Preview: Chamber Music New Zealand presents Anderson & Roe Duo in Dunedin

The ‘Anderson & Roe Duo’ has redefined what it is possible to do with a piano. Their innovative approach to creating sounds has revolutionised the concept of a ‘piano performance’. They combine incredible classical skill and technique with imaginative new ways of altering the piano’s sound; reaching into the body of the piano to pluck or mute the strings, or slapping the side to add a percussive element.

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Formed by pianists Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe at The Julliard School in New York, The Anderson & Roe Duo have achieved fame through their concerts and recordings, but are perhaps best known for their music videos – which add another level of artistry to their work. Dozens of their videos can be found on YouTube (link to their YouTube channel here), but their performance of ‘Libertango’ is a great introduction to the intensity and innovation of this duo.

Listening to their recordings you would assume that the music has been edited with layer upon layer of different tracks, but it’s hasn’t. Only by seeing them live in performance can you fully appreciate the extent of the attention to detail these two performers have put into their arrangements. There are countless voices being played simultaneously by just four hands, with such compositional depth that it is hard to believe you are hearing only two performers. In fact, it feels like you are witnessing an entire orchestra.

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In addition to the sheer complexity of their works, Anderson & Roe are immaculate performers – a blur of hands and fingers churning out beautifully complex melodies with incredible accuracy.

The opportunity to watch them perform should not be missed, see them at 7:30pm on 22 March at the Glenroy Auditorium. You can find the facebook event here.


Ben Kennedy is from England but has lived in Auckland since 2010. He is a first year law student but is taking a music composition paper along-side his law papers. Ben has a strong classical foundation on piano, having learnt from an early age, and has been focussing on jazz since the age of thirteen.

Photos thanks to Chamber Music New Zealand