A Queenstown classic


Queenstown’s getting a classical treat this weekend.

Four local musos are bringing ‘A Classical Summer Afternoon’ to The Sherwood on Saturday.
Soprano Tamaki Lida, pianists Masaki Nakazawa and Kana Takahashi and cellist Lara Laverdure will all take the stage for only the second time as a group.

But, with years of experience under their hats and having been practising together since May, there’s no shortage of talent.

The afternoon will be filled with an eclectic mix of contemporary classical music, with the second half devoted to classical Christmas music.

It was piano teacher Takahashi who brought the group together in October when she organised a concert for Lida but asked Laverdure and Nakazawa to play as guests.

Although, Laverdure had been practising with Takahashi since May.

“We all appreciate that we are quite good and we like playing with each other, our personalities fit and our style of playing,” Laverdure says.

The three other group members are originally from Japan, while Laverdure is French-Canadian.

She’s been playing the cello for about 20 years now, and has been in Queenstown for the past four of those years.

She tries to sneak in at least one hour of practice daily depending on work.

Laverdure reckons because there aren’t many classical music groups or concerts in town it can be really educational for those who are keen.

“If people are learning a classical instrument it’s quite nice for them to hear professionals play and get inspired and, you know, just enjoy what other people have done and what you can do with the instrument.”

She says there’s a bit of a gap in the resort when it comes to classical music and partially puts that down to lack of facilities.

While there’s a lot of indie, pop and rock in town, which sees those musos included in festivals and events, classical music often goes by the wayside, she says.

She has to drive six hours to Christchurch if she wants to get the strings on her cello fixed.

Laverdure has one student who takes regular cello lessons and she has to hire her instrument all the way from Auckland but then has the same trouble if anything needs fixed up.

Catch the musicians performing ‘A Classical Summer Afternoon’, The Sherwood, Saturday, from 1.30pm, $10 door sales