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Capital's Credibility as Arts Capital Gets a Boost

Capital's Credibility as Arts Capital Gets a Boost

Artists from around the world are gathering in the arts capital for a highly anticipated global music festival in September.

Twenty countries are represented with big names travelling for a star-studded festival for strings from Europe, the United States and Asia.

Top billing is awarded to world-renowned Russian-Italian violist Anna Serova. When she’s not performing classical pieces, Serova is equally adept as a tango dancer.

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester says the festival for international violas is coup for the city.

“We can’t wait to welcome viola players from around the world to Wellington.”

“The 44th International Viola Congress is another chance for the world’s coolest little capital to shine, with delegates from some of the world’s top music institutions attending.”

And the celebration of things viola, the bigger cousin of the violin, won’t be limited to concert halls.

Wellington will never sound so mellow with a flash mob of some of the world’s best exponents of the instrument.

The busy calendar of more than forty events over five days will also feature The Three Altos gala concert, seminars, master-classes, a composition competition and panel discussions.

Events climax with The Three Altos at the Michael Fowler Centre on September 4, featuring Serova with two fellow global viola stars, Roger Benedict (Australia) and Roger Myers (USA), and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Wellington maestro Hamish McKeich will conduct.

Arkhangelsk-born Serova has an imposing stage presence. Her personality displays traits of intense musicality, interpretative clarity, captivating sound quality and complete mastery of the viola.

Serova is performing the NZ premiere of Boris Pigovat's achingly beautiful "Poem of Dawn" and the world premiere of Roberto Molinelli's extraordinary "Lady Walton's Garden", rich with Argentinean flavour, rhythms and excitement - don't be surprised if it breaks into some tango dancing - anything is possible!

Roger Myers (USA) will open with the world premiere of a new orchestrated take on Robert Schumann's enchanting "Fairy Tale Pictures" and Roger Benedict (Australia) will close it with a performance of the world's most popular viola concerto, by Sir William Walton.

Since its inception in 1973 the annual viola congresses have been hosted mostly in Europe and North America. In 2018 it will be hosted in the Netherlands.

Representatives from top institutions are travelling to the festival in ellington from; University of Texas at Austin, Academy of Music Pozan, Poland, University of Montreal, Central Michigan University, University of Virginia, West Virginia University, Texas State University, University of Alabama, University of Northern Colorado, and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, to name a few.


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