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The elements unite for NZTrio’s April tour


4 March 2008


The elements unite for NZTrio’s April tour

“Dashing, young and direct... violinist Justine Cormack, cellist Ashley Brown, and pianist Sarah Watkins have impressive credentials, and when they combine there are fireworks.”
[Kate Mead, New Zealand House & Garden]

On Sunday 13 April, NZTrio kicks off its three centre Fire and Water tour. Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland audiences will be treated to a thrilling concert experience as the trio performs a unique collection of works created within the last decade by composers from Brazil, the US, Japan and New Zealand.

NZTrio is one of New Zealand’s most acclaimed professional chamber groups and is widely hailed for its innovative repertoire and dynamic interpretations. Ensemble in Residence at The University of Auckland, NZTrio has a reputation for surprising and dazzling both contemporary and classical music lovers. The scintillating Fire and Water programme offers audiences a chance to see why:

Ahi by Gareth Farr (NZ)
Ultro citroque by Hiroyuki Yamamoto (Japan)
Piano Trio by Jennifer Higdon (US)
At water’s birth by Eve de Castro-Robinson (NZ, world premiere)
·         An Eroica Trio by Raimundo Penaforte (Brazil)

Justine Cormack, violinist of NZTrio, says it’s always a huge honour to premiere a work. “Eve de Castro-Robinson is one of our leading ladies of composition,” she says, “and this new piece she has written especially for our tour is simply magical, with an almost ritualistic, meditative feel to it. Fellow Kiwi Gareth Farr is also one of our favourite composers. His instantly appealing melodies and driving rhythms also make him an audience favourite. Ahi is the Maori word for fire and that perfectly sums up the energy throughout this piece.”

Dear to NZTrio pianist Sarah Watkins is composer Jennifer Higdon. “She’s a new voice to most New Zealand audiences,” Watkins says, “but is fast becoming one of America’s most frequently performed composers – already with numerous awards under her belt (including a Grammy nomination) for her stunning orchestral and chamber works. Her Piano Trio features two movements: the first is expansive and achingly lyrical, while the second is pure fireworks and rhythmic excitement. Total edge-of-the-seat music,” she adds.

“We were first introduced to Hiroyuki Yamamoto’s Ultro citroque by Jack Body,” NZTrio cellist Ashley Brown says, “who asked us to perform it as part of the 2007 Asia Pacific Festival. It’s a fleeting, riveting piece that requires intense concentration and ensemble playing of the highest precision.”

To complete the programme “and leave the audience buzzing” says Brown, is An Eroica Trio by New York-based, Brazilian-born composer Raimundo Penaforte. “Three distinct musical forms and composers are the inspiration for this trio – hypnotic tango rhythms bring to mind Astor Piazzolla in the opening movement; the second is pure sultry blues/jazz, an homage to Frenchman Maurice Ravel; and the playful sounds of Brazil are evoked in the Finale. It’s an incredible piece,” he says.

“[NZTrio] swept us up and swept us along...” Gerald Carpenter, The Independent, Santa Barbara, USA

“...a miracle of synergy and synchronicity...” William Dart, New Zealand Herald


NZTrio: Fire and Water tour


Sunday 13 April, 3pm – Great Hall, Christchurch Arts Centre, Christchurch

Sunday 20 April, 3pm – Ilott Concert Chamber, Wellington

Wednesday 23 April, 8pm – Music Theatre, The University of Auckland, Auckland



TICKETS        Adults: $30, Concessions: $15 (Seniors/students)


BOOKINGS   Christchurch and Wellington concerts

Auckland concert




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