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NZSO mixes Zappa and Mozart on Wellington’s waterfront

NZSO mixes Zappa and Mozart on Wellington’s waterfront

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra breaks out of the traditional concert hall next week with a new series of boutique-style performances on Wellington’s waterfront.

The Shed Series at Shed 6, next to the TSB Arena, will present a diverse mix of music where the audience can relax and buy drinks throughout the performance.

NZSO Associate Conductor Hamish McKeich says the Shed Series is a new way to experience New Zealand’s national orchestra and enjoy very different kinds of music. “The Shed Series will present the NZSO in a more informal setting. There will be tables and some seating, or you will able to stand if you wish, and buy a drink or snack as the Orchestra plays,” he says.

“The audience can also continue socialising in Shed 6 once the concert ends. It will be a fun and relaxing way to kick-start the weekend.”

McKeich says the Shed Series, in Association with Craggy Range, will appeal to both audiences who already enjoy the NZSO and those who normally shy away from concert halls. Tickets are just $35 each.

Innovation, the first Shed Series concert, features orchestral pieces by music maverick Frank Zappa, including G-Spot Tornado and The Dog Breath Variations/Uncle Meat, alongside Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto, featuring NZSO Section Principal Bassoonist Robert Weeks. NZSO’s Bridget Douglas playing Varèse’s solo flute Density 12.5, and excerpts from Stravinsky’s Pulcinella Suite. There will also be a surprise piece from one of Zappa’s idols.

Zappa is best known for the iconoclastic rock albums he released from the late 1960s until his death in 1993. However, McKeich says Zappa, Mozart, Varèse and Stravinsky are all connected.
“Zappa loved modern classical music and was influenced by it throughout his career. Varèse and Stravinsky were some of his favourite composers and the bassoon a favourite instrument.

“The works we will play were written by Zappa to be performed by his band. The orchestral versions were later made under Zappa’s guidance while he was alive. This will be a rare chance for New Zealanders to hear Zappa’s trademark zany musical humour.”

Two further Shed Series concerts in June and October will feature Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood’s music from the film There Will Be Blood sharing a programme with Haydn’s Symphony No. 60 and works by experimental composer John Zorn alongside Mozart.


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