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Moscow Piano Competition Winner Returns To Perform

30 June 2003

Media release

MOSCOW PIANO COMPETITION WINNER RETURNS TO PERFORM IN A FEAST OF RUSSIAN MUSIC

Presented by The National Bank

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra welcomes the return of renowned Russian conductor Alexander Lazarev in concerts celebrating the glory of Russian music and include performances of Tchaikovsky's famed First Piano Concerto with Peter Donohoe, winner of the 1982 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. These concerts of passionate, Russian music will be performed in Auckland, Napier, Wellington and Christchurch in July.

One of the NZSO's favourite conductors, Maestro Lazarev will lead the orchestra, as part of the Great Classics series, in a performance of Prokofiev's emotional Sixth Symphony, completed just after the Second World War and first performed in 1947. Not long after, Prokofiev, with other contemporaries, was condemned by the Communist Party for writing music that did not adhere to the dictates of Stalinism.

In contrast, Craig Utting's work Cirrus will be performed as the second composition of four as part of the Douglas Lilburn Prize competition. Wellington born, Craig, a previous Music Prize 2000 finalist, has given good service to New Zealand music as a viola player (in the Wellington Sinfonia) and music copyist. Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto, one of the most popular piano concerti ever written, will open this concert.

British pianist, Peter Donohoe, who last appeared in New Zealand in 1999, supported his piano studies in Manchester by becoming a freelance percussion player. The media attention that surrounded the Moscow competition in 1982 set Donohoe on a major career path that has taken him to every part of the world, appearing with the great orchestras. A stand-out personality both on and off the stage, Donohue was responsible for informing violinist Nigel Kennedy that he had been eliminated from the first round of the 1982 competition.

The second concert, as part of the Great Orchestra series, is a designer programme of music by Tchaikovsky and a light-hearted Shostakovich. From Tchaikovsky's popular Sleeping Beauty ballet suite and his descriptive music to Shakespeare's The Tempest to Shostakovich's captivating and witty Symphony No. 9, and his sparkling Second Piano Concerto with Peter Donohoe as soloist, it's enjoyment all the way.

Alexander Lazarev first visited New Zealand for the 1994 International Festival of the Arts, and was last here in 1998. His internationally renowned performances have seen him conduct such orchestras as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebouw, and London Philharmonic orchestras. He is currently Principal Conductor of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

NEW ZEALAND SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

Presented by The National Bank

Friday 11 July, 6.30pm, Michael Fowler Centre WELLINGTON

Friday 25 July, 6.30pm, Town Hall AUCKLAND

Thursday 24 July, 8pm, Municipal Theatre NAPIER

A FEAST OF RUSSIAN MUSIC!

Who can resist Tchaikovsky's great First Piano Concerto performed by Moscow Competition winner Peter Donohoe, and an electrically-charged performance of Prokofiev's Sixth Symphony conducted by Alexander Lazarev? Plus the charm of Lilburn Prize 2003 finalist Craig Utting's Cirrus?

NEW ZEALAND SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

Presented by The National Bank

Friday 18 July, 8pm, Town Hall CHRISTCHURCH*

Saturday 19 July, 8pm, Michael Fowler Centre WELLINGTON*

Saturday 26 July, 8pm, Town Hall AUCKLAND*

A FEAST OF RUSSIAN MUSIC!

Alexander Lazarev presents a designer programme of music by Tchaikovsky and a light-hearted Shostakovich. From Tchaikovsky's popular Sleeping Beauty ballet suite and his descriptive music to Shakespeare's The Tempest to Shostakovich's captivating and witty Symphony No. 9, and his sparkling Second Piano Concerto with Peter Donohoe as soloist, it's sheer enjoyment all the way.

Free Pre-concert talk starting at 7.15pm, Limes Room (Christchurch)

Free Pre-concert talk starting at 7.15pm, Ilott Chamber (Wellington)

Free Pre-concert talk starting at 7.15pm, Auckland Town Hall ConcertChamber. (Auckland

ENDS

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