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Martinborough Music Festival

August 24, 2021 August 2021 No Comments

Bridget Douglas.

“What a performance, what a programme! New Zealand has a new top notch chamber music festival! “ Charlotte Wilson, Reviewer Middle C, 2019 MMF. Clearly the musicians and programme are the two leading components of a chamber music festival.

Co- Artistic Directors for the MMF Vicki Jones and Wilma Smith have hit on a winning formula for the Festival – they always sell out. Vicki begins with the musicians “The calibre of the musicians is paramount. It doesn’t matter how wonderful the repertoire is if it is not beautifully and convincingly played. It matters too that we invite musicians who are great people as well as being wonderful players”. The Festival’s preference is to invite individual musicians rather than established groups “because we want them to enjoy the experience of working with different people.” There are no concerns about whether they will be able to play the programmes because they are all high calibre musicians.

For repertoire, “it is a question of programming music [the musicians] will enjoy playing, and that our audiences will enjoy listening to” – the programmes must be of an appropriate length and have contrast. Above all else they must have beauty.

One musician who loves the repertoire that has been selected for her is Principal Flute with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Bridget Douglas. “The Schubert Variations is a very special piece. It is the only composition he wrote for the flute; achingly sad songs that he wrote and turned into a tour de force”. Of the Mozart, Bridget says that it is often said that he did not like the flute “but the Mozart Flute Quartet is pure melodic and operatic Mozart, sublime”. What really excites Bridget however is the Villa Lobos Assobio a Jato for Flute and Cello. “It is an insanely difficult piece that challenges both players. But it is satisfying and musically dramatic taking performers and listeners right to the heart of Latin America – an incredible work of soul and fire”. Bridget Douglas plays a solid gold Burkart flute made in Boston, a world centre for flute making.

Part of the inaugural Festival in 2017, Bridget jumped at the chance to play in the 2021 Festival “I am particularly excited about playing again with the experienced Wilma Smith and Gillian Ansell along with fabulously talented younger players such as Monique Lapins and Matti Balzat. I also love any opportunity to hang out in gorgeous Martinborough”. 

Martinborough Music Festival Friday 17 September to Sunday 19 SeptemberContact www.martinboroughmusicfestival.co.nz for information and tickets.    

Winifred Bull

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