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Tales from Canada’s Festivals

Our August tour to Canada took us to festivals in Ontario and British Columbia.

We’ve just arrived back in New Zealand invigorated having played with some exceptional musicians and ensembles – not to mention the lovely audiences. It’s been a full-on but also wonderful and multi-faceted tour. Here are some impressions of our time.

Soon after landing, we began our trip in a very intense way - recording Janacek’s two String Quartets and two beautiful sonnets for the Naxos Record label. What a world to delve into! We set up in the centre of the beautiful St Anne’s Anglican Church in Toronto, where the ever-astute ears of Norbert (our engineer and producer) guided and inspired our recording process. It’s such a treat to be able to travel so deeply into this music and to know it will be a moment in time captured permanently! I know we all feel happy with the result and look forward to being able to share it with you when it is released.

Recording earlier this month for the Naxos Record label

After the intensive sessions, we were rewarded by performing to a large and keen audience sprawled out all over the green grass in the Toronto Summer Gardens. The Gardens are a beautiful outdoor space where you’re surrounded by the beauty of nature; the sound of water lapping nearby and the sun kissed sunset of the evening. After the concert we caught up with Helene’s former violin student, Gemma New, conducting Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde in Koerner Hall. Beautiful, expressive and powerful conducting – no wonder she’s hitting the big time!