The Adam Chamber Music Festival began in 1992 with an enthusiastic group of professional musical friends performing five concerts over five days in Nelson. Their inspiration was to utilise the intimate, smaller venues of the region to recapture the essence of chamber music performance. Performed in the height of summer, the relaxed and friendly atmosphere offered a satisfying alternative to the more usual formal concert setting.
The Nelson Music Festival Trust was founded to run the 1994 Festival, secure its future, and administer its affairs. In 1995 the Festival became a biennial event, with the 2021 Festival being the 16th Adam Chamber Music Festival.
2021 Adam Summer Celebration
Guest artists: NZSQ (Helene Pohl, Monique Lapins, Gillian Ansell, Rolf Gjelsten), Jerusalem Quartet (Alexander Pavlovsky, Sergei Bresler, Ori Kam, Kyril Zlotnikov, Israel), Dénes Varjon (Hungary), Izabella Simon (Hungary), Anthony Marwood (UK), Nikki Chooi (Canada), James Crabb (Australia), Wilma Smith, Ian Munro, Anna Pokorny (Australia), Anna Fraser (Australia), Thomas Hutchinson, Jian Liu, Samuel Jacobs, Douglas Mews, Joan Perarnau Garriga, Rob Thorne, Naoto Segawa and the 2019 Adam Troubadour Quartet (Claudio Tarrant-Mathews, Sofia Tarrant-Mathews, Grant Baker, Olivia Wilding).
Guest artists: NZSQ (Helene Pohl, Monique Lapins, Gillian Ansell, Rolf Gjelsten), Goldner Quartet (Dene Olding, Dimity Hall, Irina Morozova, Julian Smiles), Dénes Varjon (Hungary), Matthew Barley (UK), James Campbell (Canada), Ian Rosenbaum (USA), Andrew Goodwin (Australia), Izabella Simon (Hungary), NZTrio (Justine Cormack, Ashley Brown, Sarah Watkins). Joanne Roughton-Arnold, Edward Ware, Jenny Wollerman, Naoto Segawa, Jeff Henderson, Joan Perarnau Garriga, Douglas Mews, Bob Bickerton, Elizabeth Kerr, Heleen du Plessis, Ken Ichinose, Andrew Joyce, Inbal Megiddo, Eliah Sakakushev von Bismarck, Edith Salzmann, James Tennant and the 2017 Adam Troubadour Quartet (Arna Morton, Rebecca Wang, Elyse Dalabakis, Anna-Marie Alloway).
Guest artists included: NZSQ (Helene Pohl, Douglas Beilman, Gillian Ansell, Rolf Gjelsten), Ying Quartet (Ayano Ninomiya, Janet Ying, Phillip Ying, David Ying, USA), Kathryn Stott (UK), The Song Company (Roland Peelman, Mina Kanaridis, Anna Fraser, Hannah Fraser, Richard Black, Mark Donnelly, Alexander Knight, Australia), David Griffiths (Australia), David Guerin, Jian Lui, Catherine Mackintosh, Nicola Melville, Douglas Mews, Euan Murdoch, Robert Orr, Joan Perarnau Garriga, Stephen de Pledge, Rowena Simpson, Sarah Watkins, Helen Webby, Bob Bickerton, Elizabeth Kerr and the 2015 Adam Troubadour Quartet (Julian Baker, Hilary Hayes, Jin Kim, Heather Lewis).
Guest artists: NZSQ (Helene Pohl, Douglas Beilman, Gillian Ansell, Rolf Gjelsten), with The Penderecki String Quartet (Jeremy Bell, Jerzy Kaplanek, Christine Vlajk, Katie Schlaikjer, Canada/Poland), Colin Carr (UK), Péter Nagy (Hungary), NZTrio, Minguet Quartet (Ulrich Isfort, Annette Reisinger, Aroa Sorin, Matthias Diener, Germany), New Zealand Guitar Quartet (Owen Moriarty, Jane Curry, John Couch and Vladimir Gorbach), BonaNZa Trombone Ensemble (Tim Sutton, Douglas Cross, Matthew Allison, and David Bremner), Robert Johnson (Australia), Jenny Wollerman, Diedre Irons, Whirimako Black, Richard Nunns, Michael Joel, Erin Helyard, Martin Jaenecke, Victoria Jaenecke, Richard Apperley, Bob Bickerton, Hiroshi Ikematsu, Bridget Douglas, Robert Orr, Philip Green, Robert Weeks, Lenny Sarkovsky, Bruce McKinnon, Justine Cormack, Rebecca Struthers, Euan Murdoch and the 2013 Adam Troubadour Quartet (Jonathan Tanner, Annabel Drummond, Alice McIvor, Sophie Williams).
Guest artists: NZSQ (Helene Pohl, Douglas Beilman, Gillian Ansell, Rolf Gjelsten), Mary Ayre, James Campbell (Canada), Justine Cormack, Denis Goldfeld (Russia), Leonid Gorokhov (Russia), Michael Houstoun, Hiroshi Ikematsu, Victoria Jaenecke, Hermitage String Trio (Boris Garlitsky, Alexander Zemtsov and Leonid Gorokhov, Russia), Keith Lewis, Kugeltov Klezmer Band (Robin Perks, Malcolm Struthers, Tui Clark, Ross Harris), Richard Mapp, Douglas Mews, Euan Murdoch, NZSO Soloists, Richard Nunns, Martin Riseley, Martin Roscoe, Rebecca Struthers, Robert Weeks and Zephyr Wind Quintet (Bridget Douglas, Ed Allen, Robert Weekes, Robert Orr, Philip Green).
Guest artists: NZSQ (Helene Pohl, Douglas Beilman, Gillian Ansell, Rolf Gjelsten), Pražák Quartet (Václav Remeš, Vlastimil Holek, Josef Klusoň, Michal Kaňka, Czech), Piers Lane (Australia), Catrin Johnsson, David Tanenbaum (USA), Richard Nunns, Jenny Wollerman, Michael Houstoun, Diedre Irons, Richard Mapp, Emma Sayers, Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra, Flight, BonaNZa Trombone Ensemble (Tim Sutton, Douglas Cross, Matthew Allison, and David Bremner), Rachel Fuller, Philip Green, Bob Bickerton, Victoria Jaenecke, Martin Jaenecke, Douglas Mews and Hiroshi Ikematsu.
Guest artists: NZSQ (Helene Pohl, Douglas Beilman, Gillian Ansell, Rolf Gjelsten), Michelangelo String Quartet (Mihaela Martin, Conrad Muck, Nobuko Imai, Frans Helmerson), James Campbell (Canada), Peter Nagy, Diedre Irons, NZTrio, Deborah Wai Kapohe, The Musical Island Boys, Bob Bickerton, Richard Nunns, Victoria Jaenecke, Martin Jaenecke and Saxcess. The Adam Chamber Music Festival headed the "BEST OF 2007" list of classical music events in the NZ Listener magazine.
Guest artists: NZSQ (Helene Pohl, Douglas Beilman, Gillian Ansell, Rolf Gjelsten), Anton Kuerti, Robert Ingliss, Nobuko Imai, Christoph Richter, Tim Deighton, Douglas Mews, Euan Murdoch, Patricia Wright, Victoria Jaenecke, Martin Jaenecke, Diedre Irons and Bob Bickerton.
The Festival received national recognition by the nomination as 'The Best Chamber Music Festival in New Zealand' by Lindis Taylor (Evening Post) for Best - A New Zealand Compendium, released May 2004. Guest artists included: NZSQ (Helene Pohl, Douglas Beilman, Gillian Ansell, Rolf Gjelsten), Piers Lane (Australai), Atar Arad, Colin Carr, Caroline Wolff, Diedre Irons, Helen Medlyn, Penny Dodd, Bridget Douglas, Richard Nunns, Rachel Thomson, Nevine String Quartet (Liz Patchett, Janet Armstrong, Peter Barber, Robert Ibell) and Bob Bickerton.
Guest artists included: NZSQ accompanied by Goldner String Quartet, Anton Kuerti, Thomas Hecht, Dan Poynton, Richard Nunns, Dale Gold, Deborah Wai Kapohe, Kirsten MacKenzie/Leight Jackson Quartet, Roger Sellers, Tim Robertson and Bob Bickerton.
Guest artists: NZSQ (Helene Pohl, Douglas Beilman, Gillian Ansell, Rolf Gjelsten), Edward Allen, Donald Armstrong, Dimitri Atanassov, Katherine Austin, Ashley Brown, Maria Grenfell, Lara Hall, Joanna Hood, Sam Konise, Douglas Mews, Euan Murdoch, Nairobi Trio (Richard Adams, John Quigley, Peter Koopman), New Zealand Chamber Orchestra, Ogen Trio (Dmitri Atanassov, James Tennant, Katherine Austin), Rowan Prior, Arthur Rowe, Mary Scott, Wilma Smith, James Tennant, Patricia Wright and Vyvyan Yendoll.
The Adam Foundation was welcomed as the Principal Sponsor. The first time artists had been invited from overseas. Guest artists included: NZSQ accompanied by Margaret Medlyn, Michael Houstoun, Dene Olding, Irina Morozova, Alexa Still, James Tennant, Ellen Jewett, Uri Wassertzug and Richard Mapp.
Guest artists: NZSQ (Helene Pohl, Douglas Beilman, Gillian Ansell, Rolf Gjelsten), James Tennant, Philip Rose, Terence Dennis, Maire Ni Chathasaigh, Chris Newman, Jeroen Speak, Douglas Mews, Shelly Wilkinson, Bernard Wells, Peter Barber, Alexa Still, Jackie Clarke, Nick Bollinger, Callie Blood, Janet Roddick, Ian Morris, Donald Armstrong, Peter Scholes and Carolyn Mills.
The Nelson Music Festival Trust was founded by Douglas Beilman, James Tennant & Stephen Managh.
The Chamber Music Festival was founded by a group of friends – Alexa Still, Gillian Ansell, Susan DeWitt Smith, Douglas Beilman and James Tennant – who performed five concerts over five days in Nelson.