Adam Festival 'the most successful ever'

Golden String Quartet, Dene Olding, Dimity Hall, Julian Smiles and Irina Morozova during their concert at Christ Church ...
MARION VAN DIJK

Golden String Quartet, Dene Olding, Dimity Hall, Julian Smiles and Irina Morozova during their concert at Christ Church Cathedral as part of the Nelson's Adam Chamber Music Festival.

After two weeks, 24 concerts, 270 rehearsals, daily artist talks and masterclasses, Nelson's biennial Adam Chamber Music Festival has been declared the most successful ever.

Festival Manager Bob Bickerton said ticket sales were up on the 2015 festival, with more people visiting Nelson for the festival and more sold out concerts than ever before.

"The programming was fantastic, the musicianship from our international and national stars was wonderful," Bickerton says. "We have further cemented the Adam as New Zealand's leading international music festival – there really is nothing else like it."

Bickerton says everyone was looking forward to the next festival in 2019, this time back in its 'natural home' the Nelson School of Music, which is currently being earthquake strengthened and refurbished.

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"We have now had two festivals without the School and it is a logistical nightmare – but that said, we have still continued to grow audience numbers and to develop the programme."

Festival Artistic Directors Gillian Ansell and Helene Pohl paid tribute at the Grand Finale concert to all the visiting musicians, the composers 'alive or not' and to the music lovers who had provided an engaged and appreciative audience over the two weeks.

Hungarian pianist Denes Varjon plays the Steinway at the Theatre Royal during the Adam Chamber Music Festival in Nelson.

Hungarian pianist Denes Varjon plays the Steinway at the Theatre Royal during the Adam Chamber Music Festival in Nelson.

Pohl left the audience with a challenge to keep the spirit of the music festival alive in 'these troubled times':

"Music is in many ways the greatest thing that humans can do," she said. "Please take this belief in humanity and cooperation and in creating and spreading beauty with you, as you travel home and return to your normal lives."

Highlights of the Adam Festival included the concert in the Cathedral with 13 cellos on stage, the NZ premiere of the one-woman opera Iris Dreaming, and the world premieres of several commissioned works including Gareth Farr's String Octet. The piano concerts at the Theatre Royal where enhanced by specially constructed  soundshell, created to enhance the acoustics, and the nightly jazz sessions at the East St Cafe proved very popular.

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 - Stuff

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