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Sublime Clarinet and String Quartet Concert in Wellington

“The Mozart Quintet has been a living presence with me for more than 50 years, and after Campbell’s collaboration with the New Zealand String Quartet, I have no hope of hearing it played better.” – Show Time Magazine (Canada)

Sublime Clarinet and String Quartet Concert in Wellington in May

One of the best-known works for clarinet quintets features in a concert in Wellington in May performed by the New Zealand String Quartet with Canadian clarinet virtuoso James Campbell.

The New Zealand String Quartet with James Campbell concert is at the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington on Tuesday 6 May.

The 10-centre tour is part of Chamber Music New Zealand’s 2014 Kaleidoscopes season and includes concerts in Palmerston North, Christchurch, Invercargill, Dunedin, Auckland, Hamilton, Napier, New Plymouth and finishes in Nelson on Sunday 18 May.

Chamber Music New Zealand chief executive Euan Murdoch said there is “something very human about the unique blend of clarinet and strings together that has inspired composers to soar to the heights of their art and the Wellington programme showcases one of the top 10 chamber music works of all time – Mozart’s Quintet in A.

“This is a piece of music people will instantly recognise from dinner parties and weddings and this is a wonderful opportunity to hear it performed live by internationally recognised musicians.”

The concert will also feature Weber's Clarinet Quintet and Brahms' third string quartet.

The New Zealand String Quartet and James Campbell first met 11 years ago when the quartet first played at the Festival of Sound in Parry, Canada and they have continued to meet at the festival every year. They have played together throughout Canada and at other festivals, and in New Zealand at selected concerts, but this is his first extensive New Zealand tour with the string quartet.

“I’ve played with the New Zealand String Quartet so often that I really feel like a member of the group now,” James says.

“String quartets work on a very high musical level, living daily with the greatest music ever written by the greatest composers who ever lived. Being so close to such greatness feeds the soul and constantly inspires the players to be the best they can be in every way. When I perform with string quartets I feel privileged to be part of this special world.”

New Zealand String Quartet violinist Helene Pohl said the quartet enjoys performing with James. “Jim has a wonderfully expressive and free approach to music. Playing with him we feel as though we are as flexible as with the quartet alone, but have even more musical ideas, because his are so rich and varied.

“Every concert with Jim is different – we are so used to each other now that our communication has become intuitive; we can take the music in all sorts of directions and it’s always a wonderful ride, in turns richly satisfying and deliciously exhilarating!”

The New Zealand String Quartet with James Campbell concert is at the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington on Tuesday 6 May at 7.30pm. Tickets are available through Ticketek on 0800 TICKETEK (842 538) or For more information visit

Chamber Music New Zealand acknowledges major funding from Creative New Zealand


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