The Amici Ensembles Annual Pilgrimage to Waikanae

Twenty-four concerts over 28 years is an amazing record and that is what will be happening when Wellington’s popular chamber music group The Amici Ensemble appears for the Waikanae Music Society on Sunday 30 April.

The Ensemble, led by NZSO Associate Concertmaster Donald Armstrong, first played in Waikanae in 1989. Over the following decade they visited only every second or third year, but since 1999 their concerts have become much anticipated annual events. Amici means “friends” and that is how the group began, with Donald Armstrong simply enjoying playing chamber music with his NZSO friends. But the name also means a lot to many Waikanae Music Society members for whom Amici’s annual visit is like welcoming back old friends.

This year’s concert is on Sunday 30 April at 2.30pm in the Waikanae Memorial Hall and will feature a piano sextet by Mendelssohn, a trio by Shostakovich and Schubert’s very popular Trout Quintet, a piece that is just brimming with joyful tunes. Joining the group of NZSO principal players this time is leading New Zealand pianist Jian Liu, head of piano studies at the New Zealand School of Music. One of the best things about Amici is their ability to draw on other top musicians to join them in works that are not so often heard, as well as in the regular favourites such as Schubert’s Trout Quintet. This particular programme has already been performed elsewhere to enthusiastic response from the critics: “Chamber music at its best …. a magnificent programme performed by quality players.” (Middle C)

Door sales will be available or tickets can be bought at Waikanae New World, Moby Dickens Books in Paraparaumu Beach or at Lush Design Gallery in Raumati. Enquiries are welcome on 04 905 6070, 04 293 4025 or visit