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Michael Houstoun is Closing Out An Epic Season


New Zealand's best-loved pianist, Michael Houstoun, is back in town to help bring this year's Epic Orchestra Wellington season to a triumphant close.

Houstoun will perform Samuel Barber's Pulitzer Prize winning piano concerto, his last major work, on Saturday 30th November at the Michael Fowler Centre.

With soloists Lev Sivkov and Amalia Hall already impressing audiences with their brilliant interpretations of Barber's cello and violin concertos, the stage is set for Houstoun to bring the Barber concerto cycle to a stunning conclusion.

Orchestra Wellington then turns to a 20th century masterpiece for its final work of the year, Shostakovich's wartime 8th symphony.

Written in 1943, as the tide was beginning to turn in favour of the Soviet Union in its battle with Nazi Germany, the symphony sweeps the listener along in a flood of drama and emotion.

Few artists have managed to capture the horror and despair of war quite like Shostakovich did in this symphony; a work made yet more profound by his decision to end it not with trumpets, bells and canons, but near complete stillness.

"If any work deserves the tag epic, it's this one" said Orchestra Wellington music director, Marc Taddei.

"Any performance of Shostakovich's 8th is a triumph".

Orchestra Wellington's final subscription concert of the year also represents a collaborative triumph for composers Rob Thorne, Tristan Dingemans, Constantine Karlis and Neil Phillips.

Their new work, Ko Tō Manawa, Ko Tōku: Puritia, for taonga pūoro and electric guitar, has been specially written to begin Orchestra Wellington's grand finale for 2019.

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