Trans-Tasman Piano Duo (2016)

• Sunday 4th September 2016, 4.00pm Past
• Graham Young Youth Theatre, Tauranga Boys College map »
Katherine Austin (piano), Glenn Riddle (piano)
Well-known musicians and piano teachers, Katherine from the University of Waikato and Glenn from the University of Melbourne, have come together in an outstanding duo playing on one piano.

Glenn Riddle studied at the University of Melbourne, Royal College of Music in London and the Vienna Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst. He has won numerous awards and scholarships as both soloist and chamber musician in Australia and overseas and is seen and heard on TV and radio in his home country.

Katherine Austin is Senior Lecturer in Piano at the University of Waikato and performs regularly around NZ as a concert soloist, chamber musician and solo recitalist and in Europe, Asia and USA with the NZ Chamber Soloists. Katherine holds a Master of Music from the University of Auckland and has won a number of awards and prizes both in NZ and overseas.

The Duo will perform works by Schubert, Mozart, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, Grainger and Psathas.

Glenn Riddle biography Katherine Austin biography Review View Programme Notes

Review of Trans-Tasman Piano Duo:

The Trans-Tasman Piano Duo was in town Sunday, playing to a large audience in the fourth Tauranga Musica concert at Graham Young Theater.

As all who ever attempted a Piano Duet are aware, putting 4 Hands to One Piano is full of pitfalls.

Yet most composers wrote for this configuration. Creating a symphony in your living room just takes two players of superb skill and coordination.

We heard two such players on Sunday. Katherine Austin is head of Piano Studies at Waikato Conservatorium; and Glenn Riddle is similarly Lecturer in Keyboard at Melbourne.

We've read much of how the young Mozart wrote Duo Sonatas for himself and sister Nannerl to wow the heads of Europe. Our visiting Duo gave a fine example of what that must have been like.

Later Franz Schubert composed his beautiful Fminor Fantasie as a teaching tool for the young Countess Caroline Esterhazy, to whom he communicated in a special way.

Emulating a large orchestra on one piano was demonstrated in two movements of Stravinsky’s sad ballet Petrouchka, about which Miss Austin helped our audience by recounting her own childhood listening experience.

Six youthful duos from the brilliant pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff included a dazzling Scherzo, always a crowd pleaser.

But what had the entire audience swaying in sympathy was a setting of Tchaikovsky’s Waltz of the Flowers. This was Moscow theater now made living room piano now become another wonderful ending from Tauranga Musica.

The next concert of the series is 24 September at Tauranga Park Auditorium, Pyes Pa.

- 7th Aug 2016, by Prof. Barry Vercoe, Mus.D.

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