12 Aug 2020

Pianist Diedre Irons and the joy of Beethoven

From Upbeat, 12:30 pm on 12 August 2020

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Diedre Irons

Diedre Irons Photo: Debbie Rawson

Diedre Irons is without a doubt one of New Zealand’s musical treasures.

Diedre was born in Canada, and as a child prodigy quickly came to national attention there. She was the star pupil of Sophie-Carmen Eckhardt-Gramatté, and went on to study in the US at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute with two of the 20th century's century’s greatest pianists: Mieczyslaw Horszowski and Rudolf Serkin. She went on to become a teacher herself at the Curtis, and an assistant to Serkin.

Andrew Joyce, Diedre Irons, Vesa-Matti Leppanen

Andrew Joyce, Diedre Irons, Vesa-Matti Leppanen Photo: Supplied

Luckily for us, though, Diedre moved to New Zealand in the mid 1970s, and ever since she’s been highly sought after as a soloist, teacher and chamber musician.

Diedre performed Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto in Wellington recently with the NZSO, in a concert that was not only performed in front of an audience with no social distancing restrictions, but was live streamed to a large national and international audience.

Review: NZSO goes pastoral 

She's due to perform Beethoven's Archduke Trio in Paekakariki this weekend with NZSO musicians violinist Vesa-Matti Leppänen and cellist Andrew Joyce.