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The Brightest of Stars Returns to Perform in NZ

20 October 2005

Media release

The Brightest of Stars Returns to Perform in NZ

The great violinist Isaac Stern once said that the "beauty of Cho-Liang Lin's tone is matched only by the warmth of his smile".

Chosen by Musical America as "Instrumentalist of the Year 2000", Cho-Liang "Jimmy" Lin, whose name means 'bright' in Chinese, is renowned the world over for the eloquence of his playing and his outstanding musicianship. He is returning to New Zealand after a 17 year absence to perform the lyrical Brahms Violin Concerto and Bernstein's Serenade for violin and orchestra.

Music first came into Cho-lin Liang's life when he was very little, neither of his parents were musicians but there was always music on the record player or radio, he says; "I knew all of Beethoven's 5th Symphony way before I could play a note on the violin!"

He began violin lessons at the age of five," my first lessons were like someone teaching me how to play my favorite toy properly. It was a great adventure. I am sure I sounded just awful but I was having way too much fun to worry about it."

From that first lesson, he has gone on to become one of the leading violinists of his generation, appearing as a soloist with major orchestras, in recital and chamber music series around the world. A Grammy-Award nominee and winner of Gramophone's Record of the Year, Lin is also Artistic Director for La Jolla Music Society's internationally acclaimed chamber music festival, Summerfest, which he has undertaken for the last five years.

He is looking forward to coming back to New Zealand: "I remember how green and beautiful the country was, how warm the people were and how beautifully NZSO played despite the drafty rehearsal hall and all the different venues they traveled to."

Lin will perform one of the greatest works for the violin, the romantic Brahms' Violin Concerto in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch this month. Since the premiere performance on New Years Day 1879, this romantic concerto has been accepted as second only to Beethoven's concerto.

Guest Conductor, Hannu Lintu will be on the podium for these performances in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch which will also include John Adams frenetic Short Ride in a Fast Machine with its pulsating rhythms - it is one of the most requested and performed encores in American concert halls. Following the violin concerto there will be a performance of one of Tchaikovsky's most popular symphonies, the Fifth, with its expressive melody and stirring climax will finish the NZSO's 2005 subscription season with style.

In Auckland and Wellington's second concerts Lin will perform Bernstein's Serenade for violin and orchestra with its more jazzy influences, its inspiration coming from Plato's dialogue, The Symposium - one of the most famous studies of love. Following its first performance in 1954 (with Isaac Stern as the soloist) it became considered as one of the composers best works ranked only next to his three symphonies.

As part of this programme, the orchestra under Lintu will perform Schönberg's Expressionist Five pieces for Orchestra drawing its influences from the art of that period, while the final symphony from the ever-Romantic composer, Rachmaninov provides a rich close to these concerts in Auckland and Wellington.

A diverse conductor, Hannu Lintu's connection with New Zealand comes through the NZSO's Finnish Concertmaster - Vesa-Matti Leppänen. Lintu was Music Director of the Turku Philharmonic during the period Leppänen was concertmaster and the conductor is looking forward to them working together again. Talking of this connection he said recently:" In Finland I used to work successfully together with Vesa-Matti Leppänen and have heard so many good things about the NZSO from my colleagues. I also look forward to seeing New Zealand, the country itself has almost a legendry reputation in Scandinavia of being one of the most beautiful countries in the world."


New Zealand Symphony Orchestra SUBSCRIPTION SERIES 6
Friday 28 October at 6:30pm Michael Fowler Centre WELLINGTON
Friday 4 November at 6:30pm Town Hall AUCKLAND

Hannu Lintu - Conductor
Cho-Liang 'Jimmy' Lin - Violin

Schoenberg: Five Pieces for Orchestra Op 16 1949 version
Bernstein: Serenade
Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances

Series 2
Thursday 3 November at 8:00pm Founders Theatre HAMILTON
Saturday 5 November at 8:00pm Town Hall AUCKLAND
Wednesday 9 November at 8:00pm Town Hall CHRISTCHURCH
Saturday 12 November at 8:00pm Michael Fowler Centre WELLINGTON

Hannu Lintu - Conductor
Cho-Liang 'Jimmy' Lin - Violin

John Adams: Short Ride in a Fast Machine
Brahms: Violin Concerto in D Major Op 77
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 5 in E Minor Op 64


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