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NZSO Cancels Concerts But Will Livestream 29 August Performance

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra has cancelled its concerts in Wellington this week and in Dunedin and Christchurch next week due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Cadence and Passion in Wellington 28 and 29 August, and Passion in Dunedin and Christchurch on 1 and 2 September will no longer go ahead.

Ticket purchasers will be contacted by ticketing agencies and NZSO Subscribers by the NZSO. The NZSO earlier this month cancelled Cadence and Passion in Auckland on 4 and 5 September due to Covid-19 restrictions.

However, New Zealand can still enjoy a free performance of Passion by its national orchestra on Saturday, 29 August, from 7.30pm. The NZSO will livestream the concert from Wellington’s Michael Fowler Centre. Under Alert Level 2, the Orchestra can perform if there is no audience in the venue.

The live stream will be the NZSO debut of lauded New Zealand conductor Gemma New.

Hailed as “one of the brightest rising stars in the conducting firmament” by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, New has taken North America by storm. She is Resident Conductor of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra in Canada.

Passion, in association with InterContinental Hotels Group, features New Zealand composer Robin Toan’s Tū-mata-uengaGod of War, Spirit of Man”, NZSO Section Principal Cellist Andrew Joyce performing Elgar’s famous Cello Concerto, and Tchaikovsky’s timeless Symphony No. 6 Pathétique.

New says she first encountered Toan’s piece while a member of the NZSO National Youth Orchestra in 2005. “I remember the piece making a positive impression on both the Orchestra and audiences alike. Fast-forwarding to today, the fierce passion and bold energy of Tū-mata-uenga makes for a perfect compliment to the Elgar Cello Concerto and Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique.”

Elgar’s Cello Concert was his last major work and it has become one of the most popular works for the cello. Joyce’s solo performances with the NZSO include his critically acclaimed interpretation in 2018 of Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme, praised as “impeccable” and played “with absolute assuredness and understanding”.

The live stream can be viewed for free at live.nzso.co.nz

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