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Explosive Opening Season Concerts

7th April 2006

French Style Joins With Irish Charm In Explosive Opening Season Concerts

"Douglas is a great performer, and few could better him for thunderous virtuosity..." Manchester Evening News

The outstanding New Zealand Symphony Orchestra season opens this month with the return of two New Zealand favourites, under the direction of sparkling French conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier they will feature renowned Irish pianist, Barry Douglas performing two of the greatest piano concerti; Beethoven's mighty "Emperor" concerto, along with Tchaikovsky's famed First Piano Concerto at the Auckland Town Hall on 28th & 29th April.

Barry Douglas's triumph as gold medalist at the Eighth Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition propelled this dazzling musician onto the international scene as a titan of the keyboard with his spectacular technique and commanding musicianship.

Of his performances of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto, the Times said, "he emphasis's the work's poetry and grace... with [the] last movement a truly electrifying climax."

Douglas is currently recording a Beethoven Concerti cycle with Camerata Ireland, the second and fourth concerti were released in Spring 2005, the 'Emporer' is due to be released in August this year. French conductor - Yan Pascal Tortelier, whose 2004 performances of the Rite of Spring will remain in orchestra and audiences minds for a long time, returns to Auckland on 29th April with Debussy's glittering La Mer, an electric dedication to the composers' passion for maritime art.

Also a champion of new music, Tortelier will premiere NZ composer, John Rimmer's playful NZSO commission 'Hidden Treasures', dedicated to and performed in these concerts by NZSO Principal Horn, Edward Allen.

On 28th April at the Auckland Town Hall, Tortelier will charm with Ralph Vaughan William' lush and romantic Symphony No.4 coupled with the composer's emotive Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis.. Tchaikovsky's ground-breaking First Piano Concerto provides the tantalizing entrée.

Yan Pascal Tortelier is hailed as one of the most exciting conductors to emerge from Europe in recent years. Andrew Druckenbrod of the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette recently wrote, "What's amazing these days with Tortelier is that everywhere he goes, good reviews follow."

Announced as Music Director of Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 2004, his star continues to rise in America, where he is reaching the high accolades for US performances mirroring those in Europe which saw him conduct the top orchestras throughout the UK. As well as Tortelier's appearances at the BBC Proms and leading UK festivals, during his 11-yr tenure as Principal Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic, he also made several high profile recordings, one of which won him the prestigious Diapason d'Or.

PROGRAMME Friday 28 April at 6.30pm TOWN HALL AUCKLAND

Yan Pascal Tortelier Conductor Barry Douglas Piano Vaughn Williams: Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No 1 in B Flat minor Op 23 Vaughn Williams: Symphony No 4 in F Minor

Saturday 29 April 8pm Town Hall Auckland Preconcert talk 7.15, Concert Chamber: John Rimmer Yan Pascal Tortelier- Conductor Barry Douglas-Piano Edward Ellen- French Horn

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 5 'Emperor' Rimmer: Hidden Treasures Debussy: La Mer

Thursday 27 April 8pm Civic Theatre Rotorua

Pre-concert talk 7.15pm West Room, Civic Theatre

Yan Pascal Tortelier- Conductor Barry Douglas-Piano Edward Ellen- French Horn Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 5 'Emperor' Rimmer: Hidden Treasures Vaughn Williams: Symphony No 4 in F Minor


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