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Bells to Herald Millennium

The last carillon festival of this Millennium will bring top international performers to Wellington, highlighting the Carillon’s continuing contributions to the local soundscape.

The Second NZ International Carillon Festival will be held at the National War Memorial in Buckle Street, Wellington from 24-31 October 1999.

The repertoire spanning four centuries of carillon history will include the premiere of a new composition by Canadian composer, Ray Twomey.

Invited guest artists include Dirk Donker from The Netherlands and Joan Chia from Australia. They will be joined by National Carillonist Timothy Hurd, associate Carillonist Sydney Shep and assistant Evan Roberts.

All concerts are free and open to the public, and will be presented rain or shine.

Wellington?s Carillon is the third largest in the world, comprising 74 bells weighing in excess of 70 metric tonnes, with the bourdon bell, named “Peace”, being the largest tuned bell in the Southern Hemisphere, at 12.5 tonnes. The instrument was inaugurated on Anzac Day 1932 and has been a musical centrepiece of the capital city for 67 years. Daily recitals are presented from September to June. The schedule is as follows:

24/10 - Dirk Donker 2:30 - 3:15
25/10 - Timothy Hurd 12:00 - 12:45
26/10 - Dirk Donker 12:00 - 12:45
27/10 - Sydney Shep 12:00 - 12:45
28/10 - Timothy Hurd + duets w/Sydney Shep 12:00 - 12:45
29/10 - Joan Chia 12:00 - 12:45
30/10 - Evan Roberts 10:30 - 11:15
31/10 - Dirk Donker 2:30 - 3:15

Following each recital, there will be guided tours of the Tower and Carillon, conducted by the National Carillonist. There will also be the opportunity to meet each of the players. Tours are booked on a first come, first served basis with maximum tour size limited to twenty persons. Each participant will receive a copy of Chris Maclean’s history of the Carillon, For Whom the Bells Toll.

For details, ring Timothy Hurst at the National War Memorial on (04) 385-2496.

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