A classical music festival between 29 September-October 1st was announced for Martinborough in the March STAR. Pianist, Michael Houstoun, will launch the Festival giving the Schimmel Grand Piano, gifted by the late Cherry van Kranen to the Martinborough community, its first public outing. Well known musicians and former NZSO players, Vicki Jones and Ed Allen, are the Artistic Directors for the Festival. Winifred Bull asked them for some thoughts.
What excites you about a classical music festival for Martinborough?
Vicki Martinborough has become famous for its wine, food, big vineyard concerts, and jazz festival-why not a classical music festival too? I would love Martinborough to become a regular destination for lovers of classical music. Ed The audience will have the opportunity to hear a wide variety of music in a relatively short space of time performed by excellent musicians.
When one thinks of the broad repertoire that is classical music where do you start with selecting the programme for a classical music festival?
Vicki For me as a performer and not a marketing guru, I would always want the performers to play only music they really enjoy, and feel good playing, rather than trying to convince people. If the musicians are enjoying themselves, then chances are, so will the audience. Ed Start with the player. What they would like to play in context with other players and groups. We will have suggestions too.
How do you blend your own tastes in classical music with that of selecting a programme for a festival audience?
Vicki The suggestions of the performers are ultimately more important than my own personal preferences. I can say that I love all sorts of classical music, though I always love Bach, Schubert…Ed By discussion with each other and the musicians.
What, if any, are the differences between a festival audience and those who take out annual subscriptions to classical music concerts?
Vicki I anticipate that a lot of our prospective audience will be regular concertgoers. Most of the festivals in rural places around the world attract people who want to immerse themselves in classical music. Ed I am sure there will be many festival goers who regularly attend concerts in Wellington but I expect Martinborough will attract others to come for a few days of great music, excellent food and wine and many other recreational activities.
What music are you listening to on your Ipod?
Vicki Brazilian Lounge (CD), Phillippe Jaroussky, Andre Previn and David Finck playing jazz…Ed A variety from Bach keyboard music to Rachmaninov to Billy May, Frank Sinatra, Adele, Daft Punk…