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National Youth Orchestra 2005

10 August 2005

Young Players From Otautahi To Morrinsville Come Together For National Youth Orchestra 2005

The NZSO National Youth Orchestra will embark on their annual week of music making this month under conductor, Edwin Outwater. They will perform Glinka's Russian and Ludmilla Overture, Tchaikovsky's popular Symphony No.4, and with the prize-winning young pianist John Chen as soloist, they will perform Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No.3.

This year, for the first time, the orchestra has appointed a 'Composer in Residence', Freeman Bay resident, Robin Toan and these concerts will include the first performance of her new score Tü-mata-uenga "God of War, Spirit of Man".

Robin was selected from 25 promising applicants, ranging in age between 17 and 24, from all over the country, who submitted a maximum 5 minutes works. The project was intended to find new compositional talent, while challenging the composers to complement the wider music strategy of the NZSO. She has returned home from her OE especially for this opportunity. [Contact details for Robin Toan below]

Pascale Parenteau, manager of the NZSO National Youth Orchestra says; "The NZSO NYO Composer-in-Residence is such a vital part of the project not only to expose the young performers to play the music of today and be part of a world premiere but also to train and especially to give the opportunity to our young NZ composers to work for and with a high calibre symphonic orchestra for an intensive period. There is no substitute for that. I can't imagine something more exciting than: "Music by youth, played by youth".

The age of the young musicians in the orchestra range from 15 - 25yrs and come from all around New Zealand. For the first time two girls are leading the Double Bass section; Principal Bass, Kelly Nichol from Dunedin and Bella Leslie from Christchurch, which was fantastic news for NZSO Sub-Principal Bass, Victoria Jones, the only female in the NZSO Bass section.

"The NZSO has continued to have a strong visual female presence for many years, and it continues to act as a positive influence on young women aspiring to be musicians. I think it's important for their (Kelly and Bella's) future confidence and belief in themselves as musicians to both be sitting on the front desk of the NYO, and for future aspiring female bassists."

This year, due to the NZSO's overseas tour, the coaches for the National Youth Orchestra will include former NZSO players such as Wilfred Simenauer, Gordon Skinner, Alexa Still and Kenneth Young as well as principal players of the main regional orchestras, Leonard Sakofsky (APO), Victor Kisnichanko (APO),David Cox CSO). It is a unique opportunity to involve them in the project while maintaining the high standard of coaching and building key relationships with the regional orchestras.

The orchestra will be lead by co-concertmasters; Malavika Gopal, 21 from Wellington and Alwyn Westbrooke, 22 from Christchurch.

Conductor, Edwin Outwater is the Resident Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony and Wattis Foundation Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. A strong proponent of music education, Mr. Outwater conducts many concerts for students with the San Francisco Symphony.

He makes frequent appearances as a guest conductor and music educator with student orchestras across the country, and has been on the faculty of the University of California, Santa Barbara, the University of Tulsa, and the Idyllwild Arts Academy.

In July 2004, pianist 18 year old John Chen became the youngest ever winner of the prestigious Sydney International Piano Competition. Not only was he the first competitor from Australia or New Zealand to have won the competition since it began in 1977, Chen was also awarded best performance for works by Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert, Chamber Music and 19th/20th century Concerto. This followed his win in the 3rd Lev Vlassenko Australasian Piano Competition in Brisbane 2003, where he swept all the special prizes.


Tuesday 23 August at 7:00pm MICHAEL FOWLER CENTRE WELLINGTON Thursday 25 August at 7:00pm AURORA CENTRE CHRISTCHURCH SOLD OUT Saturday 27 August at 7:00pm TOWN HALL AUCKLAND

Edwin Outwater - Conductor John Chen - Piano

Glinka: Russian and Ludmilla Overture Robin Toan: Tu-mata-uenga "God of War, Spirit of Man (premiere performances) Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No 3 in C Major Op 26 Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 4 in F Minor Op 36


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