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Orchestra Sitting Pretty

26 February 2013

Orchestra Sitting Pretty

A chair’s a chair’s a chair – unless you spend your whole work day sitting in one. That’s why Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra is excited to have received a shipment of 48 new chairs designed with orchestral players in mind.

The chairs have been purchased with a grant of $30,000 from New Zealand Community Trust (NZCT). They arrived from Sydney last December, and were used for the first time at the opening concert of the 2013 APO season at the Auckland Town Hall last Thursday (21 February 2013) with a programme featuring Strauss’s Also Sprach Zarathustra and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 20 in D Minor.

The orchestra’s Director of Operations, John Ure, says the new international-standard chairs will replace around 70 percent of the orchestra’s existing chairs, which have been well worn and are now literally on their last legs.

“We’ve had our old chairs for many years and they’ve had a hard life,” says Mr Ure. “Each year we give countless performances all over Auckland, and where we go, our chairs go too. They are constantly being stacked, loaded, transported and sat on. They take a real battering.”

The new chairs are sophisticated pieces of equipment, and are fully adjustable to suit musicians’ requirements.

“Our old chairs couldn’t be adjusted at all,” Mr Ure says. “People are different heights, of course, and the way a musician sits depends on the type of instrument they play, so everyone’s needs are different.

“Having comfortable, adjustable chairs completely solves this problem, and the players can fine tune a chair as required. This is such an improvement and we’re rapt.”

Colin Dale, chairman of NZCT’s Northern Regional Advisory Committee, says the trust was pleased to help.

“We appreciate how hard these musicians work and how much time they give to their community,” says Mr Dale. “We felt the least we could do was ensure they were comfortable.

“Any voluntary organisation will tell you it’s not easy raising funds for new equipment,” he says. “That’s why our community funding model works well. It allows us to provide financial assistance to worthwhile community groups and help them focus on what they do best – in this case, providing wonderful musical experiences and memories for Auckland audiences.”


Last year alone NZCT distributed $37.4m in grants to sports, community and cultural events and clubs throughout the country. NZCT is one of the largest funders of amateur sport in New Zealand, and we’re proud of it. This is why we’re known as the backbone of amateur sports in New Zealand.

We can only achieve this thanks to the hard work of our local venue operators who operate safe, controlled gaming environments, where responsible and legitimate gambling takes place.


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