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Quartet of pianists for flagship series

Media Release
30 June 2003

Quartet of pianists for flagship series

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of Steinway & Sons – the makers of pianos described as “the instrument of Kings” – four of the remaining seven concerts in the Auckland Philharmonia’s 2003 Royal & SunAlliance Series feature pianists in the solo position. The soloist in each concert will perform on one of the two new Steinways recently purchased by The Edge.

First up, on 24 July, is Henry Wong Doe performing Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No.3. This fine young New Zealand pianist is rapidly gaining recognition in competitions, and popularity among audiences around the world. “…an increasingly skilful and mature pianist who combines inner sensitivity with a broad, colourful sweep.” [NZ Herald]

Three weeks later Michael Houstoun is in concert performing Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No.4. Regarded as one of New Zealand’s most distinguished pianists, Michael is also one of the country’s most popular, always attracting large audiences. “Michael Houstoun provided an energetic yet typically elegant interpretation.” [NZ Herald]

Leading American pianist Robert Thies is the soloist on 4 September performing Chopin’s Piano Concerto No.2. Robert made a memorable début with the Auckland Philharmonia in 2001, and continues to receive the highest critical acclaim for his performances in North America and Europe. "…unerring, warm-toned refinement, revealing judicious glimmers of power." [LA Times]

The final concert in the 2003 Royal & SunAlliance Series, on 25 September, features Italian Antonio Pompa-Baldi performing Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Antonio made international recognition in 2001 after winning the silver medal in the prestigious Van Cliburn International Violin Competition, and has since gone on to impress audiences throughout the world. “…warmth, exquisite taste, and arresting technique.” [LA Times]
page 2…/Quartet of pianists for flagship series

Concert details:
Thursday 24 July – 8pm, Aotea Centre
Conductor: Fabio Mechetti; Soloist: Henry Wong Doe
Programme: Crawford: A Place to Lose and Find Yourself (world première)
Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No.3
Beethoven: Symphony No.3, Eroica
Pre-concert talk by Matthew Crawford, 7pm in the Aotea Centre stalls

Thursday 14 August – 8pm, Aotea Centre
Conductor: Edvard Tchivzhel; Soloist: Michael Houstoun
Programme: Tchaikovsky: Francesca da Rimini: Symphonic Fantasia
Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No.4
Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances
Pre-concert talk by John Rimmer, 7pm in the Aotea Centre stalls

Thursday 4 September – 8pm, Auckland Town Hall
Conductor: Marco Zuccarini; Soloist: Robert Thies
Programme: Weber: Der Freischütz Overture
Chopin: Piano Concerto No.2
Zagni: Mokehu (world première)
Mozart: Symphony No.41, Jupiter
Pre-concert talk by Tamas Vesmas, 7pm in the Town Hall stalls

Thursday 25 September – 8pm, Aotea Centre
Conductor: Christopher Wilkins; Soloist: Antonio Pompa-Baldi
Programme: Berlioz: Le Carnaval Romain Overture
Mendelssohn: Symphony No.4, Italian
Rachmaninov: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
Respighi: The Pines of Rome.
Pre-concert talk by Indra Hughes, 7pm in the Aotea Centre stalls

Adult tickets from $20; concessions available. For bookings phone the Ticketek Orchestra Hotline on (09) 307 5139.

The Auckland Philharmonia gratefully acknowledges Royal & SunAlliance, the major sponsor of this series.

For images, interviews and further information contact Caroline Nelson, Publicist, Auckland Philharmonia, phone 09 638 7073 (x219), email

© Scoop Media

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