Les Voisin – 30 April 2023

Sunday 30 April

Les Voisins

“Simon Martyn-Ellis extracted soft, lute-like qualities from his instrument … a stunning effect that delighted the audience.”

Simon Martyn Ellis (theorbo and guitars), Justine Cormack (violin), James Bush (cello),


Robert de Visée

Chaconne in G Major (solo theorbo)

Jean-Marie Leclair

Sonata for Violin and Continuo, Opus 2, No 1

Robert de Visée

Prelude / Les Silvains des M Couperin (solo theorbo)

Marin Marais

Sonnerie de Sainte Geneviève du Mont-de-Paris

Alex Taylor


Maurice Ravel

Sonata for Violin and Cello

Tribute to Django Reinhardt, Stéphane Grappelli and the Hot Club de France:

Django Reinhardt

Nuages, Sweet Georgia Brown, Minor Swing, Daphne  

This concert takes us on an intriguing journey through French music from the court of Louis XIV to the 1930s jazz world of the Hot Club de France.  It offers a rare opportunity to see and hear the theorbo, a Baroque plucked instrument of the lute family, which has an extended neck with very long deep bass strings. 

Les Voisins means ‘neighbours’ – a reference to the fact that former NZTrio violinist Justine Cormack and sought-after early music cellist James Bush grew up next to each other in Christchurch.  They are joined by Australian lutenist and guitarist Simon Martyn-Ellis who is much in demand throughout Europe and the United States.   

The concert opens with three of the composers who were prominent during the French Baroque.  Robert de Visée’s music for theorbo is some of the finest written for this unique instrument.  Leclair is credited with founding the French violin school and Marin Marais was a celebrated viola da gamba player.  

After New Zealand composer Alex Taylor’s response to the musical world of the Sun King and Ravel’s Violin and Cello Sonata we can enjoy some fine jazz classics to complete this fascinating and wide-ranging programme. 

The Les Voisins tour is part of Chamber Music New Zealand’s In Partnership Series and is supported by the Deane Endowment Trust and the Stout Trust

Armstrong, Jacobs, Liu Trio – 26 Mar 2023

Sunday 26 March

Armstrong, Jacobs, Liu Trio

“Samuel Jacobs tossed off the many difficulties as if they do not exist, made a glorious sound and to further prove the point, he played an encore on the even more difficult valve-less horn with the same surety and effortlessness.” (John Button – Stuff)

Jian Liu (piano), Donald Armstrong (violin), Sam Jacobs (horn)



Sonata for Horn and Piano in F Major, Opus 17

Clara Schumann

Two Romances for Violin and Piano

Anthony Ritchie

Horn Trio: Rebirth


Trio in Eb Major for Horn, Violin, and Piano, Opus 40

Two of our favourite musicians, Donald Armstrong and Jian Liu, return in a new ensemble featuring the French horn and showcasing the considerable talents of young horn player Sam Jacobs.

British-born Sam played in the NZSO before being appointed Principal Horn of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London. Now, lured back to New Zealand by the lifestyle, scenery and the outdoors, Sam is Principal Horn with the NZSO.

These three inspired musicians will treat us to some of the greatest works ever written for French Horn – Beethoven’s Horn Sonata and the formidable Trio for Horn, Violin and Piano by Brahms.

It is believed that Beethoven wrote the Horn Sonata in one day – the day before its first performance at which Beethoven played the piano part.

Brahms on the other hand was not rushed, he sought inspiration from a holiday in the country while he was mourning the death of his mother, hence the rather sombre and impassioned nature of this work.

Completing this varied programme will be Clara Schumann’s Two Romances for Violin and Piano and a newly commissioned trio by Dunedin composer Anthony Ritchie.

Kapiti Student Musicians Concerts 2023

AGM 2022


The 2022 Annual General Meeting will be held on Sunday 13 November at 1.00 pm in the Small Hall of the Waikanae Memorial Hall. Come along to hear how the Society performed this year, and to be first to learn about the programme for 2023.


  1. Apologies
  2. Confirmation of Minutes of AGM held on Sunday 15 November 2020
  3. Matters arising
  4. President’s report
  5. Treasurer’s report
  6. Appointment of Reviewer
  7. Election of Officers
  8. Announcement of 2023 Concert Season
  9. Announcement of 2022 Young Musicians Trust award winners
  10. General business

Kapiti Student Musicians 2023

2:30pm Sunday 28 May 2023 

and Sunday 12 November 2023

These concerts are designed to provide local music students with stage experience, including learning how to acknowledge applause. The standard of performance is excellent every year and these young people are among the best at their level.  The student concerts provide a delightful opportunity for our audiences to enjoy a selection of short pieces played with “heart” and commitment, by the talented students in our district.

Entry is by donation. There is no set charge.

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 a mix of traditional and innovative musical 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.

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

Aroha String Trio – 26 Feb 2023

Sunday 26 February

Aroha String Trio – “Serenade”

“Their sustained excellence in ensemble and balance and their emotional subtlety and warmth places them among the finest chamber groups in the country.” (Lindis Taylor – Middle C)


Beethoven:       Serenade for String Trio in D Major, Opus 8
Françaix:          String Trio
Schubert:          String Trio in Bb Major, D 471
Salina Fisher:   Mata-Au
Dohnányi:        Serenade for String Trio in C Major, Opus 10

Haihong Liu (violin), Zhongxian Jin (viola), Robert Ibell (cello)

Three members of the well-known Aroha Quartet will present a concert of delightful string trios titled ‘Serenade’.

The Serenade as a musical form was originally intended for light evening entertainment, usually performed outdoors and sometimes associated with courtship. In the 18th century it developed into a short suite of light instrumental music and was adopted by many composers including Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert.

Beethoven’s Opus 8 ‘Serenade’ is the most substantial work on the programme. It has a wealth of melodic inspiration and an almost orchestral palette filled with sonority and colour.

The String Trio by Frenchman Jean Françaix (who once famously said “My music exists to give pleasure”) is filled with a joyous sense of fun.

The second part of the concert opens with Schubert’s little single-movement trio, a miniature gem that is one of the most treasured works in the string trio repertoire.

Another brief composition follows, this time by acclaimed young New Zealand composer Salina Fisher. Mata-Au refers to the Clutha River and the music is descriptive of the dancing, swirling water.

‘Serenade’ by Hungarian composer Ernst Dohnányi, composed in 1902, is a five-movement work packed with musical riches and with a distinct Hungarian flavour.