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Houstoun Plays ‘The Egyptian’ In Manukau

After almost fifty years of playing, New Zealand’s foremost pianist Michael Houstoun will be performing in South Auckland for the final time on Saturday 21 March 2020 with the Manukau Symphony Orchestra (MSO), before ‘hanging up his fingers’ in retirement.

Performing Saint-Saëns’ Piano Concerto No. 5, nicknamed ‘The Egyptian’, Houstoun says he loves the charm, exoticism and virtuosity of the work. “I imagine Saint-Saëns was very happy holidaying in Egypt and losing himself in the culture when he wrote this piece,” he says.

Since first performing with the MSO in 2005 at the opening of the now Vodafone Events Centre, this will be the sixth time Houstoun performs with the MSO.

“Michael is our most-loved soloist,” says Uwe Grodd, Musical Director of the Manukau Symphony Orchestra. “He is a charismatic performer and we are humbled to be on this rewarding journey and sharing the stage with him.”

Houstoun says he loves the MSO and that he and the MSO have a great history together. “The MSO plays a terrific role in greater Auckland’s musical life and I wish that will continue,” says Houstoun.

In celebrating the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, the MSO has programmed one of his overtures in each of the concerts this year, starting with his Name Day Celebration Overture.

Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G minor has one of the most recognisable tunes of any symphony. This intensely passionate work was said to have influenced composers such as Beethoven.

Extolling the charms of Paris, Offenbach’s La Vie Parisienne Overture is a lively celebration of everything Parisian with catchy tunes reminiscent of the can-can music heard in cabarets.

The Manukau Symphony Orchestra is a community orchestra with a ‘very special spirit’ comprised of a unique mix of professional, youth and community players. It is the only full symphony orchestra based in South Auckland and performs up to five concerts throughout the year.

The orchestra gratefully acknowledges the support of its donors, funders and supporters, including Auckland Council, Creative Communities Auckland, Foundation North, Four Winds Foundation, Multi-Media Systems Limited, Second Nature Charitable Trust and the Vodafone Events Centre.

What: Houstoun Plays ‘The Egyptian’ 
When: Saturday 21 March 2020, 7.30pm 
Where: Vodafone Events Centre
Tickets are on sale now at

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