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Viola and Piano Duo at Rannoch

14 Aug 2020

With Robert Ashworth and Sarah Watkins


Friday 14 August 2020, 7.00pm - Friday 14 August 2020, 9.00pm


Rannoch, 77 Almorah Rd, Epsom, Auckland

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  • General admission $40
  • Concession $20


Robert Ashworth, principal viola for the APO, joins acclaimed Auckland pianist Sarah Watkins for an intimate chamber recital at the art-filled private residence, Rannoch, in Epsom.

Their programme will feature works by Arnold Bax, Alfred Hill, Lionel Tertis and Johannes Brahms, and the evening will include an art tour of this beautiful historic four-storey Arts & Crafts home as well as a complimentary glass of wine.

The programme:

  • Arnold Bax, sonata for viola and piano
  • Alfred Hill, sonata movement in B minor
  • Johannes Brahms, sonata in E flat major
  • Lionel Tertis, short pieces (6 mins)

The players:

Robert Ash­worth is prin­ci­pal viola for the Auck­land Phil­har­mo­nia Orches­tra.

He has been guest-principal viola for the Sydney Symphony, Mel­bourne Sym­phony, New Zealand Sym­phony Orches­tra and the Aus­tralian Opera and Bal­let Orches­tra, as well as assistant-principal for the Cal­gary Phil­har­monic Orches­tra.

He is the vio­list for the Jade String Quar­tet in Auck­land, and also plays with the Australian World Orchestra.

Robert has appeared as soloist with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra performing Anthony Ritchie's viola concerto no. 1, world premiere of Ross Harris's Aria as well as performing Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante.

He has also performed as soloist with the Auckland Chamber Orchestra, and St. Matthew 's Chamber Orchestra.

With the Jade String Quartet he has toured throughout New Zealand with Arts on Tour, and as a CMNZ regional artist.

He has recorded for Atoll and Rattle labels as well as many performances recorded for Radio New Zealand.

Robert is a twice recipient of the Canada Coun­cil for the Arts Award for Emerg­ing Artists and has per­formed with var­i­ous groups at inter­na­tional cham­ber music fes­ti­vals in Europe, North Amer­ica, and Japan.

He has had the hon­our to study with vio­lists Thomas Riebl and Veronika Hagen at the Uni­ver­si­tät Mozar­teum in Salzburg, Aus­tria and with Ger­ald Stan­ick at the Uni­ver­sity of British Colum­bia in Van­cou­ver, Canada.

Robert plays a 1995 John Newton "cut-away" viola.

Sarah Watkins’ lifelong love for accompanying and chamber music has led to an impressive career as a performer and recording artist.

She is perhaps best known to New Zealand audiences as a founding member of NZTrio. After 16 years in that role, Sarah left the group in June 2018 to actively pursue other musical passions.

In addition to NZTrio, Sarah has been an official pianist for the Michael Hill International Violin Competition since its inception in 2001 and the Gisborne International Music Competition since 2008.

She regularly appears as a freelance player in the APO, and has also performed as concerto soloist with the APO, ACO and St. Matthew’s Chamber Orchestra.

In 2014 Sarah recorded Chris Watson's "sing songs self" for solo piano and orchestra with the NZSO, a composition which was awarded the prestigious 2015 SOUNZ Contemporary Award.

Her numerous CD recordings with NZTrio and other artists have been widely praised by audiences and critics alike; ‘Sway’ (NZTrio, 2017) and ‘Gung-ho’ (2009, with NZSO principal trombonist David Bremner) were both winners of the Vodafone NZ Music Award for best Classical album.

Sarah is a graduate of the University of Canterbury (NZ) and the Juilliard School (NY), where she earned both MM and DMA degrees in collaborative piano.

She was recently appointed as an artist teacher and chamber music coach at the University of Auckland, and she enjoys a wide variety of collaborations with musicians all over New Zealand.


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