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NZSO to present Frankenstein!! and a feast of Beethoven

14 September 2018


The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra will perform every Beethoven symphony and the acclaimed contemporary work Frankenstein!! in its exceptional line-up of concerts for 2019.

The season centrepiece will be a Beethoven Festival in Auckland and Wellington, conducted by NZSO Music Director Edo de Waart, where New Zealand’s national orchestra will perform the great composer’s nine symphonies.

Austrian composer and conductor HK Gruber’s adventurous Frankenstein!! is inspired by the classic novel and refers to other fictional heroes and villains, including James Bond and Goldfinger.

Maestro de Waart’s Masterworks series will include Holst’s The Planets, Elgar’s Enigma Variations, Schubert’s ‘Great’ C major symphony and Mahler’s ambitious ‘Resurrection’ symphony, which features Voices New Zealand with The Orpheus Choir in Wellington and Auckland Choral in Auckland.

International soloists will include Grammy Award-winning American mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, pianists Joyce Yang, Denis Kozhukhin, Steven Osborne and Louis Lortie, and violinists Carolin Widmann and Jennifer Koh.

Håkan Hardenberger, one of the best trumpeters in the world, will perform in the Frankenstein!! concerts and swap places with conductor HK Gruber to allow Gruber, as chansonnier, to perform his own work.

Sibelius’ Symphonies 6 and 7 conducted by Denmark’s Thomas Søndergård, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 1 conducted by Russian Dima Slobodeniouk, Nielsen’s Symphony No. 4 conducted by Uruguay’s Carlos Kalmar, and Richard Strauss’ Death and Transfiguration conducted by Israeli Asher Fisch, are a few of the other works featuring in 2019.

NZSO Chief Executive Christopher Blake says the soloists, the conductors and the music that the Orchestra will tour around the country in 2019 are outstanding.

“Whether you attend NZSO concerts often or are new to the Orchestra, it will be an experience you won’t forget. The soloists and conductors who join us next year are some of the best in the world and we are delighted that several will perform with us for the first time, including star mezzo-soprano Susan Graham,” he says.

“The Beethoven Festival is one of our biggest undertakings, and a fantastic opportunity to enjoy some of the greatest music ever written for orchestra. Maestro de Waart is a musical authority on Beethoven and to have him conduct this festival makes it even more special.”

Several New Zealand works will be performed by the NZSO in 2019, including commissions by Kenneth Young and Michael Norris. A summer tour, Classical Journey, led by NZSO Associate Conductor Hamish McKeich, will bring popular works by Rossini, Haydn, Prokofiev and Brahms to several centres.

NZSO Section Principal Horn Samuel Jacobs will perform Richard Strauss’ Horn Concerto in a concert with German-Japanese conductor Jun Märkl.

The NZSO National Youth Orchestra will celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2019 with concerts conducted by NZSO Music Director Emeritus James Judd. For this special event the NYO collaborates with the New Zealand Youth Choir, which celebrates its own 40th anniversary in 2019.

All the concerts announced are part of the NZSO’s Podium Series and details can be viewed online at nzso.co.nz. Additional NZSO concerts in 2019 will be unveiled later this year.

ENDS

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