26 Aug 2022

A Salon Concert re-imagining Rosina Buckman’s 1922 Tour.  In 1922 and 1923 Blenheim-born soprano Rosina Buckman made a triumphant homecoming tour, bringing with her cellist Adelina Leon and pianist-composer Percy Kahn.  Rosina’s farewell concert in London was to an audience of 10,000 in the Royal Albert Hall. Her tour began in Wellington on 15 May 1922 and ended in March the following year after more than 110 performances across New Zealand and Australia. New Zealanders couldn’t get enough of their homegrown singing superstar.

In 2022 and 2023, a century after the original tour, Hammers & Horsehair duo Douglas Mews (piano) and Robert Ibell (cello) join forces with well-known Wellington soprano Rowena Simpson to reimagine Rosina’s homecoming.  The various musical items in this lively concert are interspersed with anecdotes from the 1922/3 tour, comparing touring life then and now and incorporating appropriate local or personal history.

Douglas Mews studied organ and harpsichord with the late Anthony Jennings at Auckland University (New Zealand) followed by harpsichord studies with Bob van Asperen at the Royal Conservatory in the Hague. He is now a freelance musician, teaching at the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington and directing the music at St Teresa’s Catholic Church. In 2010 he recorded a CD on the Wellington Town Hall 1906 Norman and Beard organ for Priory Records’ ‘Great Australasian Organs’. His most recent CD (released in 2012  is ‘The Lost Chord’, also recorded at the Wellington Town Hall.

Robert Ibell was born in Dannevirke and brought up in Palmerston North. While training there as a school teacher he learned cello from Judith Hyatt in Wellington. From 1986 to 1992 Robert lived in London, studying cello with Tania Hunt, Derek Simpson and Christopher Bunting. He played at music schools and in masterclasses (where his teachers included Alexander Baillie, Steve Doane, Anner Bylsma and Steven Isserlis), taught, gave recitals and played in professional and amateur orchestras. From 1993 to 2020 Robert was a member of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. He is also an experienced chamber musician, touring regularly for Chamber Music New Zealand. Robert is a member of the Aroha Quartet.
He also plays in contemporary music group Stroma New Music Ensemble and indie/folk/rock band Milkthistle.

Rowena Simpson grew up in Wellington, Hamilton and London and began her performing career as a cellist, chorister and dancer. She studied singing with German soprano Rosemary Gordon and graduated with degrees in musicology and linguistics from Victoria University before leaving for The Netherlands in 1997, where she studied singing and historical performance practice at the Royal Conservatoire. While based in Europe, she performed with professional chamber ensembles and was a soloist in the baroque and classical repertoires. Since returning to NZ in 2006, Rowena has developed a freelance career in chamber music and opera, performing for many organisations including Chamber Music NZ, Stroma New Music Ensemble, NZ Barok, CBS Music Trust, Pinchgut Opera (Sydney), Days Bay Opera and as a member of the NZ Opera chorus.

Show Times

7:30pm Friday 26th August

Ticket Prices

$35 Adults

$25 Seniors

Under 18's FREE

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“ I recommend any music lover to attend any Hammers and Horsehair recital. A talented trio.

“ I usually get bored at classical music concerts but I didn’t get bored at that concert. ” 14 year-old audience member

“ Delightful evening narrative told through music, was wonderful. Variety of pieces well chosen. Please come back.

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