Opera star Paul Whelan gives the World Premiere of ‘Such A Fine, Sunny Day’, by Australian/New Zealand composer Alan Griffiths.

With a dramatic four-hand piano accompaniment performed by Australian pianist Nicholas Young and Christchurch pianist Anna Maksymova.

Dedicated to Sophia Scholl, ‘Such a Fine, Sunny Day’ was the last thing she said before Hitler had her executed. 

Nicholas then performs the New Zealand Premiere of Griffiths’ selected violin and piano works with Christchurch violinist Rose Light. 

SONY sponsored the 2018 World Premiere of Alan’s second album Rare View. Critics say:  
‘Griffiths can move easily from one mode of expression to another seamlessly’ (Fanfare Magazine, New York.)
 ‘… great compositional balance of virtuosity, simplicity, fragility and drama’. (Cut|Common, Melbourne).
‘… individuality in unexpected and touching ways.’ (factsandarts, Bordeaux).
‘… extremely impressive mastery of style and range of emotions….’ (ANZCA Music Examinations)

Paul Whelan from Christchurch, debuted at the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden, Paris Opera, Bolshoi Opera, Hamburg State Opera, Bavarian State Opera, Netherlands Opera, Welsh National Opera, English National Opera, Opera Australia, Kansas, New Orleans and Boston Lyric Opera. Roles included Gremin in Eugene Onegin (Lyric Opera Kansas City) Daland in Der Fliegende Hollander (Hawaii, NZ) Timur in Turandot (Opera New Orleans) Raimondo in Lucia (ENO) Seneca in L’Incoronazione di Poppea (Lille, Dijon) Nick Shadow in The Rakes Progress (NZO) Banco in Macbeth (Opera North) Figaro, Dikoy in Katya Kabanova (Scottish Opera) Giorgio in I Puritani (Boston Lyric Opera) Don Giovanni (Opera Australia) Commendatore (Garsington festival, Theatre de Champs Elysee) Sarastro in the Magic Flute (Hawaii Opera Theatre) Claudio in Hamlet (Gothenburg) Collatinus in The Rape of Lucretia (Opera Norway) Claggart in Billy Budd (Glyndebourne Festival). Conductors he has collaborated with include Sir Simon Rattle, Kent Nagano, Yehudi Menuhin, Valery Gergiev, Gary Bertini, David Zinman, Andris Nelsons, David Robertson, Sir Colin Davis, Sir Charles Mackerras. Recordings include A Midsummer Night’s Dream with LSO (Phillips) and L’Incoronazione di Poppea (Virgin Classics). Paul won the Cardiff Singer of the world Lieder prize and pursues a busy concert career. 

Nicholas Young won First Prize and Best Beethoven Performance of the ‘Grand Prize Virtuoso’ International Music Competition (London), Third Prize of the 15th Rome International Piano Competition (Soloists 'B'), Honourable Mentions at the 7th International Rosario Marciano Piano Competition (Vienna) and 1st International Cochran Piano Competition. As collaborative pianist, Nicholas’s Ensemble Françaix were Winners of the 2019 Queensland International Chamber Music Competition.

Anna Maksymova won the Lewis Eady Charitable Trust Emerging Artist Series and Third Prize of the Kerikeri International Piano Competition. Recipient of four major scholarships she has performed as soloist with the CSO, and collaborates with cellist Tomas Hurnik and his trio Tres Cordes.

Rose Light’s quartet won the 2019 Queensland International Chamber Music Competition (Under 18s), her trio won the 2021 NZCT Contest Silver Award, she was a NZ National String Competition Semi Finalist and was awarded first place in the Note-able National Competition 2021. Rose also won the Dame Malvina Major Foundation Cecily Maccoll High Achievers Award 2021 and the Gillian Mapp Award for Outstanding Achievement in Australia.


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