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Season 2001 Opens With Movie Passion And Pizzazz


2 March 2001


Richly orchestrated romantic works, a taste of New Zealand, and music from the movies Amadeus and Death in Venice are the highlights of the opening two concerts of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra¹s Season 2001 on Friday March 23 and Saturday March 24 at the Michael Fowler Centre.

NZSO Music Director, James Judd will be on the podium and making a welcome return to New Zealand will be young virtuoso, Alexander Melnikov, who received outstanding reviews on his debut visit to Wellington two years ago.

As part of the Great Classics Series, the concert on Friday 23 March, will showcase Melnikov in Rachmaninov¹s richly orchestrated Third Piano Concerto, a popular work full of melody and drama that reflects the composer's longing for his Russian homeland.

In the second half of the concert, triumph and heroism are the themes of Richard Strauss's Ein Heldenleben, in six closely linked musical pictures that mirror this most romantic of composer's own life experiences.

The youngest prize-winner of the Robert Schumann International Competition (1989), Alexander Melnikov continues to build an impressive career on the world stage. He has worked with a number of distinguished conductors and orchestras, as well as regularly performing in chamber music and as a regular guest at London¹s Wigmore Hall. He made his debut with the NZSO in 1998.

James Judd was appointed the NZSO¹s first Music Director in 1999. In 2000 he conducted the NZSO for Concert Season 2000, Kiri Te Kanawa for the Gisborne Millennium Concert, the NZSO at the Sydney Olympic Arts Festival, and made a number of recordings including Sinfonia Antartica. Judd is also Music Director of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra and a sought-after guest conductor of leading world orchestras. He first visited New Zealand in 1998 and was an instant success with audiences.

As part of the Great Orchestra Series, on Saturday 24 March Melnikov will perform the charming Mozart Piano Concerto No 20, which featured in Amadeus, the famous movie about the composer¹s life. In the second half, the NZSO will perform the great Mahler Symphony No 5. The famous Adagietto movement from this symphony was used as the theme for the film Death in Venice and also features on Beauty Spot, the NZSO's much talked-about, best-selling CD, currently at No 1 on the classical charts.


New Zealand Symphony Orchestra


James Judd conductor
Alexander Melnikov piano

RACHMANINOV Piano Concerto No 3
R.STRAUSS Ein Heldenleben


James Judd conductor
Alexander Melnikov piano

MOZART Piano Concerto No 20
MAHLER Symphony No 5

Free pre-concert talk 'Mahler and the Symphony', 7.15pm, Concert Chamber

$70, $50, $30 & $20
plus concessions
Book at Ticketek 04 384 3840
A transaction fee may apply

The NZSO reserves the right to change artists and programmes without notice.

For further information, photos or interviews please contact Hannah Evans on (04) 801 3833/025 300 680.

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