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25 August 2015 / News
Our Russian Icons concert in Wanganui tomorrow will be presented as part of the Musicians for the Sarjeant series in support of the fundraising efforts for the iconic Sarjeant Gallery.
Launched in January 2013, Musicians for the Sarjeant is the brainchild of opera singer Deborah Wai Kapohe and offers concerts at affordable prices as a fundraiser for the gallery’s redevelopment. Previous performers in the series include pianist Michael Houstoun, flutist Ingrid Culliford and Deborah herself.
Wanganui’s Sarjeant Gallery is a historical treasure, built as the result of a generous bequest from New Zealand farmer and benefactor Henry Sarjeant and opened in 1919 by then Prime Minister, William Massey. The Neo-Classical building houses more than 5,500 artworks and has a Category 1 listing under the New Zealand Historic Places Trust Act.
The gallery building is currently being redeveloped to look after its nationally-important collection with environmentally-controlled storage and exhibition galleries, to enhance public access through improved exhibition and education spaces and to enable earthquake strengthening.
The collection had moved to a temporary gallery (Sarjeant on the Quay), but this venue was subsequently damaged by the severe flooding in June - the worst ever recorded in Wanganui - and will be closed until late September.
However, the show must go on so our concert has been moved to the Wanganui War Memorial Centre, a regular haunt for chamber music lovers. Regulars might be in for a surprise, though, when we bring out the roulette wheel in the second half and call for volunteers to give it a spin to select the music for us to play. Nothing keeps us on our toes quite as much as not knowing what piece is going to come next!
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