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Adam Chamber Music Festival 2-11 February 2017

Adam Chamber Music Festival 2-11 February 2017

Nelson’s Biennial Adam Chamber Music Festival has earned the city the title ‘Salzburg of the South’, as world-renowned musicians fill coveted programme slots and international guests snap up VIP passes to all concerts.

Individual tickets for the February festival go on sale this week, but Festival Manager Bob Bickerton says the VIP passes sold out in record time, with over 80 percent of them going to out of town visitors, many from overseas.

Nelson’s heritage venues are an added attraction to ‘The Adam’ with string and wind ensembles at the Cathedral, and the piano concerts, for the first time, at the Theatre Royal.

Bickerton says sound experts Marshall Day Acoustics have come up with a ‘sound shell design’ to reflect the music from the stage into the auditorium, transforming the theatre into a chamber music venue.

“People are going to be really impressed with the Theatre Royal – the Sturgeon Steinway will sound truly inspirational there, the lines of sight are excellent and we benefit from the theatre’s modern venue facilities.”

Artistic Directors Helene Pohl and Gillian Ansell from the New Zealand String Quartet, have put the spotlight this year on the cello.

“We have an astonishing 12 cellists, led by Matthew Barley from the UK, and a fantastic ‘mini cello festival’ with Beethoven's complete cycle of sonatas for cello and piano, as well as two concerts featuring all our top cellists,” said Ansell. “Leading our international guests is the great Hungarian pianist Dénes Varjon who has been on our ‘must-invite’ list for years; we’re delighted to announce the return of legendary Canadian clarinetist, James Campbell, plus the inspiring Goldner Quartet from Australia, who will be in Nelson to celebrate their 22nd anniversary.”

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Something a little different in this year’s festival is marimba and improvisation with celebrated American percussionist Ian Rosenbaum and composer-drummer Ed Ware, a Kiwi who now lives between Barcelona and New York.

As usual the festival features an array of premieres and commissioned works including Dame Gillian Whitehead's new one-woman opera, Iris Dreaming. Based on the life of poet and novelist Iris Wilkinson, aka Robin Hyde, it is performed by the NZ Trio and London-based NZ soprano Joanne Roughton-Arnold.

The popular talks, master classes and ‘meet the artist’ sessions will be led by well known music writer Elizabeth Kerr.

The Nelson setting and the southern summer are big attractions for the musicians and festival visitors, enhanced by music in the streets from The Troubadours – a quartet of up and coming string players who will play in rest-homes, schools, parks, malls, libraries and in the streets.

The Adam Chamber Music Festival, 2-11 February 2017, music.org.nz for tickets and more information.


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