2015 – Day One: festive, celebratory, joyful…….

It was 2 years ago that this Chamber Music Blog was launched. What started it all? Our Ten Days of Chamber Music posts which followed all the action of the Adam Chamber Music Festival held every other year in sunny Nelson.

And so once again we are absolutely delighted to be able to have chamber music lovers contribute to the blog and share their experiences and thoughts on the 2015 Adam Chamber Music Festival.

Festival blogger, Linley Taylor.

Festival blogger, Linley Taylor.

Today’s contributor is Linley Taylor who was on the board of the Festival for 9 years and is now an avid attendee.  Linley says she loves the total immersion in the music, and the chance to meet the musicians and see how the performances are created. She shares this with us in her post about the 2015 Festival opening’s Gala Dinner…


Thursday 29 Jan – from Linley (written 30 Jan)

festive, celebratory, joyful…….

and the Adam Festival Gala Dinner last night was all of those. Anticipation has been high in Nelson leading up to the Festival, and finally it was time to celebrate its start.

Woollaston Estates was the perfect setting, in perfect Nelson weather – sunny warm and still. Drinks on the lawn were followed by a walk down to the winery, where tables were laid and decorated in true gala fashion – white linen, sparkling glass, candles and roses.

Woollaston Estates (image from previous Adam Chamber Music Festival performance)

Woollaston Estates (image from previous Adam Chamber Music Festival performance)

There was a wonderful intimate mix of festival attendees and musicians old and new, all gathered to dine together and enjoy tantalizing excerpts from the Festival programme. When Artistic Directors Helene Pohl and Gillian Ansell were introducing the musical part of the evening, Helene commented that she felt that ‘we were about to enter a musical utopia’.

And if the excerpts we heard last night are any indication, she is right.

Ayano Niomiya, first violinist from the Ying Quartet, started with a stunning energetic performance of the Bach E major prelude;
David Griffiths played electrifying clarinet with the NZSQ in a piece from Golijov’s complicated ‘Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind’ which introduced a klezmer element; 

Helene Pohl and Helen Webby transported us with Meditation for Violin and Harp by Massenet;
our toes tapped and we swayed to the Ying Quartet’s performance of John Novacek’s rag The Drifter;
and we were treated to virtuoso performances of a movement each from Beethoven’s Viola quintet in C minor and from the sublime Brahms Sextet in G Major [the Agathe].

What more can I say? It was a marvellous start. Now we have ten days ahead of us that offer an expanded version of last night – ten days of amazing music, ten days in the company of dedicated and personable musicians and fellow attendees, total immersion.

Bring it on!!!!!


Check in here each day as we share posts from our contributors in Nelson on this year’s Ten Days of Chamber Music. Bring it on indeed.

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One comment

  1. […] The Gala Dinner was just the beginning of the beginning for the Adam Chamber Music Festival with the first full day (Friday 30 Jan) being all about the Grand Opening Concert! […]

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