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Les Bons Vivants

  • 17 Mar 2016
  • 7:30 PM
  • St Michael and All Angels Church, 86 Oxford Tce, ChCh

Christopher’s Classics Series XXI – 2016

Les Bons Vivants

St Michael and All Angels Church, 86 Oxford Tce

7.30pm Thurs 17 March

French chamber music with ‘joie de vivre’ is the theme of Les Bons Vivants, featuring harpist Helen Webby and four of her Christchurch Symphony colleagues, Amandine Guerin, violin; Serenity Thurlow, viola; Tomas Hurnik, cello; and Anthony Ferner, flute.

“The inspiration came after an evening of eating ‘raclette’, a traditional melted cheese from France. We chose French music that enhanced our contented mood and aided our digestion.”

Note: Serenity Thurlow plays a Derazey viola and Malo bow with the support of Christopher Marshall.

Les Bons Vivants play:-

Fantaisie for Violin and Harp - Camille Saint-Saëns

Quintette Voyage au Pays du Tendre - Gabriel Pierné

Après un Rêve - Gabriel Fauré

Quintette No.2 - Jean Françaix

Triosonata in D - Jean-Marie Leclair

Flute Quartet in D - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Door sales and cash only. $40, full-time students $15 Bring a cushion to soften the pews

For information and a photograph, contact: Diana Moir (03) 355 2691, 021 126 5738, dhmoir@xtra.co.nz

Note: Detailed information regarding performers and programme below.


Helen Webby is Principal Harp with Christchurch Symphony, and is well known throughout New Zealand as a recitalist: solo, chamber and concerto soloist. She also toured with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra to Europe in 2010.

Helen studied at University of Auckland, the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Netherlands, and in 1996 completed Diplom Harfe from the Hochschule for Music in Hamburg.While working in Germany she was a member of chamber Ensemble Obligat, with whom she recorded her first CD.

Since then she has recorded many more CDs, including the 2006 CD Reverie (MANU) with flautist Anthony Ferner; and in 2011 commissioned nine NZ composers to write short works for harp. These feature on her 2012 CD, Pluck (MANU), New Zealand’s first anthology of harp music, which was nominated for Best Classical CD in the 2013 NZ Music Awards and featured in the DVD film, Harps make Fine Companions, screened on Television New Zealand.

Helen performs on a concert harp built of NZ Red Beech by her brother Kim Webby. www.harp.co.nz

Amandine Guerin plays first violin with Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. She studied music in France and graduated from the Conservatoire National de Région of Montpellier with prizes in performance, chamber music, sight-reading and solfège. Besides her teaching activities, she was concertmaster of the Ensemble Instrumental Contrepoint. From 1998 she lived in Tokyo, Japan where she was violin and young ensemble teacher at the International Music School, Solfran directed by Marguerite France. She was also a freelance player in various orchestras and chamber music groups. Since moving to Dunedin New Zealand in 2004, she played as first violin and acting concertmaster in the Southern Sinfonia until moving to Christchurch where she performs with many chamber groups.

Serenity Thurlow is Principal Viola with Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and is an active chamber and orchestral musician throughout NZ. She studied viola at the University of Canterbury and then at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. For Christchurch Symphony’s opening season concert of 2016, Serenity will perform the world premiere of Chris Cree Brown’s Viola Concerto.

Tomas Hurnik is Associate Principal Cello with Christchurch Symphony and has had a rich musical career performing with Czech symphony orchestras, recording for radio and television, winning various chamber music competitions and taking part in prestigious chamber groups such as the Talich Chamber Orchestra. He has performed and toured throughout Europe with various period instrument groups such as Musica Florea, Capella Regia Prague and Solamente Naturali.

Tomas is a passionate advocate of period instrument performance, and organises and performs concerts, workshops and master classes of Baroque music throughout New Zealand, including tours with two renowned European musicians, Edita Keglerova from the Czech Republic and  Szabolcs Illes (Hungary).

Anthony Ferner is Principal Flute of the Christchurch Symphony and a frequent soloist with the Christchurch Symphony. He teaches flute at the School of Music University of Canterbury, coaches ensemble groups, performs as a recitalist and teaches orchestral conducting. 

Winner of the New Zealand National Concerto Competition in 1972, he is a graduate from the University of Canterbury. He studied in London at the Guildhall School of Music under Trevor Wye and William Bennett and with Peter Lloyd, Principal flute of the LSO. Later he taught and performed for 2 years in Milan, and in 1992 studied conducting at the St Petersburg Conservatory.

Anthony spent 17 years in Sydney playing in the Sydney Symphony, the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and as a concert artist, was heard on ABC FM radio. Currently his CD recordings are heard on Radio NZ concert FM. His conducting includes performances in Sydney with the Sydney Mozart Players, the Christchurch Symphony, Radio Tbilisi Orchestra and St Petersburg Chamber Orchestra the Wellington City Opera, New Zealand regional orchestras, youth orchestras and operatic productions.

The Christopher’s Classics programme, founded by Christopher Marshall, has become a mainstay of the Christchurch chamber music scene, featuring five concerts a year and showcasing some of New Zealand’s finest musicians. Following Les Bons Vivants, the programme features Michael Houstoun (21 April), New Zealand String Quartet with pianist Stephen Le Pledge (17 Aug), Amici Ensemble (5 Oct), and Affetto (20 Oct).

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