Mix of musical performers for festival

Whakatipu Music Festival musicians pictured after arriving in Queenstown this week are (from left...
Whakatipu Music Festival musicians pictured after arriving in Queenstown this week are (from left) Cecile McNeill, Shaun Liu, April Ju, Begonia Chan, Peter Gjelsten, Zephyr Wills, Otis Prescott-Mason, Clare Hood, KiHei Lee, Hazuki Katsukawa, Jessica Chi and Stefenie Pickston. PHOTO: LEILA MURTON POOL
A Queenstown music festival, intended as a one-off replacement, hit the right note last year and returns on Good Friday.

The Whakatipu Music Festival, backed by Sir Michael Hill’s family, is bringing together world-class New Zealand performers, emerging artists from across the country and Queenstown-Lakes musicians who will showcase the best of classical, jazz, and Taonga Puoro (traditional Maori instruments) over Easter weekend.

Executive director Anne Rodda said the event fostered talent and provided opportunities for a broad range of musicians and those interested in the arts.

It was also, she said, a "sigh of relief".

"With events dwindling, it’s important now more than ever to be supporting artists and creative industries with opportunities like this," she said.

Performers included soprano Madeleine Pierard, violinist Robin Wilson, flautist Bridget Douglas, cellist Andrew Joyce, pianist Stephen de Pledge and Tararua, a contemporary quartet which combines Taonga Puoro with waiata, karakia, purakau (story), and western instruments.

Along with performances at the Queenstown Memorial Centre, young emerging musicians aged between 18 and 28 would receive guidance from leading artists, while free workshops and public talks were also on offer.

Ms Rodda said bespoke recitals from emerging and professional artists would include performances of a new work specifically composed for festival participants. Local ensembles and musicians will play alongside visiting artists showcasing Queenstown’s talents.

The Whakatipu Music Festival opens with a concert on Friday night and continues until the "grand finale" concert on Monday afternoon.

tracey.roxburgh@odt.co.nz

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