French Flavours on Bastille Day


NCMA’s next Celebration Series concert features well-known violinist John Thomson and pianist Monica Chang who perform as the Emanon Duo.

John is well known in music circles in Nelson, having lived in the town for some years. He taught violin and viola at the Nelson School of Music and still serves as the concertmaster of the Nelson Symphony Orchestra.

Thomson has performed as soloist with orchestras throughout New Zealand and the USA, made appearances before dignitaries such as Queen Elizabeth II and former President George H. W. Bush, and has served as concertmaster for several orchestras. In the recent years, he has performed in Latin America, China, and Austria. Critics have praised him as a “stellar soloist” with “brilliant technique and appealing cantabile” and have called his playing a “rare treat.”

Monica Chang is a well-known pianist and teacher formerly from the Waikato region. She completed her Masters of Music at the University of Waikato, specialising in performance piano, principally under the tutelage of Katherine Austin. She subsequently studied under Rae de Lisle at the University of Auckland.

Monica was awarded numerous awards and prizes during her university career, and was one of twelve pianists chosen to participate at the Yamaha Piano Competition in Kerikeri in 2006. She has performed as a concerto soloist, including to support community groups such as the United Youth Orchestra.

To mark “le quatorze juillet”, the duo will present their recital “The French Connection”, celebrating music for violin and piano by diverse composers, none actually from Paris but all connected in some way to the city.

Come and hear music for piano and violin by Mozart, Beethoven, Saint-Georges, Prokofiev, Schumann and Brahms and discover the relationship to the City of Light.

NCMA’s Celebration Series presents The Emanon Duo: John Thomson and Monica Chang at NCMA on Sunday 14thJuly at 3.30pm. Tickets are $30 + service fee and available at

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