8 Aug 2020

Festival's delay prompts plan to showcase NZ talent

11:31 am on 8 August 2020

The chair of the Nelson Music Festival Trust hopes a scaled-back chamber music event this summer will attract a large local crowd.

Includes Gillian Ansell, far left, and Helene Pohl on the right.

The New Zealand String Quartet will perform at a new chamber music event in Nelson. Photo: Supplied

The biennial Adam Chamber Music Festival has been put off until 2022 because of international travel restrictions due to Covid-19.

Since it began nearly 30 years ago, the festival has become a key fixture on the calendar of international chamber musicians, and for many of New Zealand's leading musicians.

Chair Colleen Marshall said putting if off a year was hugely disappointing because all of the musicians were lined up with many set to come from overseas, but they have come up with a solution.

"We suddenly thought, 'let's have some sort of celebration in summer' and we wanted to focus on New Zealand artists who are all very, very keen to be performing again.

"It's been great for us just to keep the profile of the festival going, but at the same time give our New Zealand musicians work to do."

The Adam Summer Celebration is billed as a four-day programme of chamber music by some of our country's finest musicians.

It will be curated by Helene Pohl and Gillian Ansell of the New Zealand String Quartet, who will be performing alongside NZTrio, pianists Michael Endres and Richard Mapp who has recently moved to Nelson, percussionist Naoto Segawa, and singers Anna Leese and Will King.

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Gillian Ansell, left, and Helene Pohl will curate the Adam Summer Celebration in Nelson in February. Photo: Supplied

Ansell, who was also co-artistic director, said it was heartbreaking when the festival was postponed, but the celebration was definitely a silver lining.

"We're just so thrilled to be planning and preparing for live performances again, and even more so when it's with fellow musicians of such calibre. We can't wait to take the stage alongside our dear New Zealand colleagues."

Pohl shared the artistic director role and said they were committed to creating the same atmosphere generated by the festival.

"The New Zealand String Quartet considers Nelson our second home, and the Nelson Centre of Musical Arts is one of our most beloved chamber music venues anywhere.

"We promise that the Summer Celebration will be an uplifting and exhilarating weekend."

Prof. Michael Endres, geboren 1961 in Sonthofen,

Pianist Michael Endres will perform at the four-day event. Photo: Supplied

Marshall said the Adam Chamber Music Festival was one of the country's longest-running niche festivals and it was "incredibly important" at the moment to present an event that showed the resilience of music, as well as demonstrating its profound place in our community.

"The Summer Celebration will be an opportunity for us to come together and truly appreciate the power and majesty of music. And with no international visitors snapping up tickets, it's also the perfect opportunity for local audiences to be part of our family."

She said it would be held at the same time, and at the same venue but would be only a four-day affair.

"We're very excited about it. It's one way of addressing the situation in a positive way and also, it will bring into Nelson another audience."

Marshall said a smaller budget needed to run the celebration event meant ticket prices would be lower, and hopefully that would encourage more to attend.

The Adam Summer Celebration 2021 is from 4-7 February 2021 at Nelson Centre of Musical Arts. Tickets go on sale on 15 October, following the programme release on 1 October.


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Photo: Supplied / Oliver Weber

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