Together in Music

Welcome to Bach Musica NZ: Together in Music, our online feature which showcases the talents of our fantastic vocal and instrumental soloists. Over a 10 week series, we feature exclusive videos made by our musicians, as they play pieces that they love, to bring you music that touches the soul at home. Whether or not we can perform for you in concert, we believe that music will always bring us together.

Week Ten: Barkin Sertkaya, Guitar

Capricho Arabe by F. Tarrega
Partita in D minor No. 2, Chaconne by J. S. Bach (arr. Barkin Sertkaya)

“Francisco Tarrega is a big name In Spanish classical guitar music. He is one of my favourite composers and to this day, you can still hear the tunes that he has composed. His music is a romantic period repertoire staple for the modern guitarist. Here, in the cosiest of Auckland homes and workshop of the Kiwi luthier Rod Capper with the Alhambra mural ornamenting the background, I’m performing the Capricho Arabe, one of Tarrega’s most loved masterworks.

The genius of J. S. Bach touched upon the lute as well. He has written works for the baroque lute and transposed his works for the instrument. I like to play Bach’s music with different approaches each time I practice his works. At times with strong articulations and a strict rhythm and other times, with rubatoesque flexibility and a lot of vibrato. Here is an arrangement of mine for his famous work, BWV 1004 Partita No. 2 in d-moll for Violin, with the accompaniment of native birds in the background.”

Barkin Sertkaya is an internationally acclaimed guitarist and an academic. He performs frequently in New Zealand, directs the guitar studio at the University of Auckland – School of Music, and teaches in select schools in Auckland. He also lectured at the Bilkent University Faculty of Performing Arts and Music alongside his former teacher Prof. Kagan Korad and performed in numerous festivals and competitions throughout Europe. He holds more than a decade of experience in teaching in tertiary fields, while carrying out his career as a multi-instrumentalist with a specialization in classical guitar.
The unique repertoire he performs as a soloist includes J. S. Bach arrangements, Rodrigo, Dyens, Lobos, Romantic period guitar, and a contemporary Eastern European playlist of Bogdanovic, Bayraktar and Domeniconi that concentrates on Anatolian culturescapes.

Week Nine: Iain Tetley, Tenor

“Schöner Himmel, öffne dich!”
G. H. Stölzel

Schöner Himmel, öffne dich!    Open up, o beautiful heavens!
Wenn der Tod die Augen bricht   When through death my eyes grow dim
daß alsdenn mein Glaubenslicht   so that the light of my belief then
durch die lichte Öffnung blicke    peeks through the luminous opening
und mich auf dem Weg erquicke   strengthening me on my way
bis du ganz beseligst mich.     until I reach my full bliss in you.
Schöner Himmel, öffne dich!    Open up, o beautiful heavens!

Recording: Franco Viganoni
Photography: Hans Weichselbaum and Peter Jennings

Iain Tetley sang in England from his youth, gaining his music degree at the University of East Anglia, Norwich. Since coming to New Zealand in 1997, he has performed as a choir member and tenor and baritone soloist with Auckland’s leading choirs, and was a member of Auckland chamber choir Musica Sacra from 1998 to 2013. He has built a strong reputation as a tenor soloist, singing in many concerts with Bach Musica NZ.
Iain sang in an octet for the Queen in Taupo, and among many appearances in Auckland has performed with former choirmaster of St Paul’s Cathedral, London, John Scott, sung the baritone role in Carmina Burana with Auckland Choral, and as the tenor soloist alongside international countertenor Andreas Scholl. He was one of 30 singers selected to perform Tallis’s 40-part motet Spem in Alium with the Tallis Scholars, in Holy Trinity Cathedral.
He has also sung with City Choir Dunedin as the Evangelist in Bach’s St Matthew Passion and Christmas Oratorio, and as the Roasting Swan in Carmina Burana with Nelson Civic Choir.
Iain’s degree specialised in Conducting, and he has conducted four Auckland choirs since 1998, combining three of them for the Auckland premiere of The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace at the Auckland Town Hall. He now lives in Wanganui, where he conducts Schola Sacra Choir.

Week Eight: Elizabeth Mandeno, Soprano

“I know that my redeemer liveth”, Messiah
“V’adoro, pupille”, Giulio Cesare
G. F. Handel

“These two pieces come from two works very special to me, both of which I performed in their entirety last year: one of the many gorgeous arias from Handel’s opera Giulio Cesare, and my favourite aria from the very famous and much-loved Messiah. I often find music from this era feels like coming home for my voice. As this was recorded in lockdown without access to a pianist or orchestra, I have used pre-recorded backing tracks for this performance – quite a venture out of my comfort zone! – but I still very much enjoyed creating this video for you.”

Recording: James Dalton

Elizabeth Mandeno has an MA in Advanced Vocal Technique from the Wales International Academy of Voice, where she studied with Dennis O’Neill and Nuccia Focile. She previously studied at the University of Auckland, and has been both a Freemasons Opera Artist and a Freemasons Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist with NZ Opera. Elizabeth has performed as a soloist alongside Dame Felicity Lott and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, and as part of the International Choral Festival in Beijing. In 2019 she won the Lockwood New Zealand Aria, and will appear as a Bridesmaid in NZ Opera’s 2020 production of Le Nozze di Figaro.
Notable opera and concert performances include Handel’s Messiah (Auckland Choral, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra), Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare (Handel Consort and Quire NZ), Haydn’s Creation (NZ Choral Federation), Jane Kendall in This Other Eden by Anthony Ritchie (Opera Otago, world premiere), Bach B Minor Mass (Bach Musica NZ), Where Moons Circle and Burn by Louise Webster (Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, world premiere), Death of a Bullfighter by Jonathan Mandeno (Aventa Ensemble Canada, world premiere) Adele in Die Fledermaus (Opera Factory) and Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire (University of Auckland).

Week Seven: Joel Amosa, Bass-Baritone

“But who may abide the day of his coming”, Messiah, G. F. Handel
“Were you there”, Negro Spiritual, H. T. Burleigh

“For as long as I’ve been singing, I have always felt a deep connection to sacred song, mass, hymns and spirituals. Everything in that category I just gravitate towards, and I feel a much more fulfilling performance at the end of it. My Christian faith and upbringing plays a huge part in who I am. So to be in a position to sing these biblical stories from Handel’s Messiah, or Mendelssohn’s Elijah – I feel a strong sense of spreading the gospel. With negro spirituals, again, I go to another level of comfort and musicianship, and just want to tell the stories that can be felt deep down for the listener.
‘But who may abide’: traditionally sung by the Alto soloist, I love that in my debut with Bach Musica NZ, we performed Mozart’s Arrangement of this work and the Bass was able to sing this aria. It’s both calm, questioning and fiery. A great opening aria for any soloist.
‘Were you there’: this was one of the very first negro spirituals I learnt and performed. It has always had a close meaning to me, as do many other spirituals I perform.”

Piano: Ludwig Treviranus

Samoan Bass-baritone Joel Amosa is no stranger to the Bach Musica NZ family, debuting with the organisation in 2013 with Mozart’s arrangement of Handel’s Messiah. Since then, Joel has gone on to perform up and down the country as a freelance opera singer, performing in Australia, Samoa and Rarotonga. In 2018 Joel won the prestigious Lexus Song Quest competition which opened the doors to opera performances in San Diego, Italian Masterclasses in Petrolo and Parma, Italy, making his New Zealand Opera Debut is 2019 as Fiorello in The Barber of Seville and his Australian Debut at the Lisa Gasteen National Opera School as John Falstaff in the Nicolai’s comedic representation of The Merry Wives of Windsor. Outside of his singing career, Joel is the Regional Admin Manager for ASB Bank, Central Auckland Region.

Week Six: Raeul Pierard, Cello

Suite in D major for solo Viola da Gamba (Prélude; Courante; Récit et Air Fugué; Menuet), G. Ph. Telemann.
The Flying Gardens, Andrew Perkins

Born into a large family and surrounded constantly by music, Raeul began learning the cello when he was eight and hasn’t been able to put it down since. University study was a natural consequence of his affliction, with teachers Georg Pederson and Coral Bognuda at Auckland University. And then, bitten by the technology bug he pursued a dual career as cello teacher and design engineer until cello lured him back to full time music, gaining him a Masters degree with Honours with Martin Rummel from the University of Auckland. Since then, Raeul has taught at Auckland University, broadcasts regularly with Concert FM as a National Recording Artist, and has played full-time with the Auckland Philharmonia while accepting a growing number of invitations to play concertos, recitals and chamber music throughout New Zealand. Further study with England’s top Baroque cellist, Richard Tunnicliffe inspired him to perform the complete cycle of Bach Suites for Solo Cello as a regular full-moon event, dubbed ‘Baching At the Moon’. Recent concerts in Europe include a series of recitals in France to launch the Puygiron Art Festival, in Provence, appearances at the Festival Royère de Vassivière, near Limoges, and the Concerts dans la Serre Festival, Buxy, Burgundy, and recitals in Paris, Berlin and London.
The cello Raeul is playing is a faithful facsimile of the Montagnana “Sleeping Beauty”, crafted sixteen years ago by Waikato Luthier, Noel Sweetman. The original “Sleeping Beauty” currently played by cellist Yoyo Ma, was used for his most recent videos and recordings of solo Bach. Yoyo brought even greater fame to the cello by once inadvertently leaving it behind on a New York taxi!
Raeul is resident in Tokaanu and teaches and performs full-time. It is a life-style of constant discoveries of ever-greater depths in sensitivities, music and humanity. He wouldn’t have it any other way. He has played regularly with Bach Musica NZ since 2000.

Week Five: Anna Simmons, Soprano
Angus Simmons, Baritone

“The Infinite Shining Heavens”, Vaughan Williams
“Frère! voyez!… Du gai soleil”, J. Massenet
“Bei Männern”, W.A. Mozart

Piano: David Kelly
Recording: Franco Viganoni

Tauranga-born, Auckland based soprano Anna Simmons graduated from Waikato University with a Bachelor of Music with First Class Honours in 2016, where she was also a Sir Edmund Hilary Scholar. She has been a member of the Freemasons New Zealand Opera Chorus since 2015 and has appeared in Tosca, The Mikado, Carmen, Candide, L’Elisir d’Amore, Aida and La Boheme. She has appeared as a soloist with various choral societies around the country as well as premiering two works by Janet Jennings one of which being critically acclaimed opera Flowing Water (Mary Jane). Anna has enjoyed successes at many regional vocal competitions including first prizes in the Dame Malvina Major Foundation Christchurch Aria (2019), Richard Carey Senior Programme (Tauranga, 2017) and Norah Howell Award (Hamilton, 2017). Anna has attended the New Zealand Opera School from 2017-2020. Anna is a Dame Malvina Major Foundation Studio Artist with New Zealand Opera for the 2019/2020 season and is grateful for the Foundation’s support.

Christchurch-born, Auckland-based baritone Angus Simmons, graduated from University of Canterbury with a Bachelor of Music with First Class Honours in 2017. Angus has been a member of the Freemasons New Zealand Opera (NZO) Chorus since 2014, performing in La bohème, Madame Butterfly, La Traviata, The Mikado, Carmen and Le Damnation de Faust, Tosca, Candide, The Elixir of Love and The Barber of Seville. He has toured nationally as part of NZO’s Opera in Schools programme in productions of The Elixir of Love (Belcore) and The Barber of Seville (Figaro). Angus was a 2019 Dame Malvina Major Foundation Emerging Artist with New Zealand Opera. In September 2020, Angus will be moving to Dresden, Germany to pursue his operatic career in Europe. This will include working with coaches at the Semperoper Dresden, as well as studying in Trevsio, Italy with renown voice teacher Sherman Lowe. The past three years, Angus has attended the New Zealand Opera School in Whanganui and taken part in masterclasses, including one taken by Jordan de Souza (Erste Kappelmesiter, Komische Oper Berlin). Angus is extremely grateful for the support support shown by The Opera Foundation and Dame Malvina Major Foundation.

Week Four: Tony Yan Tong Chen, Piano

Prelude and Fugue No. 3, J.S. Bach
Petrarch Sonnet 104, F. Liszt

“Playing Bach for Bach Musica NZ seems like a cliche, but to me the relevance of Bach’s music can’t ever be overstated. Refusing to adopt the contenance angloise style of the emerging Classical period, he wasn’t as respected by his contemporaries as he was by later composers who rediscovered his work. His intricate counterpoint went on to inspire such great works in the piano literature such as in Beethoven’s late sonatas, Schubert’s Wanderer Fantasy, and Liszt’s Sonata – all of which contain fugal elements. The independence of several melodic voices in a fugue gives rise to a complex texture that evokes imagery and narratives that melody and accompaniment alone sometimes fail to do. Fugues can so beautifully capture the complexity of any topic a composer wishes to express.”

“Liszt’s Tre Sonetti del Petrarca started life as songs. He received the inspiration for them from Petrarch’s Sonnets while travelling in Italy with Marie, Countess d’Agoult, in 1838-39. They were reworked as piano solos, eventually appearing in the 1850s in the second volume of the Années – Italie; but by then Marie had been superseded in Liszt’s affections by Carolyne von Sayn-Wittgenstein. There are mood swings in the piece similar to the contrasts in the poem, with moments of great tenderness and repose giving way to torment and anguish.”

‘I find no peace, and yet I make no war:
and fear, and hope: and burn, and I am ice:
and fly above the sky, and fall to earth,
and clutch at nothing, and embrace the world.

One imprisons me, who neither frees nor jails me,
nor keeps me to herself nor slips the noose:
and Love does not destroy me, and does not loose me,
wishes me not to live, but does not remove my bar.

I see without eyes, and have no tongue, but cry:
and long to perish, yet I beg for aid:
and hold myself in hate, and love another.

I feed on sadness, laughing weep:
death and life displease me equally:
and I am in this state, lady, because of you.’

Winner of the 2019 Wallace National Piano Competition, 20 year old Tony Yan Tong Chen was born in Auckland and currently studies at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York with Professor Alan Chow. During his time in New Zealand, he studied with Able Zhu and later with Rae de Lisle under the Young Scholars Program at the University of Auckland. He was the winner of several regional competitions around New Zealand and won scholarships from the Dame Malvina Major Foundation, Waikanae Music Society, and Manukau Symphony. Since moving to the United States, Tony has been awarded 2nd Prize (Alternate Winner) in the MTNA Young Artist Competition in New York.
The generous support of Arts Patron Jack Richards has enabled Tony to attend festivals in Canada, Switzerland, and Spain, where he has concertized in prominent venues and performed in masterclasses for distinguished pianists including Jerome Lowenthal, Alexander Kobrin, Douglas Humpherys, Boris Slutsky, Pavel Nercessian, Edith Fischer, Pierre Reach, among others.
Tony attended the Macleans College in Auckland, where he served as the concertmaster of the Symphony, chamber and musical production orchestras and the principal trumpet of the concert and jazz bands. He achieved dipABRSM with distinction on violin, and ABRSM Grade 8 on both trumpet and french horn. He has enjoyed playing in ensembles including the Auckland Symphony, Auckland Youth Orchestra, Manukau Symphony, and Wairua Sinfonietta.
Tony is currently residing at home in Auckland, enjoying the time he has been given to spend with his family and dog (Japanese Spitz), Fluffy.

Week Three: Alison Dunlop, Oboe

Songs without Words
Opus 19, No. 1 (for Oboe and Piano)
Opus 53, No. 22 (for Cor Anglais and Piano)
Opus 19, No. 4 (for Oboe D’amore and Piano)

F. Mendelssohn

“I was very much looking forward to playing my oboe d’amore, cor anglais and oboe in Bach Musica NZ’s April scheduled performance of St Matthew Passion, but obviously that wasn’t able to happen, so it’s really nice to have this opportunity to perform a short piece on each of them. These Mendelssohn piano pieces are special to me as I remember learning to play them on the piano in my teens. My late Mum adored them and played them very well (I particularly remember her playing the Opus 19, No. 1), so I was delighted when I met David Walter from the Paris Conservatoire and discovered that he’d made these beautiful arrangements for oboe and piano.”

Alison Dunlop is Principal Oboe with Bach Musica NZ . From a musical family, Alison (née Peak) began learning the piano at age 3, and the oboe at 7. She obtained her LTCL in Oboe performance in London whilst studying with Sarah Burton in the UK in 1992.
Alison studied for her BSc degree at the University of Auckland, graduating in 1995 majoring in Psychology and Mathematics. Using this degree she worked as a Business Analyst for 8 years, still maintaining her strong interest in music.
Alison has played principal oboe in Bach Musica NZ since 2005. She’s also principal oboe of Pipers Sinfonia, and plays regularly with Auckland Chamber Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia, Dunedin Symphony Orchestra and the Hawkes Bay Orchestra.
In 2015 Alison released the CD ‘Trinity’, a selection of Bach soprano arias with oboe obbligato. Featuring the Austrian soprano Ursula Langmayr and recorded on the Atoll label, this compliation has been well-received both locally and abroad.
Alison is also an experienced choral singer and has sung with the nationally selected group Voices New Zealand since 1999. She currently sings with the university based Auckland Chamber Choir. Married, Alison combines her successful music career with a busy family life, raising her 3 young sons, and keeping fit.

Sheryl Clarke, Piano
Sheryl studied at the University of Auckland with Janetta McStay and Bryan Sayer. An ABRSM scholarship took her to the U.K for postgraduate study at the Royal Academy in London, where she won many prizes, including the Walter Macfarren Prize for the best female pianist in the Recital Diploma examination. Currently, Sheryl is in demand as an accompanist and teacher.

Week Two: Luca Manghi, Flute

Fantasy No. 10 in F# minor for solo flute, A tempo giusto – Presto – Moderato, G. Ph. Telemann

“This fantasy is one of a set of 12 fantasies for unaccompanied flute, which are an important part of the solo flute repertoire. Telemann composed a number of works for flute without bass, in which he achieved a convincing harmonic architecture using a melodic instrument. In the tenth fantasy, the flute plays both the melody and sketches in a bass line, which almost gives the impression of two instruments. The structure of the fantasy is free and improvisatory. Dynamics and phrasing are left to the player, who is able to use their personal taste with regard to articulation and ornamentation. I enjoy performing these works because they allow so much creativity and are a bit different every time I play them, and they are also very entertaining and musically rewarding for the audience.”

Dr. Luca Manghi is Principal Flute with Bach Musica NZ , the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra, and the Auckland Chamber Orchestra, and appears frequently with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. He teaches flute and chamber music at the University of Otago, the University of Waikato and the Akaroa International Summer Festival, and has also taught at the University of Auckland and the Levallois Conservatory in Paris.

Luca was born in Parma, Italy. He studied at the Boito Conservatory in Parma, and at the Accademia Perosi in Biella, under Peter Lukas Graf. He went on to study with Sir William Bennett in Rome and with Jean Ferrandis in Paris. He won first prizes at the UFAM International Competition in Paris, the Genova International Competition, and the Concorso Cimarosa International Competition. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Otago.

He was Principal Flute of the Orchestra Filarmonica di Parma (1991 to 1996) and the Orchestra Filarmonica Italiana (1992 to 1998). He is a member of the Donizetti Trio, which toured New Zealand in 2014 and 2019 for Chamber Music New Zealand. He has performed at the Australian Flute Festival on three occasions as a guest recitalist, and has given performances in Italy for the New Zealand Government, and at the Anghiari Festival. He is a language coach for New Zealand Opera, and teaches at the New Zealand Opera School.

Luca performs on the albums Quays (Atoll ACD882), play-pen (Atoll ACD221) and Tones (Rattle Records RAT-D089).

Week One: Yanghe Yu, Violin

Solo Sonata No. 3, Adagio, J. S Bach

“Bach’s Solo Sonata No. 3 is one of my all-time personal favourites, and this first movement, the Adagio, is such a unique piece which reminds me of the minimalist music of the 20th century. By creating a thoughtful harmonic line with such a repeated rhythm throughout the whole piece, this movement achieves some mysterious and powerful energy which can be observed in everything in our lives. Like all of Bach’s work, his music is not only about beauty, but also the truth of the universe.”

Yanghe Yu is the Concertmaster of Bach Musica NZ, and a first violinist with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. Born in China, Yanghe began playing violin at the age of five. He received his Bachelor of Arts (Music) degree from China Conservatory and Masters of Music at San Francisco Conservatory of Music. His former teachers include Wei He, Catherine van Hoesen and Kathleen Winkler.

Yanghe served as tutti first violinist in Zhejiang Symphony Orchestra from 2011 to 2012, and was awarded a violin fellowship with the New World Symphony from 2015 to 2016. He also played as substitute violinist with San Francisco Symphony during their 2015-2016 season. Yanghe is an active chamber musician and teacher, he attends many music events with world-class reputations as either performer or tutor, including the Salzburg Music Festival (2010), Valdres Music Festival in Norway (2013), and Casals Music Festival in San Juan, Porto Rico (2016). In 2013 he was a semifinalist in the Irvine M. Klein International String Competition, and he was the winner of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Concerto Competition in 2014.

Yanghe joined the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in 2016. From 2017 Yanghe became the violin tutor of Auckland String Quartet Summer School, he has been the Concertmaster of Bach Musica NZ since 2018. As a soloist, Yanghe has performed with San Francisco Conservatory’s Orchestra, the Stockton Symphony Orchestra, Bach Musica NZ, and also with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in one of their season main series of 2018.

Yanghe Yu performs on a Nicolas Vuillaume Violin from 1862, and enjoys life in Auckland with his lovely wife and son.

Keep the music alive!

Music is more important now than ever. We would be most grateful for any donation towards supporting our talented musicians and our organization while we cannot perform. Donations qualify for a tax rebate.

Project funding

Bach Musica NZ: Together in Music has been made possible through the generous support of Creative NZ.