Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra's Pastoral concert effortlessly fulfilled its promise of two star performances — from Scottish conductor Douglas Boyd and Amalia Hall, one of our country's most talented young violinists.

In 2017, Boyd's meticulous ear for detail fetchingly spruced up familiar Mendelssohn and Beethoven; in this performance, he fired the orchestral strings to give a blistering account of Elgar's Introduction and Allegro.

In music that was rugged and tender by turns, sometimes within the space of a bar, Boyd gave us bold striding lines and fierce tremolos exploding in cascading scales. A quartet of soloists, led by Andrew Beer, made