British prodigy and clarinettist extraordinaire, Julian Bliss, with New Zealand’s leading piano trio, NZTrio, present Timelight featuring a program of chamber music both vibrant and profound.
Acclaimed by critics worldwide, Bliss has impressed audiences since the age of four with his incredible repertoire, passion and musical curiosity. The breadth and depth of his artistry are reflected in the diversity and distinction of his work, which has included recordings and performances with the world’s leading orchestras and venues, from Ronnie Scott’s to the Concertgebouw. Bliss has performed at festivals including Gstaad, Verbier, Wigmore Hall (London) and Lincoln Center (New York). As soloist, he has appeared with a wide range of international orchestras, from the Sao Paolo Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Paris, and Auckland Philharmonia, to the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Joining Bliss on stage will be NZTrio, renowned as one of Australasia’s finest chamber ensembles and ‘masters of the musical mix’. NZTrio will feature the incredible talents of cellist Ashley Brown, pianist Stephen de Pledge and violinist Wilma Smith.
At the heart of this collaboration is Messiaen’s masterpiece Quartet for the End of Time, a work full of life, wit and virtuosity. The program will also feature the colourful and evocative John Psathas’ Island Songs and Ross Harris’ There May Be Light, providing flavours of Australasia to this evening of ensemble brilliance.
Stephen De Pledge
New Zealand pianist Stephen De Pledge has given concerto performances with the Philharmonia, Bournemouth Symphony, BBC Scottish Symphony and New Zealand Symphony Orchestras, and performed internationally from London to New York, Tokyo and Shanghai. His discography for Naxos, Champs Hill Records, Quartz, Black Box and others includes the first recordings of works by Bliss, Gorecki, and Arvo Pärt, song cycles by Ned Rorem and Samuel Barber, chamber music of Messiaen, Shostakovich and Schnittke and the premiere recording of Cresswell’s piano concerto. Stephen has broadcast for Radio 3 and Classic FM in the UK, on radio in USA, Australia, New Zealand and Sweden, and for BBC Television. Since 2010, Stephen has taught piano at the School of Music, University of Auckland.
Wilma Smith is Artistic Director and violinist of Wilma & Friends, a chamber music series based in Melbourne and presenting concerts throughout Australia and New Zealand. She is also Artistic Director of the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition and teaches violin and chamber music at the University of Melbourne, Monash University, Scotch College and Korowa Anglican Girls’ School. Wilma was born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand. She studied in Boston at the New England Conservatory with the legendary Dorothy DeLay and Louis Krasner then was founding First Violinist of the Lydian String Quartet, winners of the Naumburg Award for Chamber Music and multiple prizes at the Evian, Banff and Portsmouth International String Quartet Competitions. She was Concertmaster of the Harvard Chamber Orchestra and Handel and Haydn Society and performed regularly with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops Orchestra. Invited to return home to form the New Zealand String Quartet, Wilma was First Violinist until she was appointed Concertmaster of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, a position she held for nine years before moving to Melbourne to be Concertmaster of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra from 2003 to 2014. Wilma also appears as Guest Concertmaster with Sydney, Adelaide, West Australian, and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras along with Orchestra Victoria and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.
Acclaimed as a musician of ‘unimpeachable artistry’, Ashley is one of New Zealand’s leading soloists, collaborators, chamber musicians and recording artists. He is a founder of NZTrio and a passionate advocate for New Zealand music. His teachers have included Alexander Ivashkin, Aldo Parisot and William Pleeth helping him to success in auditions, competitions and awards, both local and international. His musical curiosity has led him from an Artist Diploma at Yale to a Doctorate of Musical Arts exploring the collaborative relationship between composer and performer, and onward to sharing the stage with composers and artists as diverse as Dame Gillian Whitehead, Moana Maniapoto, Michael Houstoun, Kristian Jaarvi and Neil Finn and he continues to enjoy a musical career that leaves no colour of the musical spectrum unexplored. Ashley plays the 1762 William Forster ‘Liberte’ cello.
Tickets: Adult: $44, Concession: $39, Under 30: $34
Discounts available for Riverside Theatres’ Members. Transaction fees: phone $4.60, web $3.60, counter $2.60
Bookings: www.riversideparramatta.com.au/show/timelight or from the Box Office (02) 8839 3399