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Amici Ensemble


Sun 13 Apr 2014, 2:30pm

Where: Waikanae Memorial Hall, 7 Pehi Kupa St, Waikanae, Kapiti Coast

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Public: $30.00
  • WMS Members: $20.00
  • Students under 25: $5.00
  • Additional fees may apply

Amici Ensemble in Waikanae

Shostakovich - Two Pieces for String Octet (Opus 11)
Enescu - String Octet in C Major (Opus 7)
Mendelssohn - Octet in E flat Major (Opus 20)

The Waikanae Music Society will welcome the popular Amici Ensemble to their stage on Sunday 13 April. The Amici Ensemble has been a regular feature of the Society’s concert season for many years. In fact, this will be their 21st appearance in Waikanae – their first concert was in 1989 !

One reason for this long and happy association is the enthusiasm of the ensemble’s leader Donald Armstrong. Despite his demanding position as Associate Concertmaster of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Donald always finds time to gather together his friends and colleagues from the orchestra to play chamber music. Each year he forms a slightly different group, depending on the music to be played. For this year’s concert there will be eight musicians, all string players, to perform a programme of joyful string octets.

The musicians are: Donald Armstrong, Kristina Zelinska, Rebecca Struthers and Malavika Gopal (violins), Andrew Thomson and Lyndsay Mountfort (violas), Andrew Joyce and Sophie Williams (cellos).

The theme behind the choice of music is that each work was written by a great composer when he was still very young. They are all vibrant, youthful works that demonstrate the emerging genius of their creators – none more so than the great Mendelssohn Octet, one of the finest chamber works of all time which was, amazingly, written by a 16 year old.

Shostakovich, acknowledged as one of the greatest composers of the 20th century, was only 19 when he wrote his Two Pieces for String Octet. The second of these pieces has been described as “the wildest single movement in the literature of the string octet”.

George Enescu’s Octet, also written when he was 19, combines the musical language of the late Romantic era with melodies steeped in Romanian folk tradition.

The concert, in the Waikanae Memorial Hall, starts at 2.30pm. Door sales will be available, or tickets can be purchased at Waikanae New World, Moby Dickens Books in Paraparaumu Beach, or at Lush Design Gallery in Raumati.

Enquiries are welcome on 04 905 6070, or or visit