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Visionary Cellist - Steven Isserlis With NZSO

30 June 2004

Media release

In association with The National Bank

Described as "...utterly compelling and profoundly moving ..." (The Strad magazine), Steven Isserlis returns to New Zealand in July for a series of concerts throughout the country with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

Named Time Out magazine's 'Classical Artist of the Year 2002', Isserlis plays the 'Feuerman' Stradivarius, dated 1730, crafted when Stradivarius was around 86 years of age. Isserlis describes this instrument as his "dream cello ... it has everything."

Isserlis has performed on the concert platform with some of the world's most prestigious orchestras and conductors, including all the top American and London symphony orchestras. He last performed with the NZSO in 1994.

In Wellington and Auckland, Isserlis will treat audiences to the rarely heard cello concerto Tout un monde lointain (A Whole Distant World) by the Frenchman Henri Dutilleux. Isserlis describes this work as seductive and magical, a "poetic sound-world in which every note adds something to the very special atmosphere."

Dvorak's much loved Cello Concerto in B minor will delight audiences in Auckland, Wellington, Tauranga, Dunedin and Christchurch when Isserlis performs the masterpiece which he describes as "a grand symphonic work with a deeply personal story ...".

James Judd, the NZSO's Music Director, makes a welcome return to conduct not only these cello concerti, but also a varied diet of exciting programmes including Beethoven's popular Symphony No 6 Pastoral, Ravel's Mother Goose and Janacek's Taras Bulba.

Janacek's Taras Bulba is one of those rarely heard dramatic works, a vivid and sometimes gory rhapsody, that tells a story of battles, capture and an Ukranian Cossack leader (Taras Bulba) who led his people to war. This work, by the well known Czech composer, was written during World War I and carries with it the sympathies and pathos of earlier times, then culminating in an affirmation of victory, resplendent with pealing bells. The NZSO last played the work in 1984.

Tickets Book at Ticketek Tickets from $20 plus concessions NZSO information line: 0800 479 674

Friday 16 July, 6.30pm TOWN HALL AUCKLAND

Steven Isserlis is the perfect soloist here to explore the visual images inspired by Baudelaire's poetry in French composer Dutillerux's 'Tout un monde lointain', while Ravel's enchanting fairytale 'Mother Goose' sets the scene for Beethoven's most popular symphony.

James Judd conductor
Steven Isserlis cello
RAVEL Ma Mere L'Oye
DUTILLEUX Tout Un Monde Lointain
BEETHOVEN Symphony No 6 'Pastoral'

Thursday 15 July at 8.00pm BAYCOURT TAURANGA

One of the greatest cello concertos performed by one of the world's leading cellists, preceded by Ravel's enchanting fairy tale 'Mother Goose' and followed by Beethoven's most popular symphony.

James Judd conductor
Steven Isserlis cello
RAVEL Ma Mere L'Oye
DVORAK Cello Concerto in B minor
BEETHOVEN Symphony No 6 'Pastoral'

Saturday 17 July, 8pm TOWN HALL AUCKLAND
Wednesday 21 July, 8pm TOWN HALL DUNEDIN
Thursday 22 July, 8pm TOWN HALL CHRISTCHURCH

One of the greatest cello concertos performed by one of the world's leading cellists is preceded by Webern's translucent arrangement of J S Bach's masterpiece. A brief encounter leads into Janacek's vivid rhapsody, Taras Bulba, about a battle, capture and execution of an historic Cossack leader

James Judd conductor
Steven Isserlis cello
JS BACH arr. WEBERN Ricercare, from A Musical Offering
DVORAK Cello Concerto in B Minor
JANACEK Taras Bulba


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