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Celebrating 75 Years Of Aotearoa New Zealand’s National Orchestra

This week marks the 75th ‘birthday’ of Te Tira Pūoro o Aotearoa, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, which gave its first public performance on 6 March 1947 in the Wellington Town Hall.

"The NZSO is one of our most prominent cultural organisations and I am delighted to pass on my best wishes to all current and former players, staff and board members in celebrating this year’s important anniversary," said Bernadette Cavanagh, Tumu Whakarae Chief Executive, Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

"Music is a powerful force which brings people together. Since its beginnings 75 years ago, the NZSO has continued to evolve and develop into the world-class orchestra that it is today. Through its music, the NZSO continues to inspire, delight and educate audiences across Aotearoa and beyond.

"In recent years, the orchestra has connected with new audiences and embarked on increasingly innovative and challenging projects. I have admired the can-do approach the NZSO has adopted to meet the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic in the last two years, which has been a difficult and uncertain time for all those working in the arts and culture sector.

"I wish the NZSO a very happy birthday and look forward to the orchestra continuing to enrich our nation’s culture for many more years to come," said Bernadette Cavanagh.

The NZSO was due to celebrate its 75th Anniversary in Wellington on Sunday 6 March with the concert Jubilee - 75 years to the day since the NZSO’s first ever public performance. While Jubilee has been postponed, the Orchestra will livestream some of its firsts, favourites and notable flashbacks online from 2pm on the day.

Join the Orchestra online at, on the NZSO’s YouTube or Facebook page to celebrate 75 years and counting.

For more information about the formation of the NZSO visit:

Te Ara New Zealand Encyclopedia | Orchestras | The National Orchestra

NZ History | National Orchestra Debuts

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