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Sunday 20 August

Ākarana Piano Quartet

“A wonderfully gifted incredible cellist” – (world famous cellist Mischa Maisky in praise of Chen Cao)

Robert Ashworth (viola), Chen Cao (cello),
Sarah Watkins (piano), Andrew Beer (violin)

Programme

Mozart

Piano Quartet No 1 in G minor, K478

Bridge

Phantasie Quartet in F# minor, H94

Janet Jennings

New commission after Paul Klee’s New Harmony

Dvořák

Piano Quartet No 2 in Eb Major, Op 87

This newly-formed ensemble will be making their debut performances on tour in 2023. Award-winning musicians Andrew Beer (violin) and Sarah Watkins (piano) return to our stage joined by two outstanding colleagues from the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra – principal violist Robert Ashworth and sub-principal cellist Chen Cao.

Their programme brings us two of the greatest and most popular works in the piano quartet repertoire – Mozart’s K478 and Dvořák’s Opus 87.

Another piano quartet that is less familiar is the Phantasie Quartet by English composer Frank Bridge. Bridge is best known through his most famous pupil, Benjamin Britten, who recognized his teacher’s genius and frequently programmed his works.

The Phantasie Quartet, completed in June 1910, reveals Bridge’s early style when he had not yet ventured away from late nineteenth-century harmonic language. It is charming music, filled with many memorable melodies.

Also on the programme will be a new commission by New Zealand composer Janet Jennings. A graduate of the Universities of Waikato and Auckland, her works are regularly performed in NZ and overseas. She is particularly known for her vocal works and insists that new music should be accessible and enjoyable for both performers and listeners.

This concert is presented in partnership with Chamber Music New Zealand. Chamber Music New Zealand’s Partnership Series is supported by the Deane Endowment Trust and the Stout Trust.