SATURDAY APRIL 10
Saturday Morning with Kim Hill (Radio New Zealand National, 8.10am). Kim Hill is on leave this week, so journalist Finlay Macdonald takes the chair to interview Alexander Cockburn, editor of the hard-left American website and newsletter CounterPunch (www.counterpunch.org). Also today, a chat and some musical favourites with Stephanie Bennett, the Englishwoman known for producing films about musicians, including the Beatles, Roy Orbison, Chuck Berry, Joni Mitchell and Marianne Faithfull. Bennett has started a New Zealand production company that is working on a documentary about sculptor Chris Bailey, and a feature film about the life of Susi Newborn, the founding director of Greenpeace UK and an original crew member of the Rainbow Warrior.
Musical Chairs (Radio New Zealand National, 4.10pm). A two-part series about New Zealand’s most successful broadcaster – in the UK, that is. Zane Lowe may not be widely known in his home country, but in Britain he speaks nightly to an audience of more than two million and can give young bands their big break. Andrew Dubber traces Lowe’s roots in New Zealand hip-hop and as a founding member of musical outfit Breaks Co-op, and interviews musicians and radio industry figures. Former head of MTV International Brent Hansen reflects on the success of Lowe’s BBC Radio One show and what makes him a broadcasting heavyweight.
Entartete Music (Radio New Zealand Concert, 5.05pm). Anything labelled degenerate by the Nazis was probably pretty good, so let us sit back and freely enjoy Alexander von Zemlinsky’s Sinfonietta Op 23, performed by the Czech Philharmonic; the modernist Paul Hindemith’s Flute Sonata, played by Jeffrey Khaner; and Joseph Haas’ Suite for Piano Op 13, played by Steffen Schleiermacher.
SUNDAY APRIL 11
Spectrum (Radio New Zealand National, 12.15pm). Spectrum steps into the elite environs of Westhaven Marina, Auckland, to watch apprentice boatbuilders compete with their peers. At the 2010 Marine Trades Challenge, 16 teams of apprentices have to build a boat in two hours and then put it to the test in a proper race on the water. It’s a fun day out for families and friends, too, who enjoy barbecues and picnics while watching the frantic boatbuilding followed by sinkings, collisions and close shaves.
Opera on Sunday (Radio New Zealand Concert, 3.00pm). The Metropolitan Opera’s production of Leoš Janá?ek’s final opera, From the House of the Dead, was “unorthodox, bleak and strangely moving”, said the New York Times. Based on Dostoyevsky’s fictionalised account of his years in a Siberian prison camp, the opera features only men, and includes chains as a percussion instrument. Conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, who was making his Met debut, drew an arresting musical performance from the Metropolitan orchestra, said the Times, and he conducted with “visceral character and pungent textures”. Performers include the veteran bass-baritone Willard White, young Slovakian tenor Eric Stoklossa and baritone Peter Mattei.
The Sunday Drama (Radio New Zealand National, 3.04pm). Elizabeth Smither is foremost a poet, so expect lyricism and imagery in today’s drama, Gertrude and Alicia, the story of two friends who meet again in an old folks’ home.
TUESDAY APRIL 15
Sound Lounge (Radio New Zealand Concert, 7.00pm). Kate Mead talks with Richard Nunns, whose performance of taonga puoro in a cave on the Faroe Islands last year made the Finnish Minister of Culture spontaneously yoick. That’s a traditional yelp of approval, by the way. Nunns and Faroese ensemble Yggdrasil recorded the album Seta (meaning gathering) in the cave, which is midway between Iceland, Norway and the UK; Nunns called it “a sonic postcard from the Faroes” in our February 6 interview. “You engage with the environment,” he said. “The key musician – the sea – is already there. You are responding to the musical voices that are there: the birds, the extraordinary sea sounds and the other musicians.” After her chat with Nunns, Mead plays Seta.
WEDNESDAY APRIL 14
Jazz Footprints (Radio New Zealand National, 11.06pm). Something to soothe us into bed in tonight’s Jazz Footprints: male crooners, including British singer-songwriter Jamie Cullum, Canadian Michael Bublé and Americans Harry Connick Jr and the master crooner himself, Frank Sinatra. It begins with tracks from the 1966 recording Sinatra at the Sands with Count Basie and His Orchestra.
THURSDAY APRIL 15
Appointment (Radio New Zealand Concert, 7.00pm). Kerry Stevens has an Appointment with Thomas Trotter, recently in New Zealand to give the newly refurbished Auckland Town Hall organ a workout. Trotter is widely acclaimed in the UK and performs throughout Europe.