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Virtuoso violinist to play two dazzling programmes

Virtuoso violinist to play two dazzling back-to-back programmes with NZSO

Karen Gomyo, one of the world’s most sought-after young violinists, returns in August to perform with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in two must-see programmes.

“I can’t imagine doing anything else in life besides music,” she says.

Gomyo wowed audiences when she first performed Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with the NZSO in 2015, praised by The NZ Herald for her “gusto and pinpoint accuracy” and The Dominion Post as “a fine, technically assured player with a sure sense of style”.

Gomyo will perform in two NZSO programmes - Mahler & Berg and then Beethoven & Bruch the following night in both Wellington and Auckland over two weekends.

The concerts, in Association with New Zealand Listener, will be conducted by NZSO Music Director Edo de Waart as part of his popular Masterworks series. “I have heard very good things about Karen Gomyo and I am very happy she will be with us,” says de Waart.

Gomyo, winner of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2008, is a consummate musician, bringing to her performances an extraordinary zeal and attention to detail. “A first-rate artist of real musical command, vitality, brilliance and intensity,” declared the Chicago Tribune. Her 2017 performance with the Utah Symphony was hailed a “knockout performance” by The Salt Lake Tribune. She continues be in demand by the world’s top orchestras.

For her NZSO concerts Gomyo will perform Alban Berg’s complex and deeply emotional Violin Concerto and Max Bruch’s incandescent Violin Concerto No 1 in G minor.

Mahler & Berg also features New Zealand composer Salina Fisher’s haunting Rainphase, which was inspired by Wellington’s weather. The work originated from her time as composer in residence with the NZSO National Youth Orchestra.

At the APRA Silver Scroll Awards last year Fisher became the youngest ever winner of the SOUNZ Contemporary Award for Rainphase. In September she begins studying for a Master of Music Composition at the Manhattan School of Music.

The concert’s finale, Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 in D major – Titan, made a big impression on de Waart when he first heard it as a teenager in late 1950s, conducted by Mahler’s assistant Bruno Walter. “I did not know what hit me. I became hooked on Mahler.”

Beethoven & Bruch also features American composer John AdamsShort Ride in a Fast Machine - “a very exciting piece” says de Waart, along with “a great joy, as always” - Beethoven’s masterpiece and audience favourite, Symphony No.7 in A major.

Mahler & Berg with Karen Gomyo

EDO DE WAART Conductor

BERG Violin Concerto
MAHLER Symphony No. 1 in D major, Titan
WELLINGTON | Michael Fowler Centre| Friday 11 August| 6.30pm
AUCKLAND | Town Hall| Friday 18 August| 7.30pm

Beethoven & Bruch with Karen Gomyo

EDO DE WAART Conductor

JOHN ADAMS Short Ride in a Fast Machine
BRUCH Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 7 in A major
WELLINGTON | Michael Fowler Centre| Saturday 12 August| 7.30pm
AUCKLAND | Town Hall| Saturday 19 August| 7.30pm

1. Karen Gomyo is trilingual – she speaks Japanese, French and English.

2. She was born in Tokyo, Japan and was raised in Montreal, Canada before she moved to New York City to study at the prestigious Juilliard School.

3. At Juilliard, Gomyo studied under one of the most famous violin teachers, Dorothy DeLay.

4. Gomyo is the first musician in her family.

5. In one performing season, Gomyo has performed up to 10 different concertos.

6. Gomyo began playing the violin when she was 5, and was taught using the Suzuki Method.

7. At age nine she was a winner in the Canadian Music Competitions in Ottawa.

8. Her “Aurora, ex-Foulis” Stradivarius violin, made in 1703, was loaned to Gomyo by a private sponsor who bought the violin for Gomyo’s exclusive use.
“It's not the most spectacular-sounding instrument in a small room. But the magic happens in a larger hall. Somehow, the violin starts to sing - and it's almost like you can visualise beautiful rays of 'tonal light' around the instrument,” she says.

9. Antonio Stradivari made more than 1100 instruments during the seventeenth century. Gomyo’s violin is one of about 650 Stradivarius instruments left.

10. Gomyo was the violinist, guide, and narrator of a 2014 film about Stradivarius called The Mysteries of the Supreme Violin.

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