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Wind picks up in Marty

The bassoon and the oboe are wind beneath the wings of the Martinborough Music Festival’s four classical music concerts this month.

New Zealand-born Sydney resident, Todd Gibson-Cornish, will play all four concerts and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra [NZSO] principal oboe, Robert Orr, will play two.

“We are very excited about this year’s programme which, in addition to the luscious line-up of strings and piano you’ve come to expect, features two amazing double-reed superstars,” the festival’s artistic directors, Wilma Smith and Donald Armstrong, said.

Gibson-Cornish was “making his mark across the ditch as principal bassoon of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, a hotly contested position he won in 2016 at the ripe old age of 21”.

He and Orr will each play a wide variety of virtuosic masterworks for their instruments, including Mozart’s Oboe Quartet and an exciting work for bassoon and string quartet, incorporating classical and jazz dance elements – Meeelaan – by jazz trumpeter/composer Wynton Marsalis.

Other artists performing at the festival include Laurence Matheson [piano], Benjamin Baker [violin], Wilma Smith [violin] Donald Armstrong [violin], Wenhong Luo [viola] and Amanda Verner [viola], Matthias Balzat [cello] and Ashley Brown [cello], with composers Salina Fisher and Anthony Ritchie.

The festival began after former music teacher and Martinborough resident, Cherry Van Kranen, passed away in 2016 and left her Schimmel grand piano to the Martinborough community – it is now the “centrepiece” of the festival and allows world-class pianists to take part.

The Martinborough Music Festival and its schools programme is run by the Martinborough Music Festival Trust Board, chaired by Ed Allen, MNZM, [ex-NZSO]. The festival director is Brendan Smyth, MNZM, [ex-NZ On Air Music].

For the sixth annual festival, a new “softer” logo has been adopted, after the “explosive and quite in-your-face logo and livery” of last year’s fifth anniversary festival.

The new logo, by ASH Studio in Greytown, was “a blush of sage, nectarine, apricot and rose with a hint of wispy wind to reflect this year’s programme focus on the oboe and the bassoon”.

Martinborough Music Festival concerts are at Martinborough Town Hall on Friday, September 22 at 7.30pm, Saturday September 23 at 2pm and 7.30pm, and Sunday, September 24 at 2pm.

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