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Vox Fem - Stroma

25 Oct 2018
Stroma, New Zealand’s leading new music ensemble, commemorates 125 years of Women’s Suffrage in New Zealand.
Event type: 
Adult $30; Student (with ID) $20. Service fees may
Hannah Playhouse
12 Cambridge Tce, Wellington
Overseas, National, Wellington


A composition commemoration in honour of 125 years of Women’s Suffrage

Stroma​, New Zealand’s leading new music ensemble, commemorates ​125 years of Women’s Suffrage​ in New Zealand with ​Vox Fem​ on ​Thursday 25 October at Hannah Playhouse​ – a concert of dynamic and diverse new works by female composers from New Zealand and Australia.

“As a founding member of Stroma, I’m proud of how many fabulous works by female composers we’ve performed over the past 18 years,” says ​Bridget Douglas​, Principal Flute of the NZSO and Stroma. “What better way to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Kate Shepherd’s suffrage achievement than with a concert profiling new works by Australasian female composers.”

Stroma is proud to share the music of ​Jasmine Lovell-Smith​, ​Sarah Ballard​, Alison Isadora​, ​Antonia Barnett-McIntosh​, ​Eve de Castro-Robinson​ and ​Lisa Illean​ in a high-octane cross-genre, cross-cultural collaboration that includes leading Wellington jazz octet ​The Jac​, soprano ​Barbara Paterson​ and a quartet of players of traditional Indian instruments.

Recently back from studies in New York, acclaimed young New Zealand composer Jasmine Lovell-Smith​ presents her world premiere of ​Cerulean Haze (for jazz octet and ensemble),​ written especially for The Jac and Stroma. Jasmine says of her work:

“I'm currently very interested in bridging the divide between the art worlds of jazz and concert music, so composing for this combined, cross-genre ensemble has been a great experience. In ​Cerulean Haze, I​ have​ e​xplored many of the colourful combinations of instruments that have been made possible through combining these two ensembles."

Paramātmā​ by award winning composer ​Sarah Ballard​ features the sounds of traditional Indian instruments – the bansuri, karatalas and mridanga – and the transcendental sound vibration of Sanskrit verses from the prime yoga text the Bhagavad-Gita.​ Sarah says of her new work:

“Keeping these sounds afloat, the Stroma ensemble will lead the listener through glimpses of the nature of ​Paramātmā,​ the Supersoul seated in everyone’s heart. I’m looking forward to working with these two groups of expert musicians and hearing the union of beauty between the mellifluous lines and textures that these traditional instruments and their modern counterparts are capable of producing.”

Stroma is thrilled to be returning to the Hannah Playhouse after their sold-out, groundbreaking season of ​Mechanical Ballet​ at the New Zealand Festival earlier this year.


Hamish McKeich​ ​(conductor)
Barbara Paterson​ ​(soprano)
The Jac​ ​(jazz octet)
Swami Madhuram Puri ​(bansuri)
Laurence Baker​ ​(harmonium + voice)
Pavla Charapovova ​(karatalas)
Thomas Vine​ ​(mridanga)


Eve de Castro-Robinson​ (NZ) • ​Quiet at her window​ for soprano and ensemble
Lisa Illean​ (AUS) • ​Cantor​ for soprano and ensemble
Alison Isadora​ (NZ/NL) • ​Stemmen
Sarah Ballard​ (NZ) • ​Paramātmā​ for Indian musicians and ensemble
Jasmine Lovell-Smith​ (NZ) • ​Cerulean Haze (for jazz octet and ensemble)
Antonia Barnett-McIntosh​ (NZ) • ​clear run


Thursday 25 October, 7:30–9:00 pm
Hannah Playhouse, 12 Cambridge Tce, Wellington
TICKETS: ​Adult $30; Student (with ID) $20. Service fees may apply.
FREE PRE-SHOW TALK: ​We invite you to join us at the Hannah Playhouse before the performance at 6.45pm for a 30-minute Q&A with conductor Hamish McKeich and the composers.


Stroma is an artistic team combining musicians at the highest standards of excellence in New Zealand. It is committed to engaging audiences with the music of living composers. At the core of this team lies the creative brilliance of composer Michael Norris (recently nominated as a finalist for the 2018 SOUNZ Contemporary Award) and acclaimed NZSO conductor Hamish McKeich, whose leadership during the past 15 years has produced innovative programmes unique to New Zealand and introduced audiences to new ideas from the global musical community.

Since its inception in 2000, Stroma has not only commissioned and premiered more than 50 new works, but has also given repeat performances to more than 40 existing NZ works.


Written by

Brianne Kerr Publicity

8 Oct 2018

Interests: I am an enthusiastic and effective publicist who can help you grow an audience, launch an event, plan media involvement, and enhance your project. I have a working knowledge of New Zealand wide media and am actively involved in the Wellington arts community.