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Choral Masterpieces – Haydn and Stravinsky


Choral Masterpieces – Haydn and Stravinsky
Thursday 9 October, 8.00pm, Auckland Town Hall, THE EDGE®

18 SEPTEMBER, 2008 – Four grand pianos, four superb pianists, four fantastic vocal soloists, a full choir and two stunning pieces of music – the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra performs Stravinsky’s stunning Les Noces and Haydn’s moving Mass in Time of War.

The concert, Choral Masterpieces – Haydn and Stravinsky will be performed on Thursday 9 October at Auckland Town Hall, THE EDGE® bringing together soloists from New Zealand, Russia, Serbia, Argentina and the United States under the baton of acclaimed Dutch conductor Otto Tausk.

Performing Les Noces presents a logistical challenge for any orchestra – Stravinsky’s emotional depiction of a Russian wedding calls for four grand pianos on stage and four superb pianists. The APO is thrilled to be bringing together two of New Zealand’s best known classical pianists, Michael Houstoun and Diedre Irons for this concert, together with Russian virtuoso Alexander Melnikov and Australian-based Argentinean pianist Andrea Katz.

Joining the musicians on stage are four vocal soloists – New Zealand bass Martin Snell, American tenor Ted Schmitz, well-known Australian soprano Merlyn Quaife and Serbian alto Milijana Nikolic, together with The Graduate Choir.

“Some of the finest and most impressive music written is for choir and orchestra,” says APO chief executive Barbara Glaser. “This concert is a very special opportunity to showcase two superb works. We’re very excited about working with eight stunning soloists and a full choir. It will be a night filled with emotion – with the magic of a wedding and Haydn’s moving prayer for peace.”
Originally composed as a ballet and considered one of his most remarkable achievements, Stravinsky’s Les Noces is rarely recorded or staged, mostly due to the challenge of requiring four pianos, six percussionists with instruments, a choir and four vocal soloists.
Composed in 1796 during the time of Austria’s mobilisation into general war, Haydn’s prayer for peace, Mass In Time of War, reflects the troubled mood of the time.

The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra performs Choral Masterpieces – Haydn and Stravinsky on Thursday 9 October at 8pm at the Auckland Town Hall, THE EDGE®. Tickets ($20 to $65) are available from Ticketek, Ph 0800 TICKETEK (842 538) or


Choral Masterpieces

What: Choral Masterpieces – Haydn and Stravinsky
When: Thursday 9 October, 8.00pm
Where: Auckland Town Hall, THE EDGE®

Otto Tausk

Merlyn Quaife

Milijana Nikolic

Ted Schmitz

Martin Snell

Michael Houstoun
Diedre Irons
Andrea Katz
Alexander Melnikov

The Graduate Choir

Terence Maskell


Stravinsky Les Noces
Haydn Mass In Time of War (Paukenmesse)

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