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