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Musicians Make Sonic Stand On Parliament Steps

Hundreds of musicians will perform on the steps of Parliament to voice
their opposition to plans to axe Radio NZ Concert, the country's only
classical and jazz music station.

A massed choir and orchestra, conducted by Wellington’s Brent Stewart,
have chosen RNZ Concert's 87th birthday, Monday 24th February, to
voice their support, with a performance of the classical hit Carmina

“It has been very encouraging to see so many New Zealanders rallying
to the cause of the long established and well respected RNZ Concert
Programme,” said Rt Hon Helen Clark, Former Prime Minister and Former
Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage.

“A concert on the steps of Parliament reminds us how important the
Concert Programme is to our performing artists and composers. The
station is a significant contributor to the arts and culture in New
Zealand with high intrinsic value. It deserves to be supported.”

Brent Stewart, the music director of Wellington's Orpheus Choir, said
the 24th of February 1933 was the day the government first set up 2YC,
the predecessor station of RNZ Concert.

"We applaud efforts to set up an intelligent youth orientated network
in New Zealand, but is really necessary to kick Beethoven off the
radio in order for it to happen?"

"It’s madness that the CEO and Board of RNZ could so flippantly take
away the beating heart of our musical infrastructure.”

"We cannot stand by and become the only developed country without a
dedicated and well presented Art Music station. It will cripple our
orchestras, bands, choirs, and future generations of musicians.”

RNZ plans to shift Concert to the lower quality AM frequency, to free
up the station’s FM network for a new youth music channel.

Orchestra Wellington's General Manager Kirsten Mason is calling people
to join the protest at Parliament grounds.

"Orchestra Wellington is delighted to be part of the birthday
celebrations for RNZ Concert."

"For almost nine decades this radio station has belonged to and been
loved by New Zealanders.”

“I would urge everyone who loves classical music and jazz and believe
that they have an important place in our culture to come along - come
and sing, come and play - or just come and support our radio station!”

Concert organisers Claire Cowan, composer, Brent Stewart, conductor
and Kirsten Mason, General Manager Orchestra Wellington, plan to
release more details about artists and invited guests in coming days.

Carl Orff’s choral-orchestral masterpiece Carmina Burana is a widely
popular piece which has appeared in the movies over 15 times. The
movement ‘O Fortuna’ has become a staple in popular culture, setting
the mood for dramatic situations and is highly recognisable.

The concert will begin at 4pm on Monday 24th February at Parliament.

© Scoop Media

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