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Piano Sensation Makes Debut With The NZSO

29 July 2004

MEDIA RELEASE

THE SOUTHERN TRUST LANG LANG TOUR

WORLDWIDE PIANO SENSATION MAKES DEBUT WITH THE NZSO

At the age of 22, Lang Lang is celebrated in the music capitals of the world. He has demonstrated an extraordinary ability to communicate with audiences and has established himself as one of the most exciting artists of our time. In a special series of concerts, with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Lang will perform as soloist in Chopin's romantic and rhapsodic First Piano Concerto, in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch during August.

Stellar conductor, Edo De Waart has been contracted to conduct the orchestra for these concerts, replacing Edwin Outwater. (please see accompanying media release) As a 17-year-old, Lang filled in for an indisposed Andre Watts and performed Tchaikovsky concertos with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the 1999 Ravinia Festival, he became world-famous overnight, described by The Wall Street Journal as being "[Among] the top twenty teens who will change the world."

Lang Lang's London Proms debut in 2001 with Rachmaninov's Third Concerto prompted The Times to report that "this could well be history in the making". The BBC Music Magazine lauded: "Lang Lang is a sensation. He can tackle anything in the repertoire with an apparently effortless aplomb that is almost unnervingly serene ... this is a talent in a million". He has since become the first Chinese pianist to perform with the Berlin Philharmonic and all 'Big Five' American orchestras.

Last year his dazzling, sold out debut recital at New York's Carnegie Hall drew standing ovations, five encores, an estimated ten critics, a 60 Minutes film crew, and a Deutsche Grammophon recording team.

Lang Lang's talent is matched by his ebullient personality, making him an ideal ambassador for classical music and a role model for young people. In May 2004 he was appointed UNICEF's newest Goodwill Ambassador to bring attention to the needs and rights of children, focusing on child survival and immunization issues.

Lang Lang's website is www.langlang.com

FAMED CONDUCTOR TO MAKE NZ DEBUT

Edo de Waart's stellar reputation has seen him conduct all the world's top orchestras. His appointment as Chief Conductor/Artistic Director of the Sydney Symphony in 1993 heralded the beginning of a landmark period which secured the orchestra's prominent position on the world stage. He will make his long-awaited debut with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra during August with three special performances, in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, featuring pianist Lang Lang.

Edo de Waart is currently the Chief Conductor of the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest Holland, a post he has held since 1989, and since completing his 10-year tenure at Sydney Symphony last year has been appointed Artistic Director/Chief Conductor of the Hong Kong Philharmonic.

Appearing regularly as Guest Conductor with all of the leading symphony orchestras in Europe and the United States, De Waart was previously Artistic Director of the Netherlands Radio and Television Music Centre.

Maestro De Waart will direct the orchestra for Beethoven's dramatic Leonora Overture No 3 as well as the brilliant, Tchaikovsky Symphony No 4, which was written around Russian folklore. This poignant symphony was also used as the theme tune for Ron Howard's 2001 Academy Award winning film, A Beautiful Mind.

PROGRAMME

Wednesday 11 August, 8pm TOWN HALL CHRISTCHURCH

Friday 13 August, 6.30pm TOWN HALL AUCKLAND Saturday 14 August, 8pm MICHAEL FOWLER CENTRE WELLINGTON

Edo De Waart conductor Lang Lang piano

BEETHOVEN Leonore Overture No.3. CHOPIN Piano Concerto No 1 TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No 4

Tickets from $25 Book at Ticketek www.nzso.co.nz

ENDS

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