Whanganui chamber music enthusiasts are in for a treat with the return of piano maestro Liam Wooding to his hometown.
Wooding will present his solo recital Reflections and Connections at the Whanganui War Memorial Centre on Thursday as a stop on his Chamber Music NZ tour.
Ingrid Culliford, of Chamber Music Wanganui, said the programme would feature pieces on the themes of reflection and contemplation as well as connections across time, space and through barriers.
"As well as Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, and Debussy's Images Book 1, Liam brings us a brand new work by Australian Stuart Greenbaum, Remote Connection inspired by the experience of isolation over Covid, music by Duke Ellington and John Adams, and the rare chance to hear Douglas Lilburn's often-overlooked Sonata in F sharp minor," Culliford said.
The themes are appropriate to Wooding's own experiences since leaving Whanganui in 2017 after being selected to take part in the Australian National Academy of Music's professional performance programme in Melbourne.
While his transtasman lifestyle of study and performance has suffered some Covid-19 disruptions, Wooding has earned praise on both sides of the ocean and was a prizewinner in the National Concerto Competition, performing with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.
He has also featured as a soloist with the Auckland Chamber Orchestra and Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.
Other recent and upcoming appearances include the Auckland Arts Festival, Wakatipu Music Festival, Melbourne Recital Centre, University of Western Australia, University of Adelaide, and Flinders University. Last year, Wooding was an artist in residence at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Canada.
In 2019 Wooding released his first commercial recording, Play Pen, which spent several weeks at the top of the Radio New Zealand classical music charts.
He is currently based at the University of Waikato where he is a doctoral candidate researching New Zealand piano music.
Culliford said Chamber Music Wanganui wished to acknowledge Pak'nSave Whanganui for their sponsorship of Wooding's Whanganui concert.
Liam Wooding: Reflections and Connections, Whanganui War Memorial Centre, 7.30pm, Thursday, July 22. Tickets available from Royal Whanganui Opera House, phone 06 349 0511. Adults $35, seniors $32, CMW members $20, students $5.