Chamber Music Wanganui will host the second concert in the 2019 series this Saturday.

Co-ordinator Ingrid Culliford said it is a chance to hear two big names of the future.

"New Zealand baritone Julien Van Mellaerts is the only person to have ever won first prize in both the Kathleen Ferrier Awards and the Wigmore Hall Kohn Foundation International Song Competition.

"Together with world-renowned South African pianist James Baillieu, who is professor and head of piano accompaniment at the Royal Academy of Music in London, they are two of the leading young performers of art song and lieder."

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South African pianist James Baillieu will perform with New Zealand baritone Julien Van Mellaerts at the Prince Edward Auditorium for the second concert in the 2019 chamber music series.
South African pianist James Baillieu will perform with New Zealand baritone Julien Van Mellaerts at the Prince Edward Auditorium for the second concert in the 2019 chamber music series.

Van Mellaerts was recently a top prize winner in the Concours Musical International de Montreal, receiving glowing reviews in the British press.

Together with Baillieu, he will treat a Whanganui audience to "a beguiling selection of songs of travel, landscapes and drama", says Culliford.

The programme will include a new commission from New Zealand composer Gareth Farr, who has set to music short poems by Bill Manhire about our own iconic native birds.

There will also be Schumann's A Poets Life and whimsical arrangements of British folk songs by Benjamin Britten including O Waly Waly, The Sally Gardens and more.

"Julien and James explore a selection of art song ranging from the swooning nostalgia of A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square to Cole Porter's laugh-out-loud The Tale of the Oyster."

Van Mellaerts has the continued support of the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation, Hunn Trust, John Wates, Josephine Baker Trust, Concordia Foundation and the Peace and Prosperity Trust.

Julien Van Mellaerts with James Baillieu: Saturday, April 13 at 7.30pm. Prince Edward Auditorium, Whanganui Collegiate School. Tickets available in advance from the Royal Whanganui Opera House box office or at the door (no eftpos). Adults, $35, seniors $32, subscribers $20, students $5.