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Reflections and reveries

Acclaimed Italian-New Zealand pianist, Flavio Villani, will perform at a house concert in Greytown on Sunday.

The concert is a pleasant surprise for organisers Ed and Juliet Cooke, who run the Greytown Music Group, which hosts local and international performers regularly between April and September.

“When Flavio got in touch, we already had this year’s programme completely fixed but it seemed like a good opportunity to have him perform here,” Juliet said.

“So it’s an extra, unanticipated concert, and we’re quite glad to be able to help him.”

The first half of Villani’s programme for Wairarapa audiences will pay homage to Franz Liszt, considered to be one of the greatest improvisers of the 19th century.

Rachmaninoff’s Preludes will be the focus of the second half of the concert and will include some of Villani’s own improvisations.

Though it’s quite unusual to have improvisations in a concert, Villani’s familiarity with Rachmaninoff’s work will influence him, Juliet said.

“Whether they are improvisations he’s played before or whether they’re just completely off the cuff, I’m not quite sure how he does that.”

The Cookes’ venue can seat around 80 people and younger music fans are welcome.

“Often, there’s scarcely a head that isn’t grey in the audience,” Juliet said. “So it’s really lovely when we have a family with children.”

  • Flavio Villani’s performance is at 4pm on Sunday, August 6. Tickets can be purchased by emailing Ed and Juliet Cooke at [email protected] and cost $30 for adults, $10 for children.

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