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Michael Houstoun and tales of Tibet

National musical treasure Michael Houstoun is back with Orchestra Wellington next month.

Houstoun brings sublime performances you don’t want to miss. He received standing ovations last season by playing two concertos in one night, by Mozart and Brahms.

This season, he’s just doing one, but fans of his finesse and exquisite touch have plenty to look forward to in his interpretation of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 14.

Orchestra Wellington’s upcoming ‘London Symphony’ concert on Saturday 11th August, opens with, Wild Cherry Tree, featuring two singers, countertenor Xiao Ma and bass Roger Wilson.

The composer, Gao Ping is a pianist-composer, born in Sichuan province, known for evocative textures and piano vocalization.

He lived in New Zealand for six years teaching composition at Canterbury University where he met Marc Taddei who was the Christchurch Symphony’s music director.

“Gao Ping’s music is absolutely extraordinary, beautiful and poetic,” says Orchestra Wellington music director Marc Taddei.

“When I heard one of his recent works with the NZSQ I was blown away. I saw him after that concert and said ‘we need to do something together’”.

That meeting has seen Gao Ping compose a five-movement symphony with songs telling the story of the Tibetan region of China.

The orchestra is explored in many ways to produce sounds that relate feelings of love, desire and enlightenment. The singers are the makers of a song and tellers of a story, using their vocal range in both a singing and an instrumental capacity.

Gao Ping is in demand worldwide while holding a professorship in composition at a conservatory in Beijing. When his music was premiered at the Aspen Music Festival, the San Francisco Chronicle called 'The Mountain' a “superb and often sweepingly beautiful work.”

And the concert finishes with another of Dvorak’s symphonies, his powerful and dramatic seventh.

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