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Winning Chinese pianist plays Body

Theatre Productions

September 2006

Media Release

Winning Chinese pianist plays Body

26 year-old Sun Yingdi making his NZ debut with 6 recitals

New Zealand will welcome one of the world’s next great concert pianists, when 25-year old Sun Yingdi visits the country in October. The six-city tour will be Sun’s New Zealand debut, and his programme will feature virtuosic works by Liszt, Mozart, and Ravel. A very special aspect of the recitals will be the world premiere of a piece by acclaimed Wellington composer, Jack Body.

“I am really excited about this collaboration!” said Body

“This is an exciting opportunity to bring a part of contemporary Chinese culture together with the dynamic communities and cultures of Aotearoa,” said His Excellency Zhang Yuanyuan, Chinese Ambassador to New Zealand. “Sun Yingdi is a brilliant, extraordinary musician, and audiences from Auckland to Christchurch will not be disappointed.”

Born in Shanghai in 1980, Sun Yingdi rose to world-wide acclaim in 2005, when he won the prestigious 7th International Franz Liszt Piano Competition in Utrecht. The prize included a demanding two-year extensive concert tour including performances throughout Europe, Asia, North America, and South Africa. On the morning following the Final of the Liszt Competition, Sun Yingdi performed in Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw with the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Jean-Bernard Pommier. From that moment on, the 25 year old musician’s reputation was confirmed.

More recently, Sun Yingdi has been proving himself as an ever more versatile pianist. He performed Benjamin Britten’s concerto with the Shanghai Philarmonic Orchestra, conducted by Stephen Asbury, during the Shanghai Spring International Music Festival. The performance was highly praised by the famous musicology Donald Mitchell, who had worked with Britten for more than twenty years.

“His calm stage personality belies his ability to draw the listener in with inspired musicianship and incredible virtuosity,” said Eska Crossley.

Having started piano lessons at the age of three, and continued his early development thanks to a Government supported music programme at his kindergarten. His father bought a piano for their house, quite an unusual acquisition for a Chinese family, to nurture Sun Yingdi’s natural talents. From 2001, he engaged in formal studies with Professor Sheng Yi-qi at the Conservatory of Shanghai.

“Our communities are connecting with Asia in all sort of wonderful ways,” said Jennifer King, cultural manager for the Asia New Zealand Foundation, “Sun Yingdi will be known as one of the 21st century’s greatest pianists, and we are pleased to support his upcoming tour.”

Sun Yingdi’s New Zealand debut will begin in Hastings, sister city of Guilin, Guangxi. He will then tour to Auckland, Hamilton, Christchurch, Wellington and Blenheim.

Masterclasses by Sun Yingdi will also be held in conjunction with the tour in some centres.

Sun Yingdi’s New Zealand tour is under the aegis of the Oriental Express programme, facilitated by the Ministry of Culture of China, the Chinese Embassy, Asia NZ Foundation and Capital Theatre Productions.

For further information and to arrange interviews please contact: Dawn Sanders, P: 04 384 1300 M: 027 283 6016 E:




Saturday 7 October 7.30pm Hawke’s Bay Opera House Bookings 06 873 8962


Tuesday 10 October 7.30pm Holy Trinity Church, Parnell Bookings 09 307 5000


Thursday 12 October 7.30pm Gallagher Concert Chamber

WEL Energy Trust Academy of Performing Arts

University of Waikato Bookings 0800 383 5200


Saturday 14 October 1.30pm Heritage Chapel

Christchurch Music Centre Door sales only


Monday 16 October 7.30pm Ilott Concert Chamber

Wellington Town Hall Bookings 04 384 3840


Thursday 19 October 6.00pm Montana Brancott Estate Bookings 03 577 5743

Book for dinner to follow concert


Adults $25

Concessions $20

Students with ID $15

Children $10

Groups 6 or more $20 each


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