The New Zealand String Quartet is New Zealand’s foremost chamber music ensemble. They play throughout the country and have a special project to bring the music of the masters to schools. They tour frequently to North America where they perform in concert halls and festivals and their touring itinerary now includes Korea and Mexico. In 2007 they began a three-year project to record all of the Mendelssohn quartets for Naxos. As well as being celebrated performers, the members are teachers as Quartet-in-Residence on the Faculty of the NZ School of Music, Wellington.
Zephyr is a wind quintet comprising Ed Allen french horn, Bridget Douglas flute, Robert Orr oboe, Phil Green clarinet and Robert Weeks bassoon. “Isolating the lovely part of the orchestra” is how Ed Allen describes it, a combination that has inspired many composers to show their lighter as well as their profound side. The result is a splendid repertoire of music that explores the unique character of each instrument as well as their lovely blend. These harmonies and textures are expanded from the piano by Diedre Irons, one of this country’s most revered pianists.
The NZ Chamber Soloists group was formed in 2006 by national and international musicians who all have connections to the University of Waikato. They perform in various combinations to create a range of programmes for different instrumental and vocal ensembles. At the heart of the group are pianist Katherine Austin, violinist Lara Hall and cellist James Tennant who are all recognised as leading chamber musicians and soloists. During their 2009 tour to Europe and America they were hailed by London/New York musician David Dolan as “in the top flight of world-class piano trios”. We welcome this dynamic trio to play for us between their engagements in Italy, France, the UK, the USA and Colombia.
Hot Young Strings is a string ensemble of Wellington’s finest young musicians. It began life in 2005 from a wish to have an exciting ensemble of the best emerging young professionals. In the words of Director Donald Armstrong it “combines the excitement of youth with a totally professional standard“. Donald was Music Director of the NZ Chamber Orchestra for 15 years and is associate concertmaster of the NZSO. His love of music for string orchestra and his wealth of experience find a perfect match with “Hot Young Strings”. He promises a stunning concert that spans three centuries of the greatest string music in a programme with some familiar works and a few delightful surprises.