Kapiti Student Musicians Concerts 2019

Kapiti Student Musicians

Saturday 25 May 2019 & Sunday 10 November 2019

These concerts are designed to provide local music students with stage experience, including learning how to acknowledge applause.

May 2019: The first concert at 1.30pm introduces junior students and at 4.30pm more advanced students perform.

Nov 2019 3:30pm: with students’ schedules packed out with exams, a smaller combined concert.

Entry is by donation. There is no set charge.

The standard of performance is improving year by year and these young people are among the best at their level.
We cannot know in advance just what each programme will contain, but there are always some very good pianists
and we also expect other instrumentalists or singers and some talented groups.

Some of our former student musicians have gone on to greater things…

Baritone Kieran Rayner has graduated from London’s Royal College
of Music International Opera School where he had generous support
from the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation.
Blythe Press (violin) is a member of the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra in Norway.

From 2017 – Robin Shen and Joni Tran – the tallest and the smallest of our current batch of talented students pose for a photo after concert 11 Nov 2017.

Michael Houstoun and Friends – piano quartet

Michael Houstoun and Friends – piano quartet

Sunday 19th May at 2.30pm

Michael Houstoun and Friends – Piano Quartet
His skill in projecting the innate lyricism of the score with its complex rhythm, fugal structure and balance of the writing with its wide-ranging compass, was hugely impressive. (Hawkes Bay Today)


Brahms: Piano Quartet No 2 in A Major, Opus 26
Fauré: Piano Quartet No 1 in C minor, Opus 15

Michael Houstoun is so loved by New Zealand audiences that no season seems complete without him.

Michael’s contribution to New Zealand music has been honoured many times over the decades since he was awarded the Turnovsky Prize in 1982. He has received honorary doctorates from Massey University and Victoria University of Wellington, is a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit and a Laureate of the Arts Foundation of New Zealand. For those who turn out in numbers to hear him whenever he plays, those awards represent a big thank you for all the pleasure he has brought them.

We are thrilled to welcome him back to play chamber music with three distinguished colleagues. Violinist Martin Riseley (Head of Strings at the New Zealand School of Music) will be joined by New Zealand Symphony Orchestra principal cellist Andrew Joyce and violist Gwendolyn Fisher* who is visiting New Zealand from the UK for a spell as Associate Principal Viola with the NZSO.  This formidable team will present a programme of sumptuous piano quartets by Gabriel Fauré and Johannes Brahms.

*Andrew Thomson (viola), was planning to perform, but has just had shoulder surgery, so is “on the bench” at the moment!

The great Brahms A Major quartet is a complex masterwork written on a symphonic scale, while Fauré’s first quartet is one of the most popular of French chamber works, sparkling with colour, sophistication and melodic invention.

Michael Houstoun and Friends – piano quartet

Julien Van Mellaerts and James Bailleau – baritone and piano

Sunday 14th April at 2.30pm

Julien Van Mellaerts & James Bailleau – baritone and piano

“…the baritone Julien Van Mellaerts brings the songs to life with warmth and wit.” (The Times)
“James Baillieu is in a class of his own – a remarkable pianist.” (The Daily Telegraph)


Schubert: Song Selection
Schumann: Dichterliebe Song Cycle (Opus 142)
Gareth Farr: Commission
Vaughan Williams: Songs of Travel
Selection of nostalgic and entertaining Ballads

New Zealand baritone Julien Van Mellaerts studied at the University of Otago and the International Opera School of the Royal College of Music. In 2017 he won first prizes in both the Kathleen Ferrier Award and the Wigmore Hall-Kohn Foundation Competition. He also won the Maureen Forrester Prize at the 2018 Concours musical international de Montréal. He has a busy career of opera and concert performances and recently sang Schaunard in the NZ Opera production of La Bohème.

Julien is partnered by South African pianist James Baillieu, professor and head of piano accompaniment at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Educated at the University of Cape Town and the Royal Academy of Music, James is the recipient of several prestigious awards and prizes. His concert career has taken him all over Europe, North America and Asia, working with an extensive list of prominent singers including Ian Bostridge, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Mark Padmore.

These two remarkable young musicians will bring us two wonderful song-cycles – Schumann’s Dichterliebe and Vaughan Williams’ Songs of Travel, along with a selection of favourite Schubert lieder and some light-hearted songs about New Zealand birds, composed by Gareth Farr to poems by Bill Manhire.

This concert is presented in association with Chamber Music New Zealand. 

Michael Houstoun and Friends – piano quartet

Dénes Várjon & Izabella Simon – Piano Duo & Solo

Sunday 17th February at 2.30pm

Dénes Várjon & Izabella Simon – Piano Duo & Solo

Várjon displays that most valuable of gifts: the ability to play in a way which makes you listen anew to the familiar. (The Independent)


Kurtág-Bach: Two Bach chorale arrangements
Schubert: Lebensstürme in A Minor, D 947
Debussy: Petite Suite, L 65
Beethoven: Sonata in Bb Major “Hammerklavier”, Opus 106

When Dénes Várjon first visited New Zealand two years ago, his was not a familiar name, despite being one of Hungary’s most distinguished musicians. His playing at the Adam Chamber Music Festival in Nelson and in Waikanae proved to be a revelation, and his return visit is eagerly anticipated. Sought-after internationally as a recitalist and concerto soloist, he is widely considered to be one of the world’s greatest chamber musicians, working regularly with such eminent partners as Steven Isserlis, Joshua Bell, Tabea Zimmermann and András Schiff. His many recordings have earned praise, most recently when his solo album ‘The Night’ was named Record of the Month by BBC Music Magazine, while his recording with cellist Steven Isserlis earned a similar distinction from Gramophone magazine.

These two awards closely follow the honour of Germany’s Opus Klassik prize for a CD with Tabea Zimmermann and Jörg Widmann.

Dénes also performs frequently with his wife Izabella Simon in four-hands and two-piano recitals and together they have organised several chamber music festivals. Their concert for us will comprise a first half of duets including some favourite repertoire by Schubert and Debussy, followed in the second half by a rare performance of one of Beethoven’s greatest and most challenging late sonatas, the Hammerklavier.

Waikanae Music Society thanks the Adam Chamber Music Festival for their cooperation, and acknowledges the support of the KCDC Creative Communities Scheme