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NZSO’s ode to joy with Beethoven’s magnificent Ninth

NZSO’s ode to joy with Beethoven’s magnificent Ninth Symphony

Four acclaimed singers will join the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in Wellington and Auckland this month to perform one of the greatest symphonies ever written.

Beethoven 9 features performances of the composer’s First Symphony and the monumental Ninth, his last.

The Ninth Symphony is best known for the fourth movement’s spine-tingling ‘Ode to Joy’, where the NZSO will be joined by four classical stars – soprano Madeleine Pierard, mezzo-soprano Kristin Darragh, tenor Simon O’Neill and bass Anthony Robin Schneider, and the Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir.

NZSO Music Director Edo de Waart, a world authority on Beethoven, will conduct.

“Beethoven’s genius was recognised only a few years after his First Symphony and was firmly established by the Ninth Symphony. He has never lost that immense stature and is still one of the greatest composers, ever,” says Maestro de Waart.

Beethoven 9 completes Maestro de Waart’s Masterworks concert series for 2018.

Symphony No. 9, written when Beethoven had become completely deaf, is one of his most ambitious and loved works. The audience responded enthusiastically when it premiered in Vienna in 1824 and it became widely viewed as his greatest composition.

Symphony No. 1 premiered in 1800 when the young Beethoven was making his name in Vienna as a pianist and composer. While the influence of composers Haydn and Mozart can be heard in the First Symphony, it also shows Beethoven as hungry to explore and experiment.

Ahead of Simon O’Neill’s performance in Beethoven 9, Wellington audiences have the opportunity to discover more about the international star, hailed as one of the finest tenors of his generation. In Conversation with Simon O’Neill will be held at Mac’s Function Centre on 20 November. O’Neill will talk about his career and passion for music and the evening will include performances by NZSO players.


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