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Matthew Marshall - guitar, Sir Jon Trimmer and Dame Kate Harcourt

Matthew Marshall, Sir Jon Trimmer and Dame Kate Harcourt

Fantasies, folksongs & fables
Matthew Marshall – guitar
With Dame Kate Harcourt & Sir Jon Trimmer


Matthew Marshall
Described as “…a guitarist of superb technical accomplishment and a musician of perception and style” Matthew Marshall is one of New Zealand’s leading classical guitarists. In a performing career spanning more than 30 years, Matthew has brought his unique interpretations and original musical personality to over 2000 performances on four continents and even from Iceland to Siberia and on to Easter Island! He is passionate about contemporary music, especially by New Zealand composers, and has commissioned or premiered more than 60 solo, chamber and orchestral works for guitar. His critically acclaimed solo debut in the Royal Festival Hall London featuring the music of New Zealand was described as “…extraordinarily successful”(Musical Opinion.
Matthew has also appeared as soloist with orchestras in New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, Russia and Germany including the Berlin Chamber Orchestra, the Orlando Philharmonic, the Guanajuato Symphony Orchestra Mexico, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Kemerovo Philharmonic in Russia.
As a recording artist, Matthew features on eleven CDs for solo guitar, with chamber groups and with orchestra (alongside the Kronos Quartet, the New Zealand String Quartet, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and others). His third solo album, Rhapsody on a Riff was released worldwide by Ravello Records USA in June 2015. “Rhapsody on a Riff gives you some brilliant contemporary music for guitar as played by a true artist.”
Matthew has also held senior academic leadership positions in New Zealand, Australia and England including Dean of Arts at Southern Cross University, Dean of Performing Arts at Central Queensland University, Director of Music at Dartington College of Arts UK, Co-Director of the New Zealand School of Music and Head of the Conservatorium of Music, Massey University. He is currently Professor and Head of IDEAschool at Eastern Institute of Technology, Hawke’s Bay – an innovative, experimental multi-disciplinary arts school.


Dame Kate Harcourt DNZM JP
At 92 Dame Kate is a senior figure in the NZ professional performing arts. Having trained in London at the Joan Cross Opera School, she began her career in NZ in the 1960s with the pre-school radio programme Listen With Mother and with Junior Magazine, a weekly children’s TV programme.

In 2012 Kate won an American Best Actress Award at the Rhode Island Film Festival for her lead role in David Strong’s Pacific Dreams, beating actresses such as Keira Knightley to the honour! Most recently Kate has appeared in the short films Home, The Pact and The Silk, and in the TV series Hope And Wire. She has played featured roles on stage in WOW and Destination Beehive and on film in The Changeover

Career highlights on stage include being a founding member of Hens’ Teeth touring company. In 1990 she toured to the Edinburgh Festival, to Oslo, London and  Sydney with the Downstage Theatre production of Hedda Gabler. In 1996, with her daughter Miranda, Kate appeared in the International Festival commission Flowers From My Mother’s Garden.

Kate has appeared in countless TV shows and ads over her career including Close To Home, Country GP, Gloss and Shortland St. Roles in feature films include Second Hand Wedding, Separation City, Hook Line and Sinker, Apron Strings and The Shoe Box. She is patron of several arts organisations and in 1996 was honoured to be made DNZM for her contribution to theatre. In 1997 Kate was chosen as The Evening Post’s Wellingtonian of the Year.


Sir Jon Trimmer KNZM MBE 
Sir Jon Trimmer has been a mainstay of the Royal New Zealand Ballet. He started dancing at his sister’s ballet school in Wellington at the age of 12 and spent a year with the then New Zealand Ballet, before studying at the Royal Ballet School in 1959, which was followed by two years with Sadler’s Wells. He danced with both The Australian Ballet and the Royal Danish Ballet and has performed with Dame Margot Fonteyn, Rudolf Nureyev, Erik Bruhn and many of the world’s top dancers. Career highlights include being nominated for the best actor award in the Fireraiser television series (1986), dancing the title role in Petrouchka, and the role of Albrecht in Giselle.

The last 20 years saw Jon performing mainly character roles with the RNZB, alongside dramatic roles in television and stage plays. In 2004 and 2015 he toured New Zealand with Helen Moulder in the play Meeting Karpovsky. Jon was awarded Television Performer of the Year in 1971, received an MBE in 1974, a Fulbright Scholarship in 1981, and in 1986 was the third recipient of the Turnovsky Award. He received a knighthood in 1999 for services to ballet. He is a keen gardener, painter and potter and enjoys spending time at home on the Kapiti Coast.




Fantasia No. 7                                  –                 John Dowland (1562-1626)


Farewell to Stromness                     –                 Peter Maxwell Davies (1934-2016)


Four Songs                             
Wild Mountain Thyme               –                 Traditional
Going Home                            –                 Mark Knopfler (1949- )
The Parting Glass                    –                 Traditional
Cherí                                       –                 Ulrik Neumann (1918-1994)


Cinderella                                        –                 Alexey Arkhipovsky (1967- )
For guitar and electronic effects




It’s Love, Isn’t It?                                       –                 Philip Norman (1953- )
For guitar and reciters and the sound of the sea
Poetry by Alistair Te Ariki Campbell & Meg Campbell
With Dame Kate Harcourt and Sir Jon Trimmer, reciters
Wild Honey
The Fall
Brown Peahen
To Rid Myself of You
To a Young Friend
To a Young Girl
The Way Back
The New House
Gift of Dreams
The Australian Girl
Big Game Fisherman
A Confession
Bee of Anger

Fantasia No. 7 (1610)                        –                 John Dowland (1563-1626)
In 1594 John Dowland applied for the position of Court Lutenist at the English Court, however was turned down for the job – and he claimed it was because he was Catholic and therefore was not welcome at Elizabeth I’s Protestant Court. He was then appointed Court Lutenist in Denmark 1598-1606 but he got fired for not showing up to work often enough because he kept travelling back to England. However he was finally appointed Lutenist to the English Court in 1612 for James I, and although he was a very prolific composer in his earlier years, famous for his lute-songs, he apparently wrote very little music after he was appointed. Fantasia No. 7 appears in the collection “A Varietie of Lute-Lessons” published by his son Robert Dowland in 1610.

Farewell to Stromness (1980)                  –       Peter Maxwell Davies (1934-2016)
Peter Maxwell Davies was known as an enfant terrible of the 1960s, whose music frequently shocked audiences and critics. Davies lived in the Orkney Islands from 1966 and had a keen interest in environmentalism. In 1980 he wrote The Yellow Cake Revue, a collection of cabaret-style pieces in protest at plans to mine uranium ore in Orkney. It is from this suite of pieces that the chanson triste interlude Farewell to Stromness is taken. The slow, walking bass line that pervades the piece portrays the residents of the town of Stromness having to leave their homes as a result of uranium contamination. Stromness, the second largest town in Orkney, would have been two miles from the uranium mine's core, and the centre most threatened by pollution had the proposed development been approved.

Four Songs
A selection of English, Scottish, Irish and Danish songs.


Cinderella (Золушка)                     –            Alexey Arkhipovsky (1967- )

Described as a cross between Niccolò Paganini and Pat Metheny, Alexey Arkhipovsky is a virtuoso balalaika player originally from the Caucasus region of South-West Russia. His performance in New York in 2004 was described in the New York Times as “…full of impressive irony and virtuosity.” In 2009 he was invited to perform in the opening ceremony of the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow. Arranged for guitar by Russian guitarist Vladimir Gapontsev, Cinderella is a fantasia-like representation of the famous fairy tale enhanced by subtle electronic effects.


It’s Love, Isn’t It? (2017)                            –                          Philip Norman (1953- )
For guitar, two reciters and the sound of the sea
It’s Love, Isn’t it? is based on a book of the same name comprising 58 love poems by Alistair Te Ariki Campbell and Meg Campbell, compiled by Alistair in 2008 following the death of Meg. The paired poems chart the highs and lows of the fifty-year marriage of the Campbells. Tested by mental illness, infidelity, doubt and independence, their love remained strong to the end.

Composer, conductor, author, speaker, educator and publisher Philip Norman has been entertaining New Zealand audiences for forty-five years. His output of over 250 compositions ranges from orchestral, chamber music and opera through secular and sacred choral and vocal works, to musicals with playwright Roger Hall including Love Off the Shelf and Footrot Flats, and ballets for the Royal New Zealand Ballet such as the highly successful Peter Pan.

It’s Love, Isn’t It? was commissioned by Matthew Marshall in 2017 with funding from Creative New Zealand and the New Zealand Guitar Foundation.

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