Northern touring in November

17 August 2018 / News

One of the great joys of international touring is the opportunity to re-connect and collaborate with colleagues around the world, be they ex-pat New Zealanders or other international artists we’ve met at home or abroad.

Our tour to the Northern Hemisphere this November will see us performing with New Zealand pianist Nicola Melville, American violist James Dunham, British violist Ivo-Jan van der Werff, Canadian cellist Desmond Hoebig and the Tiberius Quartet from Romania, in addition to performances in Germany and the UK, plus a side trip for Gillian to the 45th International Viola Congress in Rotterdam, where she’ll play duets with New Zealander Alexa Sangbin Thompson and Israeli violist Atar Arad.

Pianist Nicola Melville studied with Judith Clark at Victoria University School of Music in Wellington, and went on to complete Masters and Doctorate degrees at the Eastman School of Music in the US. She is now Associate Professor at the top-ranked liberal arts institution, Carleton College in Minnesota. We’re delighted to perform the Shostakovich Piano Quintet with Nicola as part of the Music@Carleton concert series in November.

Our next stop in the US will be Houston, where we’ll give a concert for the St Cecilia Chamber Music Society, as well as masterclasses at Rice University. We’re thrilled to be teaming up again with James Dunham, former violist of the Grammy Award–winning Cleveland Quartet, for a performance of Dvorak’s String Sextet. James toured New Zealand with us in 2016, playing Mozart and Brahms Quintets on our CMNZ tour, so we’re very much looking forward to playing with him again. Also joining us for that work will be an old friend of Rolf's, Desmond Hoebig (ex-Principal Cellist with the Cleveland Orchestra). On the same programme, we’ll be joined by violist Ivo-Jan van der Werff (formerly of the Medici String Quartet and, back in the 80s, a fellow student at the Royal College of Music with Gillian) for Mozart’s gorgeous String Quintet in G minor, K. 516. What better way to re-connect with old friends than to play such sublime music together!

We’ll wind up the US leg of our November tour with a concert and masterclasses at the University of New Orleans, before flying to Romania to perform at the Tiberius Week International Chamber Music Festival in Targu Mures, Romania, hosted by our colleagues the Tiberius String Quartet. Their annual festival is the only major event of its kind in Eastern Europe and past invited artists have included members of the Bartók, Orlando, Chilingirian, and Fine Arts Quartets. We met the Tiberius Quartet two years running at the Festival of the Sound in Ontario and are pleased to at last have the opportunity to perform with them.

From Romania we’ll head to Goettingen in Germany  - home, these days, to Helene’s parents – to perform in the Freunde Spielen für Freunde concert series, followed by a few days of R&R. No rest for Gillian, however, who will head straight to Rotterdam for the 45th International Viola Congress. Gillian was co-host, with NZSM colleague Donald Maurice, of the 44th congress held in Wellington in 2017, so we know she will be very keen to catch up with her international colleagues again. While at the congress, Gillian will perform duets with her former NZSM student Alexa Sangbin Thomson (currently pursuing her Masters degree at Rice University in Houston under James Dunham) and Atar Arad (former violist with the Cleveland Quartet).

Our last leg of the tour takes us to the UK, for performances in the Conway Hall chamber music concert series (founded in the 1880s and the longest-running of its kind in Europe), and for Luton Music, a concert series which has played host to many of the UK’s top musicians since its formation immediately after the war.

After a full month away, we know we’ll be pleased to return to Aotearoa and will carry with us the riches gained from our international collaborations to pass onto our students and audiences at home.

If you would like to support our tour, please visit our Givealittle page.

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