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July 16, 2019 7:00PM • Q Theatre, Auckland

NZTrio | Tectonic Shift


Frank Bridge (UK) | Allegretto
Gillian Whitehead (NZ) | Te waka o te rangi (new commission)
Frank Bridge (UK) | Gavotte
Michael Norris (NZ) | dirty pixels
James MacMillan (UK) | Piano Trio No.2
Jennifer Higdon (USA) | Pale Yellow and Fiery Red
Anton Arensky (RUS) | Piano Trio No. 1 in d minor

Tectonic Shift sets sail aboard the Endeavour embarking on a huge journey across oceans with the sounds of English parlour music in our ears – Bridge’s Allegretto – and arrive on these shores to the startling sounds of Taonga Pūoro. The music that follows is NZTrio’s very latest commission, from Dame Gillian Karawe Whitehead and is a melding of cultures that contemplates those first encounters between Māori and European through the lens of music – European instruments responding with open understanding and consideration to the uniquely Māori sounds that prevailed earlier. It’s a contemplation of worlds colliding.

The brief jaunt back into a very British sound of Cook’s homeland – a second miniature from Bridge, this time his Gavotte – is comically jarring. We immediately return home to Aotearoa/New Zealand to experience a culmination of historical musical development in this country by way of NZTrio’s first ever commission, Michael Norrisdirty pixels, all skittering murmurs and bongo beats.

Then, for dynamic perspective, we cross back to the UK to compare with a jaunty new work from those shores by Scottish composer James MacMillan.

The interval gives us time to catch our collective breath from that busy musical migration, contemplate the quantum shift we’ve just experienced, and summon our strength for the arm wrestle that lies ahead: two cold war superpowers struggling for dominance. USA’s ambassador Jennifer Higdon presents a colourful argument – calm and reason giving way to determined energy and unstoppable momentum. Russia’s emissary Anton Arensky summons up a famously impassioned speech – intense, heart-wrenching, darkly romantic. There is no winner.

Start time

July 16, 2019 7:00PM


Q Theatre, Auckland


$50 Adults / $25 Students