Villani is an exciting group of young classical musicians performing in the city tomorrow night.

The Rotorua Music Federation organises five chamber music concerts every year and chose Villani, "because they have come together with the passion to perform rarely played piano quartets from composers such as Brahms, Mahler, Schumann and many others," said federation secretary, Madeline Lauder.

"They are a sparkly emerging group playing some really beautiful repertoire. The expertise in the group is extensive and award-winning with all four players receiving accolades for their solo and chamber performances in New Zealand and overseas."

Sarah Spence and Marko Pop Ristov have joined forces with established Auckland musicians Flavio Villani and Helen Bevin to create the ensemble.


Ristov has his masters in chamber music from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. His piano quartet, the Ristov Quartet in its two-year existence performed on many festivals across Europe.

n 2010 the Ristov Quartet performed the "Rombach" piano trio by P. Dusapin for the BBC Proms. Ristov moved to New Zealand in 2013, and since has been a regular player with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and Auckland Chamber Orchestra, as well as section leader of "Bach Musica".

Spence has a German Equivalent Master of Chamber Music from the Robert Schumann Musik Hochschule. In her final year, she met Solo Cellist of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and was invited to study her masters with him in Duesseldorf. She was a founding member of the Eris Ensemble, with whom she has recorded a CD of contemporary Scottish music. Spence plays on a Royal Forster Cello, circa 1790.

Bevin gained a Masters of Music with Distinction from Guildhall School of Music & Drama in 2011, studying under Rachel Roberts. She then spent two years in London freelancing with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, and touring extensively throughout Europe and China.

Villani completed a Bachelor of Piano Performance with Matteo Napoli at the Conservatory "G.Martucci"in Salerno in 2007. He has performed extensively in New Zealand and abroad including performing the Rachmaninoff Concerto No 2 with the Orchestra Filarmonica of Calabria in Italy and again with the Orchestra of CalArts in Los Angeles at the beginning of 2015.

"We have come together with the passion to perform rarely played piano quartets from composers such as Brahms, Mahler, Schumann and many others.

"We hope to fill a niche for performing piano quartets in New Zealand: to our knowledge there are no piano quartets regularly performing and the Villani Piano Quartet will provide the platform for audiences to experience these wonderful works," said Villani.

What: Villani Piano Quartet
Where: Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre
When: Saturday 7.30pm
Tickets: $30 adult; $15 students 18-25 years.