The Dominion Post featured a great article today on Gareth!
So Farr, so good for Gareth
By TOM CARDY
Wellington’s Gareth Farr is not only one of New Zealand’s best-known contemporary composers, he now has a significant standing overseas.
The prestigious Edinburgh International Festival this year has commissioned Farr, 46, to compose a piece to be performed at the festival in August.
But ahead of that milestone, comes another: Farr’s first piano concerto. Concerto for Piano and Orchestra will be performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and young Australian pianist Tony Lee in Wellington tonight.
A concerto – where one or more instruments is contrasted and blended with an orchestra – has a long tradition in classical music. But a piano concerto for Farr has been a long time coming. He first wanted to write one when he was 17.
Read the rest of the article on the Dominion Post website.
And there’s a review by John Button up now too:
Farr’s new piano concerto marvellously inventive
By JOHN BUTTON
This was a concert of real contrasts. All three of Respighi’s Roman works with Gareth Farr’s new piano concerto sandwiched in between.
And the Farr work left the famous Respighi works in the dust. Based on just one listen I have no doubt that this marvellously inventive piano concerto is bound to develop an international life all its own. Rarely have I heard a new piece in which I felt we got the absolute essence of the composer, but this was such a piece.
Farr has stated that the piano concertos of Prokofiev, Bartok, Ravel and Shostakovich were long-term favourites and each of these composers’ influences this new concerto of delights. With marvellously free piano writing surrounded by orchestral sounds that conjure up memories of Prokofiev ballets, Ravel’s L’ Enfant et les Sortileges and even the Bartok First Piano Concerto, the ear was tickled bar after bar.
But this is no mere pastiche piece; the distinctive Farr sound was always there and one could sense Farr the puppet- master hovering over the music, pulling the strings and enjoying every second. With some wonderful piano playing from Tony Lee and superbly involved orchestral support – titillating percussion sounds still resonate – this was utterly special.
Read the rest of the review on the Dominion Post website.
Plus! Here’s a bonus picture of Gareth and his parents at the concerto mentioned in the articles: