Day Ten: Arrivederci Adam Festival 2013 – Benvenuto Adam Festival 2015

It is with some sadness that we post the final entry from our Nelson blogger “Korimako” who has been a fantastic contributor and driving force behind the posts and pictures. For those of us based out of Nelson and unable to attend the festival, having daily ‘reports’ of all the activity did help to abate the terrible FOMO (fear of missing out) we were all stricken with! So here it is, the last word from Korimako…


Sunday 10 Feb – from Korimako

Besides being Festival Director, Bob Bickerton took time out to put on one of his other hats, that of music educator.  His Kids’ Concert included all manner of wind instruments, from the glass milk bottle through to Uilleann (Irish) bag pipes, Māori puoro and an antelope horn; and everyone, young and old, joined in singing.

Bob Bickerton, Adam Chamber Music Festival Director

Bob Bickerton, Adam Chamber Music Festival Director

In the Cathedral the final evening got off to another great start with the young roving group, the Troubadour Quartet, who played Dvorak’s Quartet No 12 “American” in the happy key of F, followed by Scott Joplin’s Paragon Rag.  Again they got a standing ovation, and among the appreciative audience were their fellow students in the Adam School who gathered earlier ready for the first day of tutoring on Sunday.  As always their mentors are the NZ String Quartet, with Diedre Irons.

The Grand Finale featured John Psathas’ Abhisheka for string quartet, played by the NZSQ.  This 1996 composition has also been performed by the Royal New Zealand Ballet.  Next was the String Sextet from Capriccio by Richard Strauss.  This was Strauss’ last opera, with only one act, this sextet opens the work as the overture.  The players were NZSQ with Christine Vlajk and Katie Schlaikjer of the Penderecki Quartet.

The closing work of the first half was a NZ Premiere performance played by the Pendereckis of Quartet (1994) by Christos Hatzis, a Greek/Canadian composer.  Hatzis, is one of Canada’s most renowned composers and is Professor of Composition at the University of Toronto.

The concert ended with Mendelssohn’s Octet in E flat, a perfect party piece to end any festival.  Played by the two quartets,  it’s rightly been described as “Its youthful verve, brilliance and perfection make it one of the miracles of nineteenth-century music.”  How true, and it seems even more miraculous when we remember that Mendelssohn was only 16 when he wrote it.  The audience were delighted by this party piece, responding with cheers and wild applause.

Then there were a lot of speeches, more applause for all who contributed to the festival’s success, flowers and gifts distributed, and then outside in the Cathedral carpark was another treat – a mariachi band, food and wine, good company, all together a great party for a calm Nelson evening.

The Penderecki Quartet and the NZSQ take their bows at the final concert of the Adam Chamber Music Festival after the Mendelssohn Octet

The Penderecki Quartet and the NZSQ take their bows at the final concert of the Adam Chamber Music Festival after the Mendelssohn Octet

Arrivederci Adam Festival 2013 – Benvenuto Adam Festival 2015

Korimako has thoroughly enjoyed contributing to this blog  – providing a bird’s eye view of the festival has been very satisfying.  Participation led to a deeper level of thinking about things musical, increased efforts not to use the same words too many times (eg enthusiastic/enthusiasm etc, energy/energetic) and a bit of regret about being unable to go to every performance.

PS. I was pleased to overhear RNZ Concert playing “my song” as the morning bird call two days running during the festival!


Thanks Korimako!

As for our blog followers out there – were you at the final concert? Share your highlights with us in the comments below.

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