Sunday 24th June at 2.30pm

Emona Piano Quintet with Michael Houstoun

“There was superlative loveliness to Sakakushev-von Bismarck’s breadth of phrasing in the reflective main theme…” (Bachtrack)

Wilma Smith Violin
Monique Lapins Violin
Gillian Ansell Viola
Eliah Sakakushev-von Bismarck Cello
Michael Houstoun Piano


Dohnányi: Piano Quintet No 1, Op 1
Puccini: Crisantemi (String Quartet)
Dvořák: Piano Quintet in A, Op 81

A fabulous concert of Romantic favourites with an impressive line-up of fabulous New Zealand musicians – this promises to be one of the highlights of our season. We have previously (in 2014) enjoyed a concert of piano trios from Wilma, Michael and Eliah, and know what a formidable combination they make. Wilma, Michael and Gillian Ansell of the NZSQ need no introduction – they are among the best-known of New Zealand’s musicians and we regularly enjoy their presence on our stage. Bulgarian-born Eliah has also played for us twice. Until recently the Principal Cello of the Auckland Philharmonia. Violinist Caroline von Bismarck has withdrawn from this concert for family reasons and will be replaced by Monique Lapins, second violinist of the New Zealand String Quartet.

This concert brings us a chance to hear two of the most glorious piano quintets of the late 19th century. Dvořák’s Opus 81 is one of the best-known of all piano quintets, a real favourite filled with the spirit of Czech folk music. Dohnányi, on the other hand, did not enjoy writing in the style of his Hungarian origins and his music is more in the romantic tradition of Brahms who greatly admired this lush emotional work. A peaceful interlude between these two passionate works will be provided by Puccini’s exquisite miniature for string quartet – Crisantemi (Crysanthemums).