Orion Piano Trio – Saturday 15th of October


Saturday 2.30pm, 15th October 2022
Old Library Building Arts Centre
7 Rust Avenue, Whangarei


The Orion Piano Trio chose their name after the constellation of Orion, one of the few stars that is recognisable in the night sky, and is visible from both hemispheres. They wanted to symbolise the combined musical experience and passion cultivated in both hemispheres, from Europe to New Zealand, through a program rich in history, lyricism, and virtuosity.

2022 marks the birthday anniversaries of two of the most illustrious European masters of chamber music, F.Schubert and J.Brahms. These remarkable composers are known for their prolific, rich and varied works. Selected are two of their best compositions, Schubert’s Piano Trio No.2 in E flat, Op.100 and Brahm’s Piano Trio No.1 in B.

The concert will include another Trio, Subtle Dances, a set of three pieces by award winning NZ composer Claire Cowan, the prominent NZ composer whose experience spans from TV, orchestra, live bands, to theatre. Recently she has scored the full ballets Hansel & Gretel, and Cinderella for the Royal New Zealand Ballet to outstanding reviews.
This Trio’s programme is proudly supported by the Italian Embassy in New Zealand. 


Schubert – Piano Trio No.2 in E flat, Op. 100

Claire Cowan – ‘Subtle Dances’

Brahms – Piano Trio No.1 in B


Marko Pop Ristov -violin

At 16, Marko Pop Ristov was invited and awarded a scholarship to study with Prof Pavel Vernikov at the “Scuola di Musica di Fiesole”. Since then, he has been awarded first prize in several international competitions including “Performing Australian Music” (London, 2008), “Giovanni Batista Pergolesi” (Italy, 2003) and “Peter Konjovich” (Yugoslavia, 2001). He has appeared as a soloist with “Kensington Sinfonia” (UK), “Orchestra dei Ragazzi” (Italy), “Bitola Chamber Orchestra” and “National Symphony Orchestra” (Macedonia). He has performed in festivals across the UK, France, Switzerland, Macedonia, Kosovo and Serbia. In 2010, he was invited to perform the “Rombach” piano trio by P. Dusapin for the BBC Proms.
Marko graduated from the Royal College of Music (London) with a BMus in 2009, followed by a Masters in Chamber Music from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. In 2021, Marko was offered a place and awarded a full scholarship to do a DMA research at the Waikato University in Hamilton, NZ.

Since his arrival in New Zealand in 2013, Marko is a regular player with the APO and ACO as well as section leader of “Bach Musica”.

Marco Ariani – Cello

At the age of 7, Marco Ariani began studying the cello. By the age of 14, in his first recital, he performed the Georg Goltermann Concerto n.4 since continuing with a series of concerts in duo and as a soloist throughout Italy.

Marco graduated in cello performance at the Higher Institute of Musical Studies “A.Peri” in Reggio Emilia with honours. In 2004 was invited by the Italian Embassy in Australia to tour the country with pianist Marco Gianferrari. Since then has had an extensive travelling programme over many years, playing in orchestras with important conductors as Riccardo Muti, Lorin Maazel, Claudio Abbado and John E. Gardiner. In 2012, Marco performed the complete suites of J.S.Bach for solo cello in many Italian cities. He has won several prizes in national and international chamber music competitions, performing duets with pianist Marco Gianferrari and trios with the “Trio Gentilucci”.

Marco has been teaching cello for many years and is currently a teacher at the “Orazio Vecchi” Conservatory of Modena. He plays a “Jacques le Clerc” (1901) cello.

Flavio Villani – Piano

Flavio Villani is an Italian-born New Zealand citizen living in Auckland, having moved here in 2008 to follow his dream. He has completed a Bachelor of Piano performance with Matteo Napoli at the Conservatory ‘G.Martucci’ in conjunction with a Bachelor of IT in Salerno, Italy in 2007. This has been followed in 2012 by a Master in Piano Performance at the University of Auckland with first class honours under the guidance of pianist Stephen De Pledge.

Flavio’s journey towards his first solo performance with an orchestra was documented in the feature length film ‘Crossing Rachmaninoff’. The film followed his preparations for, and performance of, Rachmaninoff Concerto n.2 in Calabria in 2015 with the “Orchestra Filarmonica della Calabria”. He subsequently took different soloist opportunities performing Rachmaninoff Concerto n.2, Tchaikovsky Concerto n.1 and the Warsaw Concerto with the “Orchestra of CalArts” in Los Angeles, the “New Plymouth Orchestra”, the “Taranaki Symphony”, the “Bay of Plenty Symphonia” and the “Auckland Symphony Orchestra.”

He has performed many recitals as a soloist and in chamber groups including in the USA, Italy, Spain and NZ. Currently, as well as performing, he directs and teaches at the private music school L’Accademia set in the St Heliers Community Centre in Auckland through which he organises music lessons, masterclasses and events.

More info: https://orionpianotrio.flaviovillani.com

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