NZ string qrtTrust a bunch of New Zealanders and a Canadian to forge a great friendship through the unlikely invitation to “go jump in the lake.”

Our four intrepid string players were guests in Ontario where clarinettist James Campbell is artistic director of the Parry Sound Festival. One autumnal day at his lakeside cottage, he laid down the ultimate challenge for visiting musicians. They didn’t disappoint, and have returned every year since. The friendship between these players finds its perfect expression in the intimate, conversational art form of chamber music.

Here they play Brahms, who came out of retirement for the clarinet. Also Mozart, for whose clarinet repertoire we have Anton Stadler to thank. He designed the modern clarinet and his playing inspired Mozart’s much-loved concerto, the wind serenades, and the glorious clarinet quintet we’ll hear tonight.

Also in this concert, world premières of three works by aspiring young New Zealand composers: Tabea Squire, Karlo Margetic and Natalie Hunt.

James Campbell was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1997 and remains one of the “pre-eminent clarinet virtuosos” in the world. He has performed in over 30 countries, recorded over 40 landmark CDs, and worked with everyone from the Amadeus and Guarneri Quartets to Aaron Copland and Glenn Gould.

Listen to the Upbeat interview with Canadian clarinettist James Campbell.

James Campbell (cl), New Zealand String Quartet

MOZART: Clarinet Quintet in A K581; MARGETIC: Sinnet; SQUIRE: Jet-Lag; HUNT: Matariki; Data Entry Groove; BRAHMS: Clarinet Quintet in B minor Op 115

Recorded in the Auckland Town Hall by Radio New Zealand Concert