Tag Archives: music

The Beauty of Chamber Music set to delight this weekend!

The UC School of Music | Kura Puoro are delighted to be partnering with The Arts Centre | Te Matatiki Toi Ora to present the first in an annual series of three unique concerts in the stunning Great Hall.  The first concert is this Sunday, August 11. This concert will feature a beautiful programme of chamber music, and guest violinist, Isaac Shatford.








A semi-finalist in the 2018/2019 National Concerto Competition, former concertmaster of NZSSSO, a member of the Dunedin and Christchurch Symphony Orchestras, and a prize-winning composer, Isaac is a fantastic musician.

Isaac is no stranger to chamber music. His piece for a string quartet, Frost and Fire, won him the composer award at the New Zealand Chamber Music Contest in 2014 and was recorded by Radio New Zealand’s Concert Programme. He also says that, “I probably enjoy playing chamber music the most. Concertos and showpieces are fun, but you constantly feel as if you’re under a microscope. The pieces I’ve enjoyed most have been where I’ve been collaborating with awesome people, and working towards something much bigger than my part alone.” (Interview with Down in Edin magazine, 2018)

The concert is a celebration the beauty of chamber music, with winter delights for the soul. It will feature music by Isaac Shatford, Charles Ives “transcendent” 3rd violin sonata played by UC professor Mark Menzies and local piano star Yifan Yang, and music by Beethoven and Leclair.

Other concerts in this series include the Grammy-nominated Los Angeles Percussion Quartet on Monday September 23, and Sing! Sing! Sing! a concert of vocal fireworks, percussion masterpieces and much more on 13 October.

The Beauty of Chamber Music will be held in the Great Hall at 2pm, Sunday August 11. Tickets are available online at this link – $20 (waged) or $10 (unwaged). Come along and feed your soul!


Join me in celebrating the very substantive contribution to academe made by Professor Richard Watt and Professor Jędrzej Białkowski in the next presentation in the Professorial Lecture Series for 2019.

Date:               Thursday 1 August from 4.30 – 6.00pm

Location:        E14 – Engineering Core

I encourage all staff and postgraduate students to attend this lecture, to actively support our new Professors, and take the opportunity to appreciate the fantastic research being undertaken in parts of the university we may be less familiar with.

“The Economics of Music and the Music of Economics” – Presented by Professor Richard Watt, Department of Economics & Finance

Economics, in one way or another, is concerned with decision making – choosing the optimal course of action from among those available. As such, one of the principal applications of economics is to study decision making along the value chain of goods and services in an economy, or more generally, decision making in “markets”. A study of a market begins with the entrepreneurial actions of bringing together inputs (raw materials, labour, capital, etc.) to create something useful, then the resulting goods and services must be made available to the consuming public (decisions around transportation, and retailing), and finally the consumers themselves decide which of them to consume (depending on their income, their preferences, and the prices of the goods and services that are available). Of all of the goods and services that circulate in an economy, “music” is one of the most fascinating, with a series of particular circumstances that have tested standard economic theory in many ways. In this talk, Professor Watt will outline the economics of the “music market”, touching on its special characteristics and the economic institutions that have evolved, and that continue to evolve, to contribute to the music market being functional, profitable, and welfare enhancing.

“Greener than a Greenback: Might the idea of socially responsible investing change the finance industry?” – Presented by Professor Jedrzej Bialkowski, Department of Economics and Finance. 

Since the beginning of the 21st century, the idea of socially responsible (or sustainable and responsible) investing (SRI) has become increasingly popular, attracting a substantial amount of investors’ money and moving from a niche investing strategy to a mainstream one. SRI market participants typically seek to achieve financial returns combined with consideration of some aspect of firms’ environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) profiles. Given the rapid proliferation of green financial products, the increasing assets under management and the differences across the products, it is important to understand this growth and the investor demand behind it.

Professor Jedrzej Bialkowski will discuss the past, current trends and the challenges faced by so-called green finance. In particular, he will focus on the behaviour of SRI investors and the performance of different types of assets in terms of risk/return profile and exposure to ESG values. Light will be shed on the importance of regulations for the development of socially responsible investing.

Professor Ian Wright

Deputy Vice-Chancellor | Tumu Tuarua



Christchurch Arts Festival: Virtuosity Series

UC School of Music is very proud to present the Virtuosity Series to be performed at the Arts Centre during the Christchurch Arts Festival of 2017 in August and September this year.  The Virtuosity Series is a three-part series that features different disciplines. Professor Mark Menzies, Head of Performance, School of Music talks about how the programme features the idea that “sound itself has its own kind of incandescent virtuosity”.

Virtuosity of Sound is the first installment of the series and as Mark describes, there is a certain openness in the music and it has been composed in such a way that allows the performer to explore in the moment the sound created by the virtuosity on display. The audience will be treated to the ultimate capacity of the instruments themselves, and also in the diverse collective of instruments involve, for example, the Balinese Gamelan features as an exotic instrument.

One of the pieces featured is ‘Concerto for Active Frogs’ by Anne LeBaron. Mark is “particularly delighted to include this piece which features improvisation with the musicians being free to contribute their own voice and sounds”.

Virtuosity of Percussion is the second installment of the Series and features Senior Music Lecturer Dr. Justin DeHart on percussion. He has selected a piece called ‘Anvil Chorus’ by American composer David Lang. Justin explains that Lang was inspired by Blacksmiths’ use of rhythm to distinguish their beating patterns on metal to create new tools, while Justin himself is inspired by the constant construction noise as he settles as a new resident in Christchurch. He says, “the natural occurrence of hammering polyrhythms sang out from a construction site, reminds me how basic and productive rhythm can be”.

Justin says that each of the four movements of the piece explore a different single sound source (conga, cymbal, glockenspiel, and tambourine) that is manipulated through live electronic processing. He has chosen “works for this concert that highlight the diverse aspect of percussion” and in his performance he hopes that in a small way his “hitting of stuff” will also add to the exciting and creative rebuild of Christchurch.

The final of the three arts festival concerts, the Virtuosity of the Viola/Violin, is the first of four concerts Mark will be presenting this year at the School of Music. The series is called ‘4 in the time of 7’, and will feature Mark’s virtuosic playing described by a reviewer in Los Angeles as “a penned-up Paganini”.

While the Virtuosity of Percussion and the Virtuosity of Viola/Violin are presentations of more traditional repertoire, they will feature works that people are not likely to have heard before.

170805 Virtuosity Blur - Arts Festival

Thursday 31 August, 7.00-9.00pm
Monday 4 September, 7.00-9.00pm
Sunday, 17 September 5.00-7.00pm

School of Music Recital Room, UC Arts,
The Arts Centre of Christchurch, 3 Hereford Street

TICKETS: $20 / Concession $10

BUY TICKETS: www.artsfestival.co.nz/virtuosity-series

Arts Festival: The Oresteia Experience

The Christchurch Arts Festival 2017 (CAF17) is on during August and September. CAF17 boasts over 50 shows, and we’re very excited that UC’s very own School of Music, Department of Classics and Teece Museum of Classical Antiquities are collaborating to present the Oresteia Experience. Head of Classics Dr. Patrick O’Sullivan says that the New Zealand premiere of Iannis Xenakis’ operatic take on Aeschylus’ Oresteia “is a collaboration that only the Classics and Music Departments could produce”.

The two-hour duration of the show features a talk on the dramatic aspects of the composition and performance itself by both Professor Mark Menzies, Head of Performance, School of Music, and Dr. Patrick O’Sullivan, Head of Classics. Following this, a tour of the University’s Teece Museum of Classical Antiquities will set the scene for the performance in the Great Hall.

Dr. O’Sullivan has rich experience in researching ancient Greek theatre and is very keen to see how the Oresteia Experience is recast in Xenakis’ vision and under the direction of the School of Music’s Head of Performance and performed to a modern audience. He notes that the links between Greek myth and opera go back for centuries, so this new production of Xenakis’ challenging work will be not only innovative but also extending a long and creative tradition of music performance inspired by the classical world.

One of the co-curators of the Teece Museum of Classical Antiquities, Terri Elder is delighted to support the production of the UC School of Music Oresteia Experience for the Christchurch Arts Festival. She says this event “draws on the strengths and connections between Music and Classics to create a truly unique experience that should be both challenging and entrancing” as the performance explores “themes of belief, loyalty, family, justice and revenge”. She says that the Oresteia Experience is an opportunity for modern viewers to engage with Ancient discourse and understand the cultural context of the artefacts which gave rise to the mythology behind the performance.

170802 Oresteia Arts Festival

Professor Menzies speaks of the horror, suspense and the very basic human emotions that underlie the experience of what the complicated story of the Oresteia is about. Mark describes the performance as “incredibly potent on an emotional level” and introducing the experience beforehand will “give an appropriate outline to the story” allowing the audience to fully engage with the performance. “Xenakis took this iconic work of literature and tore it apart, leaving chorus in reimagined ancient Greece, in the most visceral exciting emotion vehicle possible”.

Please note this performance includes violent imagery and music played at very high volumes which may not be suitable for some audience members. Discretion is advised.

WHEN: Sunday 10 September 2017, 6.30pm-8.30pm

VENUE: Great Hall The Arts Centre

TICKETS: $39 / Concession $36 / Student Rush $20

BUY TICKETS: http://www.artsfestival.co.nz/oresteia-experience