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Mulled Wine Concert - Donald Armstrong and Jian Liu


Sun 24 Mar 2013, 2:30pm–4:15pm

Where: Paekakariki Memorial Hall, 98 The Parade, Paekakariki, Kapiti Coast

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Adult: $25.00
  • Student under 15: $10.00
  • Additional fees may apply

Listed by: Mary Gow

Beethoven, Debussy, and Cesar Franck sonatas will all be on the programme when the Mulled Wine Concert (MWC) series kicks off its first classical concert for the year.

MWC Director, Mary Gow, says the concert promises two of New Zealand’s most highly sought-after soloists and chamber musicians: violinist Donald Armstrong, (Associate Concertmaster of the NZSO), and Chinese/American pianist Jian Liu (a lecturer in piano at Te Kōkī, New Zealand School of Music).

Educated in New Zealand, Donald Armstrong has had an extensive overseas career and played with New England Conservatory Scholarship String Quartet and the Tivoli Sinfoniorkester in Denmark. He was also a former Concertmaster of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice in France.

He returned to New Zealand in 1987 as Associate Concertmaster of the NZSO, (a position he still holds), and has appeared many times as a soloist with the orchestra as well as making frequent solo appearances with the New Zealand Chamber Orchestra. Mr Armstrong plays on a 259 year-old violin made by Nicolo Gagliano in 1754. He performs regularly with his own chamber group, the Amici Ensemble and teaches at the New Zealand School of Music. This will be his second appearance at an MWC concert in Paekakariki.

Jian Liu has appeared on concert stages in China, Japan, Singapore, Portugal, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United States and New Zealand. He has played with the Symphony Orchestra of National Philharmonic Society of Ukraine, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Chandler Symphony Orchestras.

The concert will open Beethoven’s Sonata Opus 12, No. 2, and will also feature: Claude Debussy's Violin Sonata, Cesar Franck's Violin Sonata.

Donald Armstrong says this will be the first time he has performed with Jian Liu and already the rehearsals are “very lively!” He says the concert will feature pieces he performed as co-concertmaster of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice in France and he expects the concert to be: “fresh and lively, inspired by a new collaboration, incredibly beautiful music and fresh sea air”.

Jian Liu says the two French sonatas represent some of the best quality of French music at the turn of the 20th century. “For me, the Franck sonata feels like a warm and sunny summer day, and the Debussy sonata is like a moonless cool autumn night. Beethoven Op.12, no.2, provides a needed escape from the beautiful French ambiguity, and brings us a balanced classical clarity, with a Beethovenian twist”.

Mulled Wine Concerts present: Donald Armstrong (violin) & Jian Liu (piano)

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