Mass performance ends successful festival

Celebrating after the final performance of the Wakatipu Music Festival in Queenstown yesterday...
Celebrating after the final performance of the Wakatipu Music Festival in Queenstown yesterday are (from left) NZTrio violinist Amalia Hall, violinists Christine Lee, KiHei Lee and Diane Huh, pianist Stephen De Pledge and Sir Michael Hill, whose family sponsored the festival. Photo: Sheena Haywood
The inaugural Wakatipu Music Festival has been declared a success by its organisers.

The four-day festival ended yesterday with a mass performance by the musicians involved.

The event was an offshoot of the biennial Michael Hill International Violin Competition, which could not be held due to international travel restrictions.

Executive director Anne Rodda said the support of the Wakatipu community for the event had been heartwarming.

"The Wakatipu Music Festival was a pivot event, responding with agility and creativity to what had been a challenging time for many musicians with the restrictions from the Covid-19 pandemic.

"We couldn’t have done it without the support of the terrific Wakatipu people, who were an enthusiastic audience, heading to concerts then off to the Luma light festival.

"It’s been a wonderful week of music-making, the atmosphere in Queenstown’s a delight."

The festival brought seasoned international New Zealand performers who would not normally perform in the resort, such as soprano Anna Leese, clarinettist Jonathan Cohen, pianist Stephen De Pledge, and NZTrio’s Amalia Hall, Somi Kim and Ashley Brown, as well as 13 up-and-coming musicians.

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