Whakatipu Music Festival

April 11 2022 by Anne Rodda

Queenstown has had a tough go of it but we’ve got just the tincture to bring the community out from under its Covid duvet: Ten concerts, two free public talks, twelve targeted workshops, 100 musos and even a day of culture immersion – that’s what’s on offer at the 2022 Whakatipu Music Festival this week.

This year’s festival is broader than last – the musical fare is rich and varied and LIVE. Sublime classical music by our nation’s finest is complemented with jazz, singer-songwriting, the best of Broadway and taonga pūoro.  Workshops by our world-class festival artists given (freely and happily!) across the district for students, their teachers and enthusiastic community musicians give a turbo-boost to year-round lessons and rehearsals. 

It’s an all-in immersive experience that starts when our 12 young artists arrive early this week. To close off the festival on Easter Monday, we’ve created something pretty special and unique. We’ve commissioned a work specifically to invite all local musicians to play together and alongside professional artists. There is still time to dust off that saxophone or instrument of choice and warm up your vocal chords – we want you to take part!!! We’ll happily send you the music (and even some practice videos) for this fantastic Kia Kōpuni (‘all together’) activity.

Or for those who are more inclined to learn and absorb, our new ‘Taste of Art’ day on Saturday 16 is just the ticket: a fully-curated day to learn about taonga pūoro and some classical repertoire staples, plus a full breakfast at Hotel St Moritz, a private guided tour of Starkwhite Gallery with its director, lunch and wine tasting at Nockie’s Palette Wines cellar door, and a concert. All meals, tickets and transportation wrapped into a one gorgeous day out. 

Planning and delivering any event in a Covid environment is a bit fraught, but Janey Labes (the guru of Covid health and safety amongst other skills) and I concluded that we could, in fact, present a meaningful festival. Such is the nature of chamber music – it’s meant to be performed in smaller settings, and a festival such as this is really a series of small concerts. 

So by holding our nerve, we’ve walked straight down the middle of event planning and been greeted every step of the way with enthusiasm and gratitude. There’s a palpable energy driving the artists and community towards our event. The show must go on and by crickey… it’s going to!

So, Queenstown! Crawl out from under your duvet and enjoy some live music again.

Anne Rodda
Whakatipu Music Festival Director

The details are all here:

- Anne Rodda