New Zealand Chamber Soloists April Tour 2014
New Zealand Chamber Soloists April Tour 2014 – Press Release
Setting off on the winding roads of North and South Island for the first time in nearly three years, the New Zealand Chamber Soloists are feeling the excitement that you only really experience when playing – at home. Widely recognised as one of the country’s most influential game makers in chamber music, the trio has continued to delight international audiences during their longer than planned hiatus from the local touring circuit. Highlights during this “time-out” have included concerts in Shanghai, Singapore, Rome, Paris, Crete, Syros, Paros and Melbourne, playing a diverse portfolio of New Zealand composers and traditional chamber repertoire. Works by Psathas, Farr, Lodge, Williams and de Castro Robinson, completely new to their audiences, have stood their ground alongside Brahms, Dvorak, Martinu and the Beethoven Triple Concerto performed in Greece.
At the heart of recent tours are two new musical gems written for them by John Psathas, “Corybas” and “Aegean”. These, along with works by Martinu and Dvorak will complete the NZ touring programme. Commissioned for the trio by patron, Ian Graham on the event of his wife’s Agi’s birthday, the NZCS premiered the works on the Island of Crete at the Casa Dei Mezzo festival in 2012 and then in Melbourne and Auckland in 2013.
The Graham’s have made a remarkable contribution to the classical music development in New Zealand over the past decade – not only in the commissioning of new works and patronage, but more recently with the sizable “Graham Grant”. This $500K donation to the University of Waikato, Conservatorium of Music allows for unparalleled opportunity in New Zealand for performers and composers to engage in developmental and creative opportunities of broad artistic scope and excellence, unfettered by imposed strategic funding criteria. The relationship between composer John Psathas, Tennant and Austin is also longstanding, going back to such works as “Three Island Songs” (1999). The next instalment in this artistic relationship is a piano and cello duo that Psathas is writing for them to delve into in 2015. The NZCS’s most recent album, “Corybas” is available from Atoll records. It includes all of Psathas’ chamber music which uses piano. The album features, Tennant, Austin and Lara Hall with guests Amalia Hall and Robert Ashworth and was produced by multi-award winning producer, Wayne Laird(ONZM).
This year sees a change in the line-up of the core trio. Amalia Hall is guest violinist for 2014, standing in for her sister, Lara who is on maternity leave. She is widely recognized as one of New Zealand's foremost young violinists, having won all of the national competitions in NZ as well as the Postacchini International Violin Competition in Italy. She is also a laureate of the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians and Kloster Schöntal International Violin Competition. At the age of 9 Amalia made her solo debut with the Auckland Philharmonia, which has been followed by numerous other appearances as a soloist with orchestras in NZ. She is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied under the tutelage of Pamela Frank and Joseph Silverstein, and the University of Auckland, studying with Dimitri Atanassov.
Amalia will also accompany James and Katherine on their UK adventures in January 2015 which among other performances will feature three concerts in Scotland during the time of New Zealand being the cultural country of honour. While New Zealand’s leading indigenous and pop musicians perform on the stages of Celtic Connections, the biggest winter festival in the Northern Hemisphere, the NZCS will be toured by Enterprise Music Scotland, Scotland’s equivalent of Chamber Music New Zealand. This will be followed by concerts in England.