitar by composers from both North and South America, while the 2022 series ends in October with a programme of songs arranged for cello and piano from originals by Schubert, Glazunov, Dvořák, Schumann and Brahms. For this concert Andrew Joyce and Rae de Lisle will no doubt be reprising some of the tracks that we often hear on RNZ Concert from their album Morgen released in 2020, although that disc doesn’t include Glazunov. Personally, such arrangements of well-known vocal gems have the effect of making me wish for the originals with all the textual expression and tension that only the human voice can deliver. However, the cello is far more suitable for such instrumental alternatives than the interminable flute or clarinet arrangements that seem prevalent and, depending what the year throws at us, I may well be ready for some good easy-to-listen-to tunes, so I do look forward to this opportunity to hear two such fine musicians as the icing on the cake in what looks like a series of enormous variety and tantalising repertoire.
The New Zealand Chamber Soloists have been performing regularly throughout New Zealand and overseas since 2006.
The group is dedicated to presenting classical music as a spontaneous and vivid experience, in which the audience and performers are connected through the universal language of music. Since its inception, the New Zealand Chamber Soloists have celebrated the unique voice of New Zealand's new generation of composers, alongside the works of the classical and 20th century traditions. The group has brought a unique blend of virtuosity, colour and a full-on, spontaneous energy to music old and new.
2:30 PM Sunday 17 July - Morton Trio
Arna Morton (violin) Alex Morton (horn) Liam Wooding (piano)
Brahms/Morton - Scherzo from FAE Sonata Schumann - Adagio & Allegro for Horn & Piano, Op. 70 Brahms - Violin Sonata in G major, Op. 78 Brahms/Morton - Piano Trio in B major Op. 8 (arranged for Horn Trio)
The Morton Trio was formed by Cantabrian husband and wife duo, Alex and Arna Morton, and NZ pianist Liam Wooding. They first appeared in our 2019 season. For 2022 they will present a concert entitled Metamorphosis; a refreshing celebration of Brahms which features striking new transfigurations of his beloved B major Piano Trio and FAE Scherzo for horn trio by Arna Morton, paired with his intimate G major Sonata and Schumann’s Adagio & Allegro for horn and piano.
7:30 PM Thursday 28 July - Levansa Trio
Andrew Beer (violin) Lev Sivkov (cello) Sarah Watkins (piano)
Beethoven - Piano Trio in E-flat major, Op. 1 No. 1 Martinu - Trio No. 2 in D minor Claire Cowan (NZ) - Ultraviolet Georgy Sviridov - Piano Trio in A minor
Andrew Beer is the concertmaster with the APO. Sarah Watkins has performed frequently for Christopher’s Classics (twice in 2021). Lev Sivkov last performed in Christchurch in 2019, playing the Elgar cello concerto with the CSO.
This programme features some well-known pieces along with a stunning piano trio by Sviridov, a 20th century Russian composer who studied under Shostakovich. We believe that this could be the first performance of this piece in New Zealand. This incredible work won the 1946 Stalin prize. Those who either hear or play Sviridov's piano trio for the first time will wonder why we never hear this masterpiece in concert. It certainly belongs in the repertoire.
7:30 PM Thursday 11 August - Aroha Trio
Haihong Liu (violin) Zhongxian Jin (viola) Robert Ibell (cello)
Schubert - String Trio in B-Flat, D471 SalinaFisher - Mata-Au Dohnanyi - Serenade in C, Op10 Jean Francaix - String Trio (1933) Beethoven - Serenade in D, op.8
Acclaimed as demonstrating "accomplished brilliance, soulfulness and sublime intensity in perfect balance and tonal unity" (The Dominion Post), the Aroha String Quartet is firmly established as one of New Zealand's finest chamber music ensembles. Founded in 2004, this versatile Wellington-based quartet is known for its passionate musicality, impressive technique, and multicultural innovation.
The Aroha Quartet is committed to presenting string quartet works from western classical and avant-garde repertoire to traditional Chinese folk music.
Note that the Quartet will be performing as a String Trio for this concert.
7:30 PM Wednesday 7 September - Strings Amore
Martin Riseley (violin) Rupa Maitrea (violin) Margaret Guldborg (cello) Sophia Acheson (viola) Donald Maurice (viola d’amore)
Vivaldi - Concerto for viola d’amore in D major, RV392 Telemann - Concerto for two violas d’amore Graupner - Concerto for viola d’amore in D major Bach - Concerto for violin in E major Graupner - Concerto for viola d’amore and viola in A major Telemann - Concerto for viola in G major Bach - Erbarme Dich, St Matthew Passion-violin, viola & strings
Liam first performed for Christopher’s Classics in 2019 with the Morton Trio. In 2022 he will present a solo recital which includes the rhythmic and resonant first sonata by celebrated Australian composer Carl Vine.
Liam is one of New Zealand’s leading emerging pianists and enjoys an eclectic career of collaborating, performing and teaching. His 2021 tour with the Chamber Music NZ regional series received rapturous reviews from every venue.
7:30 PM Thursday 6 October - Andrew Joyce & Rae de Lisle
Andrew Joyce is the principal cello with the NZSO. Rae de Lisle is an associate professor of piano at the University of Auckland. We finish our 2022 season with this programme which features a number of beautiful “songs” where the voice is replaced by the cello. This will certainly be one of the highlights of the year and a fantastic way to end the 2022 season.
7:30 PM Thursday 5 May - Darroch Cowan Duo
Hannah Darroch (flute) Steve Cowan (guitar)
Golijov - Fish Tale Noble - Folk Suite Hoover - Canyon Echoes Piazzolla - "Campero" from Cinco Piezas for sologuitar Piazzolla - Tango Etude No. 3 for solo flute Piazzolla - "Cafe 1930" from Histoire du Tango Tower - Snow Dreams Beaser - Mountain Songs selections
New Zealand-born flutist Hannah Darroch met Canadian guitarist Steve Cowan when they were completing doctoral studies in Montreal in 2016. Hannah is now the principal flutist with the CSO. Steve will be a soloist in a CSO concert in 2022. This programme include selections from Robert Beaser's soulful American folk songs that earned him a Grammy nomination in 1986, paired with evocative music by two of this century's leading women composers, Joan Tower and Katherine Hoover. The programme will also introduce New Zealand audiences to the music of composers that the duo collaborated with in Montreal: the new-generation composer Jason Noble [b. 1980] and one of the pillars of Canadian contemporary composition, Brian Cherney [b. 1942]. Both composers have arranged very melodic and meaningful works especially for the Duo.
7:30 PM Thursday 21 April - NZTrio
Amalia Hall (violin) Somi Kim (piano) Ashley Brown (cello)
Schumann - Sech Stückein kanonischer Form, Op. 56, arr. for piano trio, selections Michael Norris - Horizon Fields (new commission) Kapustin - Trio, Op. 86 Beethoven - Piano Trio in B-flat major, Op. 97 “Archduke” Review Programme
The NZTrio is recognised as a “national treasure” and “New Zealand’s most indispensable ensemble” (NZ Herald). The Trio, who are well known to Christopher’s Classics audiences, return for 2022 with a programme of classic pieces of chamber music mixed with innovative new repertoire.
The Christopher Marshall Concert 7:30 PM Friday 1 April - Will King
Will King (baritone) David Codd (piano)
Poulenc - Le Travail du peintre Britten - Songs and Proverbs of William Blake Quilter - To Julia Ravel - 2 Hebrew Songs Finzi - Let us Garlands Bring Review Programme Will King is a young New Zealand baritone, He was the winner of the Wellington Aria competition in 2018 “with a performance that blew away the audience”, according to adjudicator Richard Greager. He was selected as a 2019 Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist with New Zealand Opera. He is due to continue his studies overseas in April 2022.