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NZSO Celebrates The Music Of Town And Country In March

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra/Te Tira Pūoro o Aotearoa tours the South Island in March with an exciting selection of music inspired by the serenity of the countryside and the bustle of towns and cities.

Town and Country in Invercargill, Dunedin, Christchurch and Blenheim sees the Orchestra led by internationally acclaimed conductor and NZSO Music Director Emeritus James Judd.

“I am so happy and feel very privileged to be back with you in New Zealand for this tour with the great musicians of the NZSO,” says Maestro Judd.

“For Town and Country, we have chosen music from the two countries where I have lived with my family – the UK and USA – and our favourite, New Zealand. The music on our programme will evoke vivid feelings of urban bustle and excitement, to serene countryside. Please come along to meet us, sit back, relax and enjoy this entertaining programme.”

Town and Country opens with Drysdale Overture by Douglas Lilburn, one of New Zealand’s greatest composers. A paean to rural New Zealand, Lilburn wrote it while studying music in Britain under leading English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams.

English composer Frederick Delius’ dreamingly romantic Walk to the Paradise Garden, from his opera A Village Romeo and Juliet, and Malcolm Arnold’s charming and colourful English Dances, complete the first half.

In the second half New Zealand composer Maria Grenfell celebrates urban life with her jubilant Fanfare for a City. American composer Aaron Copland’s film score for Our Town is a nostalgic vision of small-town life in New Hampshire. Leonard Bernstein’s Three Dance Episodes is based on material he composed for the musical On The Town, which evokes 1940s New York.

While in Invercargill, Dunedin, Christchurch and Blenheim, Judd will also conduct daytime concerts for schools of Sergei Prokofiev’s enchanting Peter and the Wolf.

Maestro Judd says he can’t wait to present one of Prokofiev’s most loved works to schools.

“However many times I conduct Peter and the Wolf I am always struck by the fresh genius of a work where narrative and music fit perfectly together. Always fun to perform, underneath the familiar simplicity lies wonderfully inspiring music for the musicians. Truly music for all ages, music which always brings a smile and that will accompany you through life.”

In Dunedin, Christchurch, and Blenheim the NZSO will also present a unique Relaxed Concert designed for audiences who may feel uncomfortable in a traditional concert environment.

The Relaxed Concert is particularly suited to people with autism, sensory and communication disorders, or a learning disability. There is a relaxed attitude to noise and movement during the performance and minimal lighting effects.

All three concerts are part of the NZSO’s Setting Up Camp series, where the Orchestra spends up to three days in each centre with a variety of concerts and community events.

Town and Country will also be performed in Kerikeri and Auckland’s North Shore and Manukau in June.

Tickets for Town and Country in Invercargill and Christchurch are available from; Dunedin from; and Blenheim via

To register a school for Peter and the Wolf email

For more information on attending the Relaxed Concert email

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