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NZSO To Tour A Treasure Trove Of Exhilarating Music In April


The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra brings an exhilarating and evocative music experience, featuring classical giants Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Bruckner and more, to Wellington, Nelson, Napier, Tauranga, Hamilton and Auckland in April.

Testimony: Shostakovich & Tchaikovsky, directed by the NZSO’s acclaimed Concertmaster Vesa-Matti Leppänen, is a rare opportunity to enjoy some of the finest works ever written performed exclusively by the NZSO’s strings.

The concert also includes enthralling music by renowned New Zealand composer Douglas Lilburn and Finland’s greatest composer since Sibelius, Einojuhani Rautavaara.

Testimony features the NZSO’s talented Associate Principal Cellist Ken Ichinose as soloist for Tchaikovsky’s romantic Andante cantabile, the famous second movement from his String Quartet No.1 arranged by the composer for cello and orchestra.

“Tchaikovsky's Andante cantabile is a treasured melody, especially for any string quartet player,” says Ichinose.

“For me, the emotion and beauty of this work is drawn from the sheer simplicity of form and musical line. We are so fortunate to have an arrangement by Tchaikovsky himself and I very much look forward to performing this particular version for solo cello and orchestra, having previously had the pleasure to perform the original quartet with colleagues from the NZSO a few years ago.”

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Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony is an arrangement of his Eighth String Quartet, written after he saw the aftermath of the apocalyptic 1945 bombing of Dresden. Though he dedicated the Quartet to “victims of fascism and war,” in his later memoir, Testimony, Shostakovich said that the Quartet in fact described himself.

The Adagio from Bruckner’s String Quintet has been lauded as “the pearl of the quintet … one of the noblest, most enlightened, tenderest and most beautiful in sound.”

Rautavaara’s Pelimannit is a suite of fantasies on Finnish fiddle music, while Lilburn’s Diversions for String Orchestra overflows with Lilburn’s love for the Kiwi countryside.

The Testimony tour begins in Wellington (12 April), followed by Nelson (13 April), Napier (16 April), Tauranga (18 April), Hamilton (19 April) and Auckland (20 April).

The Nelson performance of


is generously supported by NZSO Maestro supporters Roger and Catherine Taylor. Ken Ichinose’s appearance as a soloist on this tour is supported by Susan and Donald Best ONZM.

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