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NZSO Marks Anzac Day With Streaming Of Acclaimed NZ Work

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra will commemorate Anzac Day with a free streaming of its performance with soprano Madeleine Pierard of New Zealand composer Ross Harris’ acclaimed Symphony No. 2.

Harris’ work, with settings of poems by New Zealander Vincent O’Sullivan, remembers New Zealand soldiers who were shot for desertion in the First World War. Sullivan’s deeply felt descriptions of violence, love and tragedy are reflected in this moving and dramatic piece.

The streaming is a filmed performance of the NZSO’s 2016 concert at Wellington’s Michael Fowler Centre, led by the Orchestra’s Principal Conductor in Residence Hamish McKeich. Critics praised the concert as a “solid tour de force” and Pierard’s contribution “with a voice that blooms, sighs and offers disapassionate commentary”.

Maestro McKeich said at the time that Napier-born Pierard’s intensely expressive voice was ideal for this work.

“Madeleine has an exceptionally expressive voice and Harris’ Second Symphony was composed with her in mind.”

The concert performance, in association with SOUNZ Centre for New Zealand Music, can be viewed from 3.00pm at via smart TV, mobile phone, tablet or computer.

The Anzac Day streaming follows several popular livestream premieres by the NZSO throughout the COVID-19 lockdown. It has included the weekly Play Our Part series with NZSO players and guests performing from their homes, a new series of education videos called Music Room, and previously filmed NZSO concert performances.

Tomorrow, 24 April, at 6.30pm, the NZSO’s hit Shed Series of concerts will make its online debut with Heritage. NZSO players in their homes perform works by by Kiwi composers Jack Body and Salina Fisher, Celtic rockers Wolfstone, and more.

On Sunday, 26 April at 4.00pm, the NZSO in association with Ryman Healthcare will present the second of its Discovering Beethoven series in celebration of the composer’s 250th birthday this year. All performances are by NZSO players at home.

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