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Robert Ashworth, Sherry Grant, Inbal Megiddo

Thu Oct 10th, 2019

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A concert series by Robert Ashworth (Viola), Sherry Grant (Piano) and Inbal Megiddo (Cello) to take you on a musical journey while paying tributes to 5 giants in history...

Music heals, unites, brings people together. In such globally disturbed times, and in an age when sense of community is not what it was decades ago, opportunities for people to gather are more important than ever before. Classical music can empower, bring great joy, move, and inspire people. My desire is to bring existing lovers of it, and those unfamiliar with it, together, to hear musicians of great calibre perform beautiful compositions.

My name is Sherry Grant, an Auckland based pianist and cellist, creative director, and one of three performers in an October recital series taking place between 6-27 Oct 2019. A couple of top NZ musicians, (Robert Ashworth and Inbal Megiddo) and I will be touring Auckland and Wellington, giving six recitals with three different programmes. Three poets have also been invited to read their poems during the Auckland recitals.

This tour is called 100 Years Journey because we will be paying musical tributes to five great people in history. For this reason I have also commissioned four new pieces by mostly New Zealand composers to receive world premieres during this series, each dedicated to an inspiring person who was either born in 1919 or passed away in 2019. We would like to dedicate this entire concert series to the memory of APO founding member John Ure (1952-2019) in whose name a scholarship programme will be set up for aspiring NZ art manager/administrator for classical music.

Details of the 100 Years Journey: 1919-2019 Concert Series are as follows.

Robert Ashworth | viola
Sherry Grant | piano
Inbal Megiddo | cello

Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra principal violist Robert Ashworth and pianist Sherry Grant present a series of six viola concerts in Auckland and Wellington in October 2019 to celebrate the 100 years of journey in human history since the year after the end of WWI.

Through this concert series they pay musical tributes to NZ Mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary (1919-2008), NZ artist Colin McCahon (1919-1987), APO founding member John Ure (1952-2019), Dutch Baroque cellist Anner Bylsma (1934-2019), and American novelist Toni Morrison (1931-2019), each with a new commissioned composition.

They will be performing three programmes, with several world premieres of newly commissioned NZ viola/piano compositions. In the chamber programme they are joined by cellist Inbal Megiddo, who is the current Head of Cello Studies at the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington.

Musician bios

Robert Ashworth
Robert Ashworth is principal viola for the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. He has been guest-principal viola for the Sydney Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, as well as assistant-principal for the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. He is violist with the Jade String Quartet in Auckland, and also plays with the Australian World Orchestra. Robert has appeared as soloist and chamber musician throughout New Zealand, recorded for Atoll and Rattle labels, as well as many performances recorded for Radio New Zealand. Robert is a twice recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts Award for Emerging Artists and has performed with various groups at international chamber music festivals in Europe, North America, and Japan. He has had the hon¬our to study with violists Thomas Riebl and Veronika Hagen at the Universitaet Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria and with Gerald Stanick at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Robert plays a 1995 John Newton cut-away viola.

Sherry Grant
Sherry Grant is a classically trained pianist and cellist. Originally from Taiwan, she studied cello performance and piano accompanying at the School of Music at Auckland University in NZ and later at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, UK. She also holds a teaching diploma, and a Bachelor’s degree in computer science. She was the event coordinator of the first Auckland Linux Installfest at Auckland University in 2002. Sherry worked at the National Junior Pettman Academy, coaching chamber music and was one of their official accompanists. She received piano lessons from Rae de Lisle and Jian Liu, and learned cello from Coral Bognura and Karine Georgian (Russia). Sherry organised Grant’s Arts and Music Festival ”War and Peace” in NZ (23-31 May 2019) including an art exhibition, and performed in several concerts including 3 viola recitals with Milan Milisavljević (principal violist from Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in New York), during which various poets also participated.

Inbal Megiddo
Cellist Inbal Megiddo has given many concerts in Europe, Asia and America including recitals in the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, with the Berlin Symphony at the Philharmonie and a recital at the Staatsoper. At her New York debut at the Lincoln Center her playing was hailed by the press as having “magical expression and technical expertise.” Recent releases include a recording of the complete Bach Cello Suites, Debussy's Sonatas and Piano Trio, and the Beethoven Sonatas and Variations. She gave the NZ premieres of the Weinberg, Villa Lobos, and Barber Cello Concertos, with her playing described as “Superb!...Virtuosic, brilliant and powerful”. Other recent and upcoming engagements include performances with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, the Ukraine Philharmonic, the Lithuanian Philharmonic Orchestra, collaborating with conductors and performers including Daniel Barenboim, Shlomo Mintz, and Lior Shambadal, and tours in Germany, Austria, North America, and Asia. Ms. Megiddo is Senior Lecturer in Cello at the New Zealand School of Music, Visiting Professor of Cello at Oberlin Conservatory, and Resource Panelist for the Singapore School of the Arts. She has been guest artist at the International Cello Congress in Israel, Dublin Masterclasses, Beijing Chamber Music Festival, and Melbourne Cello Festival, has given masterclasses at institutions around the world, and is founder and director of the Cellophonia International Festival in Wellington.

Sunday, 6 October, 7 - 9pm | All Saints Church, Howick, Auckland
Friday, 11 October, 7 - 9pm | St Andrew's on the Terrace, Wellington
Robert Schumann | Marchenbilder
Johannes Brahms | Viola Sonata, Op.120, No.2 in Eb Major
Matthias Hutter | Nocturne oublie (2019) **
Dmitri Shostakovich | Viola Sonata, Op. 147
Ben Fernandez | Summit (2019, NZ) **

Sunday, 27 October, 7 - 9pm | St George's Church, Takapuna, Auckland
Saturday, 12 October, 7 - 9pm | Adam Concert Room, Victoria University, Wellington
Rebecca Clarke | Viola Sonata (1919)
Paul Hindemith | Viola Sonata, Op.11, No.4 (1919)
David Hamilton | Wairere (Waterfall) (2019, NZ) **
Ernest Bloch | Suite (1919)
Chris Artley | An Anzac Reflection (2019, NZ)

Saturday, 19 October, 7 - 9pm | St Luke's Church, Remuera, Auckland
Thursday, 10 October, 7 - 9pm | Adam Concert Room, Victoria University, Wellington
J.S. Bach | Solo Cello Suite No.5
Johannes Brahms | Viola Sonata, Op.120, No. 1 in F Minor
J.S. Bach | Gamba Sonata, No. 1
Johannes Brahms | Piano Trio Op. 114
Carvin Knowles | Der Dybbuk Doina (The Diabolical Ghost) **
** world premiere

Friday, 11 October, 9am - 12:30pm | St Andrew's on the Terrace, Wellington
Featuring Robert Ashworth and viola students of Victoria University (FREE ADMISSION)
Concert series
Start time: October 6, 2019 7:00PM
End time: October 27, 2019 9:00PM
All Saints Church, Howick | Adam Concert Room, Wellington | St Andrew's on the Terrace, Wellington | St Luke's Church, Remuera | St George's Church, Takapuna
All Saints Church: 17 Selwyn Rd, Howick, Auckland
St Luke's Church: 130 Remuera Rd, Remuera, Auckland
St George's Church: 2 The Terrace, Takapuna, Auckland
Adam Concert Room: NZSM Kelburn Campus, 81 Kelburn Parade, Kelburn, Wellington
St Andrew's on the Terrace: 30 The Terrace, Wellington

acoustic/solo, classical, Robert Ashworth, Sherry Grant, Inbal Megiddo

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