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World Premiere, Masterpieces And Henry Wong Doe

The Manukau Symphony Orchestra (MSO) takes music-making up a notch with the world premiere of a new fanfare, a captivating pianist Henry Wong Doe and orchestral masterpieces in Brahms 4 on Saturday 3 July, 7.30pm at the Vodafone Events Centre.

Performing with the MSO for the first time, Auckland-born pianist Henry Wong Doe, Professor of Piano at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, loves how emotionally charged Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 is. ‘One of the highlights for me is how Beethoven creates mystery and suspense when the orchestra re-enters after the final trills of the cadenza,’ says Wong Doe. ‘It’s a magical, hair-raising moment.’

‘Henry and I have previously worked together when he studied at the University of Auckland,’ says Uwe Grodd, MSO Music Director. ‘I am really excited to welcome him on his visit to Auckland and perform with us in Manukau.’

For his second commission by Manukau Orchestral Society Incorporated, New Zealand composer David Hamilton’s new work Fanfare for Matariki heralds the Māori New Year.

‘Much of the piece is bright and energetic as is usual for a fanfare,’ says Hamilton. ‘Listen out for glittering vibraphone flourishes, the brilliance of three piccolos, and nine bells representing the nine stars of Matariki.’

Music Director Uwe Grodd was hesitant when programming large works like BrahmsSymphony No. 4. ‘To perform this work requires a full symphony orchestra able to express the deep emotions embedded in the masterpiece,’ says Grodd. ‘To be able to programme this work is a true testament to the MSO’s maturity reached over 28 years of performing for our audiences, and our “very special spirit”.’

The Manukau Symphony Orchestra is a community orchestra known for its unique mix of professional, youth and community players. The orchestra is committed to New Zealand music and has commissioned new works by Chris Artley, Warwick Blair, Dorothy Buchanan, Claire Cowan, Gareth Farr, John Rimmer, Anthony Ritchie, Robin Toan, and of course, David Hamilton.

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

What: Manukau Symphony Orchestra presents Brahms 4
When: Saturday 3 July 2021, 7.30pm
Where: Vodafone Events Centre. Tickets are on sale now at Eventfinda or phone (09) 577 3031.

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Editor’s Notes

High-resolution images are available on request.

Manukau Symphony Orchestra

Founded in 1993, the Manukau Symphony Orchestra (MSO) is a leading community orchestra which aims to achieve a balance of professional, community and youth players, and is known for its 'very special spirit'.

What started as music workshops is now an established community orchestra made up of around 80 players aged between 17 to 85.

The Manukau Symphony Orchestra gives up to five concerts each year featuring local and international players and artists and celebrates its 28th anniversary in 2021.

Uwe Grodd – Conductor

Uwe Grodd’s contributions to classical music have brought him considerable international acclaim as conductor, flautist, editor and teacher. In 1997 he joined Naxos Records as an Exclusive Artist and to date, he has made world premiere recordings of more than 80 works.

Grodd initially gained worldwide attention when awarded First Prize at the Cannes Classical Awards 2000 for Best 18th Century Orchestral Recording of Vaňhal symphonies on which he conducted Hungary’s Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia. Two Editor’s Choice awards from Gramophone UK followed as well as the coveted International Record Review Outstanding Award following his recording of Ferdinand Ries’ Complete Works for Piano and Orchestra, featuring the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony, the Gaevle Symphony, and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

Performance highlights include eight concerts with the Mexico City Philharmonic and final concerts of the 53rd and the 54th Handel Festival in Halle, Germany with the Philharmonic Orchestra Halle.

Uwe Grodd is equally committed to the music of his own time, playing a pivotal role in commissioning more than 50 works from New Zealand composers. In 2021 he conducted the premiere season of the opera Ihitai ‘Avei‘a Star Navigator by Tim Finn with the Manukau Symphony Orchestra. Uwe has been the inaugural Music Director of the Manukau Symphony Orchestra since 1993 and Music Director of the Auckland Choral Society since 2008. He is Professor Emeritus of the University of Auckland and is currently Post Graduate Supervisor in Music at Canterbury University.

Henry Wong Doe – Pianist

Born in Auckland, New Zealand, Henry Wong Doe has received prizes, including two ‘Audience Favourite’ awards in the Arthur Rubinstein, Busoni and Sydney International Piano Competitions.

Performance highlights include venues such as Carnegie Hall, New York, Heinz Hall, Pittsburgh, St. Martin-in-the-Fields London, Esplanade-Theatres on the Bay Singapore, the Sydney Opera House in Australia and the Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Performances with orchestra include the Pittsburgh Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, Australian Chamber and Auckland Philharmonia Orchestras under the batons of Christopher Hogwood, Mendi Rodan, Edvard Tchivzel, Michael Christie, Marko Letonja and Tobias Ringborg.

Henry has released four commercial recordings – one chamber disc for Klavier records Five in the Sun (K11193) and three solo discs on the Trust and Rattle labels. His debut solo disc Horizon on Trust Records (MMT 2070, works by Gareth Farr) was featured on WNYC radio New York as part of their “New Sounds” program. His second disc Landscape Preludes (Rattle Records, RAT-D046) was critically acclaimed both in New Zealand (New Zealand Herald) and the United States (ClassicsToday magazine). His latest disc, Pictures (Rattle Records, RAT-D072 was a finalist in the 2018 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards (Best Classical Artist). Henry’s upcoming project includes the three piano sonatas by Alberto Ginastera.

Henry Wong Doe studied at the University of Auckland, New Zealand and Indiana University Bloomington before earning a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The Juilliard School in New York. His teachers have included Susan Smith, Bryan Sayer, Evelyne Brancart, Leonard Hokanson and Joseph Kalichstein. Henry is currently Professor of Piano and Keyboard Area Chair at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He also serves as President of the Indiana Chapter of the Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association (PMTA) and is currently co-conference chair for the PMTA.

David Hamilton – Composer

David Hamilton (b. 1955), is one of New Zealand's most widely performed composers. Until 2001 Head of Music at Epsom Girls Grammar School in Auckland, from 2002 he has been concentrating on composing, reducing teaching commitments to part-time. He continued to work with Opus, the top choir of Epsom Girls Grammar School until the end of 2003, and conducted St Mary's Schola (St Mary's College 2008-2012). He was a foundation member of the New Zealand Youth Choir (1979-1982), has been composer-in-residence with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (1999), and has also been Deputy Music Director of Auckland Choral (1996-2011).

With a strong interest and involvement in choral music, Hamilton's music is being increasingly performed by choirs around the world. Recent significant performances have been in Italy, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, and the USA, and works have been commissioned by choirs in England, Japan, Ireland, the USA and Finland.

He is also active as a choral adjudicator, having been invited to Japan in 2000 (Takarazuka International Chamber Choir Contest) and 2003 (Japan Choral Association high schools choir competition), and to Hawaii in 2005 (Pacific Basin Music Festival). In September 2009 he was an adjudicator and workshop leader at the Trelew international choir competition in Argentina, and in 2012 received an invitation to be an adjudicator at the prestigious Eisteddfod in Llangollen, Wales (with a return invitation in 2013). Also in demand as a workshop presenter in New Zealand and overseas. He has lectured in both the School of Music and School of Education at the University of Auckland. In 2013 he was guest composer at Sing Aotearoa, the national choral event, and composed the work which everyone performed at 'The Forest Sing'. In early 2015 he was composer-in-residence at the NZ Singing School.

He is also busy as a choral conductor with community choirs, having worked with Tauranga Civic Choir, Napier Civic Choir, Pakuranga Choral Society, Taupo Choral Society and South Auckland Choral Society, as well as conducting Auckland Choral on several occasions. Major works conducted include Lambert's 'The Rio Grande', Haydn's 'Nelson' Mass (three times) and 'Little Organ Mass', Handel's 'Samson', Mozart's 'Requiem' and Clarinet Concerto, Saint Saens 'Christmas Oratorio', Gounod's 'Saint Cecilia' Mass, Mendelssohn's ‘Vom himmel hoch’ and ‘Elijah’, Bach cantatas, and Britten's 'Ceremony of Carols', along with a number of his own choral cycles.

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