Classical Performance Research
See some of the representative highlights of research activity by the staff at Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music. Follow the link to the staff member's biography to find out more about their research outputs in recent years.
Professor Donald Maurice
Professor Donald Maurice’s research focuses on the performance, recording and musicological aspects of selected Eastern European and Australasian composers who have sought to find cultural identity through music. It includes music by Béla Bartók (Hungary), George Enescu (Romania), Alfred Hill (Australasia), Douglas Lilburn (New Zealand) and Boris Pigovat (Israel).
Bartók's Viola Concerto – The Remarkable Story of His Swansong
New York. Oxford University Press. ISBN13: 9780195156904ISBN10: 0195156900 Hardback, 240 pages. February 2004.
This book is recognized as the definitive study on this work and can be found in major music libraries throughout the English-speaking world. “Donald Maurice's book is an important addition to the field of Bartók research. It can be recommended to all who deal with the multiplicity of issues related to Bartók studies, general musicological studies of the compositional process (sketches, drafts, revisions), performance practice, history of the concerto genre, and other issues pertaining to practical and scholarly questions." – Elliott Antokoletz, Music and Letters
Requiem – Boris Pigovat
This first commercial recording of these four works has been broadcast and favorably reviewed worldwide, and has received a Supersonic Award from Pizzicato in Luxembourg. The Holocaust Requiem is “arguably the most significant work written for solo viola and orchestra.” – Dwight Pounds, Journal of the American Viola Society
Alfred Hill String Quartets – Volumes One to Four.
Alfred Hill Volume One: Quartets 1, 2 & 3, Naxos (2007).
Alfred Hill Volume Two: Quartets 4, 6 & 8, Naxos (2008).
Alfred Hill Volume Three: Quartets 5, 7 & 9, Naxos (2009).
Alfred Hill Volume Four: Quartets 10, 11 & Life Quintet, Naxos (2011).
These recordings (with two volumes remaining) can claim to have restored an almost forgotten Australasian composer to a significant place in the history of music. “These performances by the Dominion String Quartet of New Zealand are uniformly superb, making a strong case for this undeservedly forgotten composer” – 2012 Classical Lost and Found (2012).
Margaret Medlyn’s research interests lie in the are of the embodiment of the singing voice especially in nineteenth-and twentieth-century works. She also has a deep interest in the psychology of performance and in the maximising of potential by training in positive outcomes.
'Kundry' in Parsifal by Wagner
With Negus, A., McIntyre, D., O'Neill, S., & Snell, M. (2006, March 17)) presented and accompanied by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in the NZ Festival of the Arts [Performance]. Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington. Being selected from the limited number of international artists capable of singing it, the invitation to perform this role recognises the success Margaret Medlyn has had in creating distinctive interpretations of Wagner heroines. Margaret developed her approach in England, in consultation with international Wagner specialists, Jeffrey Tate and Lionel Friend, and formulated an interpretation of the role in an important production by Nicklaus Lehnhoff for English National Opera. This initial period of research focused on expanding the range of Margaret's voice to meet the extended vocal techniques and abnormal sounds required. In this first performance of ‘Parsifal’ in New Zealand, Margaret sang alongside renowned international Wagnerian singers Sir Donald MacIntyre and Simon O’Neill and the performances were received to universal acclaim as a landmark in New Zealand’s musical development. Leading website Opera Critic said that Margaret Medlyn’s Kundry is truly world class: the role sits ideally for her voice and her commanding stage presence and acting abilities combine to bring the multifaceted Kundry to life. The recording of the performances has been completed by Naxos and release is scheduled for 2013. Presenting this opera to an audience unused to this repertoire, the dynamic process of engagement between artists in this particular interpretation provided a performance of the highest level while meeting this challenge.
'Senta' in The Flying Dutchman by Wagner
With Braithwaite, N., Wegner, J., Skelton, S., & Sumegi, D) (7 November 2009). Presented by State Opera of South Australia with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra [Performance]. Festival Theatre Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.
'Kostelnicka' in Jenufa by Janacek
With Davies, W., Randle, T., Duprels, A., Allen, J., & Medlyn, H. (20 September 2008). Presented by NBR Opera NZ in Auckland and Wellington with Auckland Philharmonia and the Vector Wellington Orchestra. Aotea Centre Auckland, St James' Theatre Wellington.
New Zealand String Quartet
In more than two decades of concerts and recordings, the New Zealand String Quartet has developed and presented unique and internationally-acclaimed interpretations of core string quartet repertoire. Notable as well, has been the ensemble's collaborative involvement in the creation and wider dissemination of NZ works for the string quartet.
Mendelssohn Complete Quartets (2011)
The quartet's major undertaking of a recording of the complete quartets by Mendelssohn in three volumes for Naxos International has brought outstanding critical acknowledgement of a noteworthy interpretive perspective, including high praise from the UK's 'Gramophone' review of classical CDs.
Notes from a Journey (CD)
The fostering of major NZ works for quartet was recently validated with the awarding of the 'Vodafone
2011 prize for Best Classical CD' for 'Notes from a Journey', a compilation of some of the best works written for the NZSQ.
See also the New Zealand String Quartet's recordings [external website – opens in a new window].
Concerts at King's Place (2012)
In its invitation to curate a week of concerts in March 2012 at the vital and prestigious new London venue, 'Kings Place', the group presented three full concerts of music bringing together the two strands of its creative focus, and involving collaboration with some of NZ's stellar expatriate performers, such as Bass/Baritone Jonathon Lemalu and alumnus Madeleine Pierard as well as current and former School of Music composers. [Read the news article about this project.]
Research by Deborah Rawson centres around the commissioning, premiering and recording of new works for the ensembles Saxcess and the NZ Clarinet Quartet. Deborah is also involved in the recording and publishing of New Zealand works for solo clarinet and classical saxophone, the presentation of New Zealand works at international saxophone and clarinet congresses, and the fostering of new works for the NZSM Saxophone Orchestra.
21st Anniversary CD of Saxcess
Deborah is currently preparing to record a 21st Anniversary CD of Saxcess, featuring a programme of unique works written especially for this ensemble.
Associate Professor Martin Riseley
Dr Martin Riseley has held Concertmaster and Associate Concertmaster positions in orchestras such as the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and the National Arts Center Orchestra in Ottawa, as well as Head of Strings and Conducting at the University of Alberta. A frequent soloist and chamber musician in many countries with some of the world's leading artists, he brings a diverse background to his position as Head of Strings at NZSM.
Brahms B Major Trio with Yo Yo Ma and William EddinsIn 2007, Dr Riseley performed the Brahms B Major Trio with Yo Yo Ma and William Eddins at the ESO Gala concert at the Winspear Center for the Arts, one of Canada's finest Concert halls.
Research by Jenny Wollerman (Voice – Lyric Soprano) has a special focus on performance of new works including works by New Zealand composers.
Midsummer Night’s Dream by Mendelssohn
With James Judd and Pepe Becker (2010, July). Two Naxos recordings [external website – opens in a new window]: soprano soloist for international release of the complete recordings in English and in German, with New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and conductor James Judd. CD recordings released worldwide as special boxed set edition (Naxos 8.570794 and 8.557379) and online.
The Floating Bride, the Crimson Village: song cycle by Ross Harris
With Piers Lane, Tecwyn Evans, & Emma Sayers. (2009, February). Soloist for world premieres of the piano and orchestral versions of the work. Premiered with visiting international pianist Piers Lane in the 2009 Adam Chamber Music Festival. Orchestral premiere with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and conductor Tecwyn Evans in 'Made in New Zealand' concert, broadcast live by Radio New Zealand [external link – opens in new window]. Studio recording with piano made by Radio NZ for broadcast and online release and as podcasts on iTunes.
Schoenberg String Quartet No 2 and Ross Harris The Abiding Tides
(2010, March). Schoenberg String Quartet No. 2 and Ross Harris ‘The Abiding Tides’ song cycle: soloist with New Zealand String Quartet, for New Zealand International Arts Festival and nationwide 10 concert tour for Chamber Music New Zealand ‘Kaleidoscopes’ premium international artist concert series, including world and New Zealand premieres. World premiere of Ross Harris song cycle ‘The Abiding Tides’ NZ International Arts Festival and New Zealand premiere of Schoenberg String Quartet No. 2 in 10 concert nationwide tour for Chamber Music NZ in 2011. Wellington performances recorded for future broadcast by Radio New Zealand. Auckland performance of ‘The Abiding Tides’ broadcast live by Radio New Zealand and recorded with ‘in perpetua’ broadcast rights requested. National tour included performances in prestigious venues in Wellington, Auckland, Dunedin, Nelson, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Napier, Hamilton, Invercargill, Christchurch.