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Whittakers is excited to welcome the return of pianist Flavio Villani, this time with outstanding violinist Mark Menzies.
“Our programme will feature a romantic journey of duos for piano and violin across Europe (Grieg, Dvorak, Bartok & Prokofiev) alongside some of our own takes of inspiration from some of those scores – in light of the research on Classical improvisation I am leading through Waikato University – and some New Zealand works by Helen Bowater who resides on Waiheke.” – Flavio Villani.
Flavio Villani | Piano
Flavio Villani’s current doctoral studies focuses on the methodologies of improvisation used within Classical music. Up until the end of the nineteenth century, improvisation was an essential component of a musician’s development. Flavio has been invited by Professor David Dolan, Head of the Centre for Creative Performance and Classical Improvisation at the Guildhall School of Music in London, to spend an intensive period working alongside him on this aspect of music-making.
“Villani’s delicate score derived purely through piano is stunning. […] It makes you wonder what the musical score of your own life would be.” – Manawatu Standard
Mark Menzies | Violin
Described in the Los Angeles Times as an ‘extraordinary musician’ and a ‘riveting violinist’, Mark Menzies’ career as a viola and violin virtuoso, chamber musician and pianist, conductor and advocate of contemporary music, has seen performances in Europe, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Japan, and across the United States. Mark is currently the Head of Performance at University of Canterbury in Christchurch.
Not interested in being a ‘specialist’ in anything, Mark Menzies’ repertoire is very varied, being particularly well known as an advocate for music recently composed, and music written in Aotearoa. His career has a world-wide reach, and as a composer of music, Mark is inspired to write for a wide range of performance circumstances – ranging from concert orchestral music to his own form of theatrical music.