Rock star performer on a... recorder

For many, the recorder is one of those musical instruments used by children to unintentionally drive their parents up the wall.

But Piers Adams, one of the world's top recorder players, is creating a whole new appreciation of the instrument.

He is in Dunedin to perform with his British baroque ensemble Red Priest, at the Glenroy Auditorium at 7.30pm today. .

While in Dunedin, he visited St Clair School yesterday afternoon, where wide-eyed pupils were amazed by the ''recorder rock star's'' skill and virtuosity.

''Recorders driving parents around the bend - it's the same issue, pretty much every country I go to.''

Recorder virtuoso Piers Adams performs for pupils at St Clair School yesterday, on an ancient version of the recorder, made from a cattle horn. Photos: Stephen Jaquiery
Recorder virtuoso Piers Adams performs for pupils at St Clair School yesterday, on an ancient version of the recorder, made from a cattle horn. Photos: Stephen Jaquiery

He said the recorder was used in classrooms as a way of teaching music, but his goal was to show young people what was possible on the instrument and present it as a major-league instrument for the 21st century concert platform.

 

''It's amazing seeing the kids' eyes light up when they hear it, because it's something they do themselves and then when they hear it done properly, it's quite a thing.''

St Clair School music teacher Alison Caldwell said all pupils were learning to play the recorder and were ''very excited'' to meet and listen to the ''reigning recorder virtuoso in the world today''.

The visit was organised by Chamber Music New Zealand.

He will also give an educational concert at the Glenroy Auditorium, for pupils across Dunedin this morning.

Mr Adams trained as an astrophysicist, but turned professional recorder player when he was 21.

Since then, he has become known as the ''modern day pied piper'' and performed concertos with orchestras across the globe, as well as in private concerts for the Royal Family, and gala concerts for children with the Dodo Street Band.

His latest CD with Red Priest reached No1 in the United Kingdom classical charts.

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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