"I LOVE Mulled Wine Concerts as they are so intimate.
See you soon
With gratitude, Helen"

Stories and Press Realeases


In its seventh year, Paekakariki's Mulled Wine Concert series has built up a formidable reputation amongst Wellington area concert-goers. Organiser and concert pianist Mary Gow says this early autumn concert which has a fabulous programme, a great venue and three superb soloists is concert is "one out of the box". She says it's even more special because this is a return visit for both Diedre Irons and Andrew Joyce.

Born in Canada, Diedre Irons moved to New Zealand in 1977 and has performed frequently with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonia and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. She has toured with Chamber Music New Zealand, made a number of recordings for Radio New Zealand and performed concerts in 25 different countries. Awarded an MBE for services to music in 1989, Diedre Irons was also awarded a Doctorate of Music (honoris causa) from Brandon University in Manitoba, Canada in 2007.

Vesa-Matti Leppänen is the current Concertmaster of the NZSO. Born and raised in Turku, Finland he is a graduate of the Turku Conservatory and Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. Having joined the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the oldest in Europe, he played with them for them for ten years while also establishing himself as a chamber musician and soloist. Since moving to New Zealand in 2000, Vesa-Matti has toured the country as NZSO Concertmaster, soloist and chamber musician. He has performed as a featured soloist with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia, Southern Sinfonia and Christchurch Symphony. Leppanen also tours and plays with chamber music groups like Stroma and Felix the Quartet.

Andrew Joyce is Principal Cellist of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Born in Norwich in England he went to London to pursue his musical studies at the Purcell School of Music and later the Royal College of Music. Before joining the NZSO in September 2010, Andrew spent five years freelancing in London. He has performed all over the world with the London Symphony and London Philharmonic Orchestras. Andrew performs regularly with pianist Simon Watterton, and is a member of the Bartholdy Trio and the Jigsaw Players. He plays with the Puertas Quartet both in the UK and in New Zealand.

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