Reviews

“Robin Toan’s Concertino, another MSO commission, has also been cleverly written to cater to orchestral strengths. There was an attractive mix between a quartet of spruce woodwind soloists (Melody Lin, Joy Liu, Julia Cornfield and Philip Sumner) and the players around them. Splashes of percussion with sprightly lines darting every which way revealed Toan’s expertise with an orchestral canvas.” -William Dart

“Robin Toan’s Twitter took to the great outdoors. Who might have thought walking the dog in a bird-filled park would occasion such invention?” -William Dart

“Robin Toan’s Barcelona Postcards was more sharply fashioned. Evocative scoring caught the flittering of aquarium fish while trills teetered on Gaudi spires. Stravinsky may even have been tempted to join in one of two waltzes delivered with gusto.” -William Dart

“Witch Scarers was a piece inspired by a building designed by the famous architect Gaudi, an eight-storey apartment ‘La Predrera’ which is constructed using no straight lines. The music had a big and imposing ambience, rather like Malcolm Arnold’s Tam O’Shanter, redolent of darkness and black magic, and punctuated by scintillations of sulphurous intent – a work demonstrating the young composer’s skills at writing effectively for a large orchestra.” -Peter Mechen


“The highlight of the evening for me was Tutukaka for violin and piano by NZ composer Robin Toan, who is only 24. A highly creative piece, challenging each performer to produce sounds from violin and piano which cannot be notated – the chant of cicadas and the crashing of waves.”
-Mike Nettman, Northern News


“Tutukaka, a composition especially written for this tour by Robin Toan was commissioned by the Chamber Music New Zealand Trust. The work was inspired by memories of summer holidays spent in Northland. Amazing (and often surprising!) sound effects reflected boogie boarding, cicadas, the lighthouse and the ever present sound of the Pacific beaches.”
-Otago District Times


“An accolade should be given to the trust for the commissioning of Tutukaka by Robin Toan. This post-modernistic piece is highly imaginative, sensitive and well-structured. It explores some unusual and colourful sounds and these were performed with panache by the duo. The first torrent of piano sound following the beautiful violin opening was memorable, while the wide range of tone colours stimulated some adventurous listening on the part of the audience. The duo gave a convincing performance with faithful attention to the fine details of Tutukaka.”
-John Rimmer, The Nelson Mail


“Violinist Vanessa Tam impressed with a spirited rendition of Robin Toan’s Violaceous, revealing a more intimate and experimental side to the composer who wrote the spectacular Tua-mata-uenga for this year’s NZSO NYO.”
-William Dart, The New Zealand Herald

“Young composer Robin Toan contributed a superbly confident, skillfully orchestrated, work…” -John Button


“…the Youth Orchestra produced a rousing driving rhythmically strong piece in Tu- mata-uenga “God of War, Spirit of Man” written by young Auckland composer (and ex NYO member) Robin Toan. It is very skilfully written, imaginative and well orchestrated to utilise the qualities of the orchestra.”
-Garth Wilshere, Capital Times


“Robin Toan’s is a work that provides further encouraging notice of local composers responding to our region’s cultural heritage of myth and legend. It’s music that tells us about ourselves and our world in a way that no other music can. Altogether “Tu-mata-uenga” made for an arresting and compelling musical experience, played with enormous gusto, and just as enthusiastically received by its audience.”
-Peter Mechen

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Young Guns in Town - NSZO NYO 2005, The New Zealand Herald, August 24, 2005Young Guns in Town – NSZO NYO 2005, The New Zealand Herald, August 24, 2005

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