This event is part of ClimateKeys, a glocal initiative launching with over thirty concerts in nine countries during October & November 2017 to raise public engagement with CoP23, the 2017 UN climate talks taking place in November. ClimateKeys, founded by London-based composer pianist Lola Perrin, features concert pianists and climate change experts collaborating in performances that include a conversation with the audience about positive response to climate change. To date, over a hundred concert musicians and guest speakers in twenty countries have joined ClimateKeys. More concerts are being planned through 2018.


“Weather is fate. Without its systems, there would be no life on this planet. Living in cities, we can easily forget that if we do not have the atmospheric oxygen that weather brings us, our life-expectancy would be about one minute. Without the fresh water brought to us by cloud and rain we might live only for a few days. Any unusual disruptions to climate, therefore, should be of the utmost concern to us. We are creatures of the elements. All the robotics, all the cars, all the computers, planes and artificial intelligence cannot alter this one iota. I will introduce this event by playing three works that allude to, or are involved in weather and nature: one by Beethoven, one by Liszt, one by the New Zealand composer, Douglas Lilburn (1915-2001). I will facilitate the climate discussion that follows. I intend it to be practical and wide-ranging.” (Denys Trussell)

Ellerslie Masonic Centre

9A Robert Street

Ellerslie, Auklan

Photo credit: John Miller


Beethoven: Sonata Op.31 No.2

Liszt: Legend No. 2 'St Francis of Paul walking on the waves'

Douglas Lilburn: composition to be announced

DENYS TRUSSELL was born in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1946. His mother, Eunice was a soprano singer, his father William a pianist. Almost the entire family were musicians. He resolved therefore, not to be, and dedicated his early life to drawing ships and to juvenile delinquency. He bribed his piano teacher to ignore his lack of practice in return for ship drawings. When the drawings covered all the walls of the teacher's studio the confession had to be made to Eunice Trussell that her son was not turning into a piano player.

In 1958 William Trussell returned to New Zealand after six years in Europe and study under Marcel Ciampi at the Paris Conservatoire. He began preparing recitals to play in New Zealand. Something clicked. By 1960 Denys has gone into his father's studio and apprenticed himself to music. His father would be almost his sole teacher, and he worked with him from 1960 to 2008, six months before Willliam Trussell's death.

The apprenticeship was interrupted by many other activities : university study in literature and history; the establishing of Friends of the Earth in New Zealand in 1975; engagement in environmental campaigns; periods living in Australia and London; working for Edward Goldsmith of The Ecologist, UK, as an editor and writer; and writing books of biography, poetry, and eco-philosophy. But pianism remained central.

He gave his first recitals at the very late age of 32, and still tries to play recitals every year. He also teaches piano students and continues, with limited success, to hold too many projects together in literature, music and ecology. He has no formal qualifications in music, but has a doctorate in literature from the University of Auckland. In 2010 he attempted a synthesis of music and ecology in an essay published in France, "Quelle Est La Nature de la Musique" (L'Écologiste 32, Paris, Summer, 2010). The bad habit of having spread himself too wide shows no signs of lessening, and causes him at times to wonder if he should have remained a juvenile delinquent and draughtsman of ships. (Auckland 2016)