Mahler Four With Manukau Symphony Orchestra ‘…a Dream’
A Mahler symphony is a symbol of maturity for any orchestra. Together with soprano Anna Leese, Manukau Symphony Orchestra (MSO) will perform Mahler’s Fourth Symphony on Saturday 28 August, 7.30pm at the Vodafone Events Centre.
Leese, a sought-after Kiwi soprano, says the challenge is conveying the sense of child-like wonderment in Das himmlische Leben (The Heavenly Life) in the last movement of Mahler’s Fourth Symphony. ‘There are few opportunities to sing Mahler with an orchestra in New Zealand, so singing it is a dream,’ says Leese.
‘I have worked with Anna Leese a number of times and have always admired her pure tone, attitude and charisma on stage,’ says Uwe Grodd, MSO Music Director. ‘This is MSO’s first time sharing the stage with Anna, and we are excited for her voice to resonate above the rich timbres of the orchestra’.
Richard Strauss was a prolific composer of Lieder, though only a relatively small number were orchestrated. Leese will bring to life Zueignung (Devotion), An die nacht (In the Night), Ich wollt ein Strausslen binden (I meant to make you a posy), Heimliche Aufforderung (The Lover’s Pledge), Ruhe, Meine Seele! (Rest thee, my spirit!) and the popular Morgen! (Tomorrow!).
Mozart’s crowd-pleasing curtain raiser Overture to Il Seraglio, fashionably written in a ‘Turkish style’ spiced up with cymbals, triangles and big drums found in Janissary bands, will start this midwinter concert.
The Manukau Symphony Orchestra is a community orchestra with a unique mix of professional, youth and community players. Established in 1993, it is the only full symphony orchestra based in Manukau, Auckland.
The orchestra gratefully acknowledges the generous support of its donors, funders and supporters, including Auckland Council, Creative Communities Auckland, Four Winds Foundation, Multi-Media Systems Limited, Second Nature Charitable Trust and Vodafone Events Centre.
What: Manukau Symphony
Orchestra presents Mahler 4
When: Saturday 28 August 2021, 7.30pm
Where: Vodafone Events Centre. Tickets are on sale now at Eventfinda or phone (09) 577 3031.
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.
Anna Leese – Soprano
Anna Leese, who represented New Zealand in the Cardiff Singer of the World competition, is now a vocal tutor and doctoral candidate at Otago University, where she is researching co-composition between singers and conductors in Aotearoa, NZ.
Anna has performed at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Classical Opera Company, Opera Köln, Flanders Opera, Opera Holland Park, Canadian Opera Company, and for New Zealand Opera.
Most recently Anna has sung at the Adam Chamber Music Festival in Nelson; Wakatipu Festival in Queenstown; Ravel’s Sheherazade with Orchestra Wellington; Mozart’s Requiem with Christchurch Symphony; Messiah with Queensland Symphony, New Zealand Symphony and Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Society; The Governess (Turn of the Screw) with New Zealand Opera; Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra; Auckland Choral Society, and in A Night at the Opera Gala with Dunedin Symphony Orchestra.
Anna’s recordings include Elgar’s The Apostles, a recital disc with Graham Johnson, and Haydn: ‘Italian Love Songs’.
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.