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The Tudor Consort and Gate Seven orchestra

June 2004

The Tudor Consort and Gate Seven orchestra collaborate on New Zealand premiere

Two of Wellington’s premier performing groups are joining forces to present the first New Zealand performance of a key choral work of the 1990s.

The Tudor Consort, “Wellington’s superb chamber choir” (The Dominion Post), and contemporary music ensemble Gate Seven are collaborating for the New Zealand premiere of James MacMillan’s Seven Last Words from the Cross.

The premiere performance is on Saturday 21 August at 8pm at Sacred Heart Cathedral.

Scottish-born MacMillan is “the most exciting young British composer to have emerged in the 1990s” (The Guardian). Seven Last Words, composed in 1993, is a seven-movement cantata for string orchestra and chamber choir. It is a passionate work, rich with pathos and emotion.

“Seven Last Words is significant because it is the work that put this young Scottish Catholic on the map as an internationally recognised composer,” says Gate Seven conductor Ewan Clark.

“The work is immediately striking because of its emotional impact and for its supreme beauty – both qualities that audiences long for and often don’t find in other sophisticated modern art music today.”

Such modern repertoire is new fairly territory for The Tudor Consort, which is known nationally and internationally for its critically acclaimed performances of Renaissance and Tudor repertoire, but the group’s pure celestial sound is perfect for this modern work.

The skilful young players of contemporary music ensemble Gate Seven will be at home in the tricky string writing.

“MacMillan’s cantata is perfect for this concert because it meets Gate Seven’s goal of making contemporary art music more attractive to more people by programming works that meet people half way,” says Clark.

“[This] remarkable cantata … is shocking and consoling, lamenting and uplifting all at once” (The Times [London]).


8pm Saturday 21 August 2004 Sacred Heart Cathedral, Hill Street $25 / $15 / $7 / Book online at Ticketek Visit


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