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Mozart Requiem In Hamilton

6 March 2006

Mozart Requiem In Hamilton: A Special Celebration concert with the Hamilton Civic Choir;

As a music lover you will know that this year is the 250th anniversary of the birth of musical genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-91), possibly the most greatly loved composer in the classical music world. Born in Salzburg, Mozart was a child prodigy who began public clavier recitals at the age of six, had composed his first symphonies at the age of ten, and his first operas at age twelve. However, as he grew older Mozart found it difficult to make his career in the high-powered world of the European courts.

After being dismissed by his employer, the Archbishop of Salzburg, in 1781 Mozart became the first composer to attempt an independent career without the assistance of a wealthy patron. He paid the penalty for being ahead of his time, having to resort to teaching piano to supplement a meagre income from concerts and compositions. Music flowed from Mozart unceasingly he had an amazing memory and could compose complete movements in his head before starting to write the score. His music has been described as of unsurpassed beauty, aptness and with exploring the full range of human emotion (J. Westrup, Collins Encyclopedia of Music. 1976).

And yet, this wonderful musician and composer had a short, hard life, dying in poverty at the age of just 35 and buried in an unmarked paupers' grave. Legend has it that his death in July 1791 was foreshadowed by the visit of a mysterious stranger actually the steward of a nobleman who wanted Mozart to ghost-write a Requiem which he would present as his own.

Mozart, in failing health, was terrified by the strange visitor but agreed to write the Requiem, working feverishly even on his deathbed. Those of you who have seen the film Amadeus will remember the dramatic portrayal of these scenes, with Mozart dictating the score at breakneck speed for his pupil Sussmayr to copy down. He died before the work was finished, and the final few movements were completed by Sussmayr.

Despite being written in such tragic circumstances, and whether or not the legend is really based on fact, Mozart's Requiem bursts with energy and passion, and is one of the most beautiful works of this genre available to musicians and audiences. Hearing it performed live is an unforgettable experience.

The Hamilton Civic Choir is proud to bring you an opportunity to hear this wonderful work in 2006, the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth and also the 60th anniversary year of the Hamilton Civic Choir, in a concert featuring Mozart's wonderful Requiem and as a bonus - his Flute Concerto in G Major.

Where? Founders Theatre, Hamilton When? Saturday April 1 starting at 8 p.m. Who? The choir has engaged top international conductor and flute soloist Uwe Grodd, and the excellent Opus Chamber Orchestra, along with renowned soloists Pepe Becker superb, pure voiced Wellington soprano, Helen Medlyn - Auckland's dramatic mezzo-soprano, David Hamilton renowned Australian tenor, and baritone Jamie Frater - a rising star currently training in London.

For profiles of these artists, visit our website at

Don't miss this concert! Bookings are open now and selling fast at Ticketdirect, phone 07 958 5858 or visit the website at, or the Ticketdirect booking offices.

"I still believe that at any time the no-talent police will come and arrest me." Mike Myers


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