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Papaioea Piano Trio



All Ages

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The next Globe Sunday Matinee concert on May 29, 2022 at 2.30pm will feature the inaugural concert of the Papaioea Piano Trio. Papaioea was the original name for the clearing in the bush which became the site for the city of Palmerston North. The three members of the trio all have a strong connection with Palmerston North.

Guy Donaldson is well known to Manawatu audiences as a performer, teacher and music coach in the area. Guy was the music director of the Renaissance Singers from 1989 to 2018.

Elizabeth Patchett was born in Auckland and raised in Hamilton. She was an orchestral musician with the Auckland Philharmonia before joining the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in 1993.
Elizabeth has toured and recorded as a member of the New Zealand Chamber Orchestra, and has toured for Chamber Music New Zealand as a member of the Nevine String Quartet. In recent years Elizabeth has made an impact on the local music scene as a teacher and has had significant success in coaching advanced violin students in the region.

Robert Ibell was born in Dannevirke and was brought up in Palmerston North. He learned cello from Judith Hyatt in Wellington, and between 1986 and 1992 lived and studied cello in London, playing in professional and amateur orchestras. From 1993 to 2019 Robert was a member of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. He is now a cello and double bass teacher, and has begun a teaching practice in Palmerston North. Robert is a member of the Aroha String Quartet, square piano/cello duo Hammers & Horsehair, contemporary music group Stroma, and indie/folk/rock band Milkthistle.

For their first concert the trio has chosen trio works from three different eras.

Beethoven’s C minor piano trio was included in the first set of pieces he ever published. His teacher, Joseph Haydn didn’t approve of the piece, saying it was too hard to understand, but Beethoven apparently thought that Haydn was just jealous, and published it anyway. It was an instant hit with the public, and marked to the world that a unique talent had emerged. C minor is a key Beethoven would use later in many of his significant and dramatic works, such as the Pathetique Sonata and the Fifth Symphony. The music is wide-ranging in its expression, from impassioned, turbulent and filled with angst, to simple lyricism, through to quite unexpected twists and turns of ideas. It remains a master-work, despite its being a product of his youth.

Claire Cowan received awards from the Auckland Philharmonia and the NZSO National Youth Orchestra while she was still a student at University. She won the Silver Scroll award for her first television series soundtrack “Hillary.” She also wrote the score to Under the Vines, recently shown on TV. In 2019 she wrote the ballet score for the Royal New Zealand Ballet – Hansel and Gretel, which was recorded by the NZSO in 2020. Her piece “Subtle Dances” was written for the New Zealand Trio in 2013, and remains the most performed composition by the NZTrio. It has arresting colour effects in the string writing, beautiful song-like writing in the piano, and a uniquely personal sound world that is exciting for the listeners and demanding for the performers.

The music of the late nineteenth-century Russian composer Anton Arensky is not often performed outside of Russia. Indeed Rimsky- Korsakov wrote “In his youth Arensky did not escape some influence from me; later, the influence from Tchaikovsky. He will quickly be forgotten.” In recent years this 1894 trio has been “rediscovered” by performers and audiences, and has earned the recognition it deserves. In addition to its Tchaikovsky characteristics the music also has some of the charm of Mendelssohn, some of the virtuosity of Liszt, and some suggestions of what would emerge in the music of Rachmaninov.

Admission is by donation, recommended from $5.

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