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NZSO Salutes Our Hard-working Health Heroes With Special Concert

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra will perform live on 27 November to 60 special guests from among Wellington’s hard-working health workers.

The 60 guests will attend a matinee performance of the NZSO concert Song of Destiny at Wellington’s Michael Fowler Centre.

The concert is one of four NZSO performances at the venue from 25 November designed to safely accommodate a live audience under current Alert Level 2 guidelines.

To ensure safe social distancing, audience numbers have been limited to fewer than 400 and masks must be worn throughout the performance.

NZSO Chief Executive Peter Biggs says all year the Orchestra has wanted to thank the nation’s health workers for their dedication and professionalism for continuing to keep Aotearoa New Zealand safe.

“We know our health workers, whether on the front line or behind the scenes, have had an extraordinary two years and face many challenges ahead. Our Wellington concerts this week are the first we’ve been able to perform before a live audience since July, so it was an opportunity to finally express our thanks to our health heroes.”

The NZSO reached out to the Wellington Hospitals Foundation, who contacted health workers about the special concert.

Bill Day, Chair of Wellington Hospitals Foundation says: “We are very grateful to the NZSO for their generous invitation and support of our hard-working and dedicated front-line health workers. Like the event sector, it has been a tremendously difficult two years for our hospitals and the concert will be a very welcome treat for many lucky hospital staff. We are thrilled to be a part of NZSO’s first live performances since July.”

Song of Destiny, in association with InterContinental Hotels Group, features a 50-member Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir and the Orchestra conducted by NZSO Music Director Emeritus James Judd.

New Zealanders across the country can also enjoy the evening performance on 27 November online.

The 70-minute livestream, powered by the NZSO’s e-commerce innovation partners Jetstream, is a ticketed event. A ticket to view the concert online costs $12 and can be bought in advance.

The performance features works by opera great Giuseppe Verdi, Antonín Dvořák and Johannes Brahms’ choral masterpiece Schicksalslied (Song of Destiny).

The concert opens with Verdi’s Nabucco Overture from the opera which established his reputation as a composer.

Schicksalslied (Song of Destiny) was inspired by a poem by German literary giant Friedrich Hölderlin. Brahms’ captures the tranquillity, havoc, drama and mystery of the poem in his captivating piece, with the NZSO accompanied by Voices New Zealand.

The concert’s grand finale is Dvořák’s joyful and idyllic Symphony No. 8. From the brooding opening theme in the cellos to the joyful trumpet fanfares of the final movement, it’s an unforgettable music experience.

Song of Destiny replaces a previously planned live performance by the NZSO of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, with four vocalists and Voices New Zealand.

Tickets to Song of Destiny livestream are available at:

All NZSO concerts, including entry conditions, strictly follow Ministry of Health guidelines for live events as understood by each venue. If the guidelines change, the NZSO will update information about the concert and contact ticket holders.

Tickets to all NZSO performances can be booked with the assurance that, should any concert be cancelled or postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions, ticket holders are eligible for a full refund – including booking fees. Ticket holders experiencing Covid-19 symptoms on the day of a concert can exchange their ticket for another NZSO performance.

More information is available on the NZSO website.


Song of Destiny

in association with Intercontinental Hotels Group

JAMES JUDD Conductor


VERDI Nabucco Overture

BRAHMS Schicksalslied, Op. 54 (Song of Destiny)
DVOŘÁK Symphony No. 8 in G Major, Op. 88

TE WHANGANUI-A-TARA WELLINGTON| Michael Fowler Centre| Thursday 25 and Friday 26 November 6.30pm | Saturday 27 November 2:30pm and 7.30pm (also livestreamed)

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