May 2019 Concert Series
Whitianga Town Hall Saturday 4 May, 4.30pm Katikati War Memorial Hall Sunday 5 May, 2pm Orewa Arts & Events Centre Saturday 11 May, 7.30pm Auckland Town Hall Sunday 12 May, 2.30pm
Li Huanzhi Chinese Spring Festival Overture
Chen & He Butterfly Lovers Concerto (Soloist: Gloria Tian) Interval Schumann Symphony No.1 (Spring)
THANKS TO OUR SUPPORTERS /
Golden Supporters Lodge of the Liberal Arts Philip Galloway Margaret Leman & Derek Neutze The Wallace Foundation
Special Supporters Alison Buchanan & Eric Johnston
General Supporters Rosemarie & Alex Biland Anna Brooker Bleau Bustenera Kerin Buttimore Nigel Chadwick Mark Close Gillian & Harold Coop Glenys & Michael Daniell Marcia Dwyer Ruth Ell Bruce Fergusson
Richard Galloway Diana Gash Judith Gust Diane & Mark Hall Bob Kinnear Acer Lin Janis & Peter Metcalfe Mike & Sara Sullivan Tony Sullivan Elisabeth Wilson
And 13 anonymous General Supporters
Please be respectful to fellow audience members and our players by switching all electronic devices OFF and by remaining seated during the performance. Please avoid interrupting noises during the performance, which is being recorded. No photography or recording of any kind is permitted without our prior consent.
MUSIC DIRECTOR Antun Poljanich Born in Croatia, Antun studied piano and theory at Dubrovnik School for Musical Education then studied conducting at the University of Ljubljana. Following post-graduate studies in Austria, he won a scholarship which took him to Leningrad for a three-year Master Course in Conducting at the RimskyKorsakov Conservatory. He has since worked with the Leningrad State Symphony Orchestra, the Veneto Philharmonia, the Slovene and Croatian National Orchestras and other prominent orchestras in Russia and Europe. Antun is the Orchestra’s fourth Musical Director.
Photo: Gloria Tian
SOLOIST Gloria Tian New Zealand-born violinist Gloria Tian has just completed her Bachelor of Music, majoring in Classical Performance at the University of Auckland. She has been under the tutelage of Andrew Beer (concertmaster of the APO), and is working towards her postgraduate honours this year. Gloria’s previous teachers include Stephen Larsen and Miranda Adams, but she has also been fortunate enough to work alongside a number of high calibre musicians such as Donald Armstrong (NZSO), Yuka Eguchi (NZSO/Japan), Ramón Jaffé (Germany), Dimitri Atanassov (NZ), Edith Salzmann (Germany), and Elizabeth Kufferath (Germany). Gloria has been part of AYO since 2015, and assistant/associate concertmaster since 2016. She has won a number of solo, chamber, and orchestra competitions, being awarded major prizes in recognition of her competence. Some prizes include first places at the Summa Cum Laude International Youth Festival (Vienna, Austria), nomination for the PACANZ Young Performer of the Year Awards two years in a row, first places in the Tauranga and Te Awamutu Performing Arts Society Competitions, and finalist of the AYO Soloist Competition for two years running. Gloria is a graduate of the specialised music programme at Westlake Girls’ High School. She was a scholar of the Pettman National Junior Academy of Music, a recipient of the University of Auckland’s ‘Young Scholar’ award at age 16, and awarded the Howard Wyatt Scholarship presented by the Freemasons Lodge of Liberal Arts. A trained itinerant music teacher, Gloria has taken on the role of directorship for the ‘String Institute’ at Sacred Heart College this year. Aside from classical performance, Gloria has played in the Auckland season of Evita the Musical; she was also invited to play with English-American rock band, 'Foreigner' as part of their Australian tour, and has been featured in the filming of music videos for an Indian pop artist.
PROGRAMME NOTES Chinese Spring Festival Overture
Li Huanzhi (1919-2000)
Li Huanzhi was one of the most important and influential figures in the 20 th century Chinese musical world. Born in Hong Kong in 1919, he came into early contact with western classical music there and went on to study at the Shanghai School of Music and the Lu Xun Institute of Arts in Yanan. A brilliant teacher and administrator, he was appointed Dean of Music Arts and Literature at the Institute of North China United University and subsequently at the Central Conservatory of China. He wrote widely on the development of music in modern China and its role in Chinese society, and was editor of the influential periodical National Music. He was also chairman of the Chinese Musicians’ Association and in that role did much to further the status and appreciation of Chinese music and musicians both in China and abroad. In 1960 he founded the Chinese National Traditional Orchestra with the aim of promoting and advancing Chinese musical heritage, and sharing this heritage with the world. The idea of a large orchestra of traditional instruments was a tremendous innovation at the time as traditional Chinese music was historically played by soloists or small groups of musicians. Because of this the orchestra was criticised by some for not promoting authentic Chinese culture, and for imitating western models. The aim of the orchestra, however, was not to simply preserve old forms, important though that may be, but to create something new. Its repertoire includes masterpieces from western music as well as newly composed and arranged Chinese works. In 2015 the orchestra visited the United States, performing at the Lincoln Centre, Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Centre. The concerts were sold out and the orchestra received standing ovations and multiple encores at every concert, as well as much critical acclaim. As a composer Li Huanzhi wrote more than 400 works including Opera, orchestral works and cantatas. He also wrote a large body of Choral works for both adult and youth choirs incorporating adaptations of traditional folk songs and dances. The Chinese Spring Festival Overture is the opening piece of the Spring Festival Suite, composed in 1955-56, to celebrate the Chinese New Year in the Shanghai region. It was chosen to be sent on China’s first lunar probe and beamed back to earth from lunar orbit, a fitting tribute to one of China’s great musicians. The Butterfly Lovers Concerto He Zhanhao (b.1933) and Chen Gang (b.1935) Shanghai flourished as a centre of commerce between China and the rest of the world during the latter part of the 19th century, and by the 1920s it had become the most cosmopolitan city in China as more than 20,000 White Russians and Jews fled the Soviet Union. During the 1930s another 30,000 European Jews sought refuge in the city, bringing with them their musical culture. It is not surprising therefore that the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, founded in 1927, was the first music institute of higher learning in China, its curriculum being based on that of the prestigious Leipzig Conservatory founded by Mendelssohn in 1843. After the catastrophe of World War 11, the Japanese occupation of Shanghai and the subsequent political turmoil leading to the foundation of the People’s Republic of China, the young students of the conservatory became aware that there were no Chinese compositions which were comparable to those of the great European composers. This was
brought home when a visiting string quartet from Czechoslovakia asked if there were any Chinese string quartets they could play. It so happened that He Zhanhao, who was a member of the ‘Experimentation Group for violin music of Chinese Style’ at the Conservatory, had been working on a quartet and attempting to find a way of notating the idioms of traditional Chinese music, but the visiting musicians were unable to decipher the notation he had invented. As a result it was determined that a way should be found to do this using the western system of notation and it was decided that a violin concerto should be composed to show how this could be achieved. He Zhanhao and his fellow student Chen Gang decided to use the ancient legend of the Butterfly Lovers, as the foundation of the work, and ingeniously succeeded by the use of unusual fingerings and glissandi in notating the idiomatic inflexions of Chinese music for the violin. The story of the Butterfly Lovers has many parallels with Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet with its touching representation of the young lovers and their tragic fate. The work was premiered in 1959 as part of the celebration of the founding of the Peoples Republic of China, with the young 18 year-old Yu Lina as soloist. It was rapturously received and had to be performed twice. During the Cultural Revolution of the late 1960s it was attacked and suppressed but from the 1970s on it has become enormously popular, loved and enjoyed by countless people both in China and abroad. The concerto is divided into seven sections played continuously without a break. The solo violin represents Zhu Yintai, the heroine of the story, while her lover Liang Shanbo is depicted by the cello. 1. Adagio cantabile. Zhu Yintai persuades her loving parents to allow her to study in Hangzhou, disguised as a man. She meets Liang Shanbo and they are immediately drawn to each other. 2. Allegro. The couple share the joyful experience of studying together at school and become close friends. 3. Adagio assai doloroso. As the end of their studies draws near Liang and Zhu grow sad as their time together will come to an end. Zhu invites Liang to visit her family to meet her sister and propose marriage. Secretly she hopes to marry him herself. 4. Pesante-Piu mosso-Duramente. When Zhu returns home she finds that her father has promised her to the son of a rich family. The music depicts her anguished protests. 5. Lagrimoso. Liang arrives and discovers that Zhu is a woman. They fall deeply in love. 6. Presto resoluto. Liang, heartbroken when he finds that Zhu is betrothed to another, falls sick and dies in despair. 7. Adagio cantabile. Zhu visits Liang’s grave which mysteriously opens as she approaches. She throws herself into the chasm and the lovers are transformed into butterflies to remain together forever.
Symphony No 1 in B flat major Opus 38. (Spring Symphony) Robert Schumann (1810-1856) 1 Andante un poco maestoso-Allegro molto vivace 2 Larghetto 3 Scherzo Molto vivace 4 Allegro animato e grazioso Robert Schumann first met Clara Wieck when he began intensive studies with her father, in an attempt to achieve his ambition of becoming a concert pianist. Clara was only eleven at the time but was already an accomplished concert performer and her father’s star pupil. Schumann was required to live with the family and have a lesson every day. Clara soon came to adore him as he brought gaiety and fun into what was an austere and highly disciplined household, and though he soon realised that her abilities as a pianist far
outstripped his own, she in turn appreciated his intellectual gifts and his ability to write music for the piano of extraordinary originality. Robert was nine years older than Clara and by the time she became 16, though he had had affairs with other women, their friendship had developed into a deep and abiding love. It was inevitable that they would want to marry, but when this was proposed the idea was violently opposed by her father, who by that time had come to regard Schumann as a feckless dilettante who would rely on Clara’s earnings as a concert pianist to support them. It also meant of course that the considerable sums Clara received for her performances would no longer flow into her father’s pockets. He did everything in his power to separate them, leading to a complete estrangement between Schumann and his former teacher, and finally an appeal to the court by Schumann to allow the marriage to take place without Wieck’s permission. Wieck in turn a submitted a declaration to the court outlining in detail why permission should be withheld. Among his more bizarre statements, such as that Schumann couldn’t speak clearly and that he had hideously poor handwriting (hardly an impediment to a happy marriage!), were some observations which though vindictive and prejudiced, cast an interesting light on Schumann’s personality, or at least how it could have been perceived by an unsympathetic observer. “Herr Schumann is sexually promiscuous and mentally unstable... Herr Schumann is incompetent, childish, unmanly, and incapable of social adjustment… Herr Schumann is [an] alcoholic, a drinker in secret… He has a mystical dreamy personality and means to exploit Clara Wieck (proved by his treatment of his previous fiancée, Ernestine von Fricken) for his own ends... Herr Schumann has damaged his own hand through ruinous self-will and further, he is a mediocre composer whose music is not only unclear but impossible to perform and unintelligible to rational people.” After a protracted battle the court finally allowed the marriage and this took place one day before Clara’s 21st birthday, when they could have married without permission anyway. It is now generally accepted that Robert Schumann suffered from a bi-polar mental disorder, alternating periods of intense manic activity with others of complete nervous collapse, when he was quite unable to work. His marriage released a torrent of creative activity in which he composed 168 songs of the highest quality in a little over a year, making him at once one of the great German lieder composers. Then, on a visit to Vienna, and his discovery of the manuscript of Schubert’s Ninth Symphony, he persuaded Mendelssohn whom he had met through Wieck, and who was the most famous musician in Europe at the time - to conduct the premiere of this work. As a result he was inspired to attempt a symphony of his own, and in this he was encouraged by Clara. He sketched out the entire symphony in an astonishing four days, and completed the orchestration ten days later. The premiere was given by the Gewandhaus Orchestra, also conducted by Mendelssohn. It was an immediate success and it must have been enormously heartening for Schumann to have received this recognition so early in his career. The symphony, and the birth of Robert and Clara’s first child, also led to a reconciliation with Friedrich Wieck, as his wish to see his grandchild coincided with his acceptance of the undeniable fact that Schumann was indeed a serious artist. The symphony is a product of the happiest period of Schumann’s life, and the title which he gave to it, ‘The Spring Symphony’, sums up perfectly the essence of the work.
Programme notes by Alexander Cowdell © 2019
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Special thanks to Franco Viganoni who generously gives his time and professional expertise in digitally recording our concerts using state-of-the-art electronics and a unique system of microphones. These recordings can be found on the AYO website. www.viganoni.com
We are grateful for the generosity of WE Classical Music in loaning us the Chinese instruments heard in this concert. We appreciate and acknowledge the assistance given by Naxos in providing orchestral parts for the Butterfly Lovers Concerto.
THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS
ABOUT AYO Founded in 1948, the Auckland Youth Orchestra (AYO) is the premier regional youth orchestra in New Zealand and was the first youth orchestra established in the Southern Hemisphere, designed to bridge the gap between school orchestras and adult professional groups. AYO inspires young people to excel through their love of musical performance and provides them with a wide range of cultural experiences, thus shaping our leaders of tomorrow. AYO makes an important contribution to the cultural life of Auckland and NZ. AYO performs up to 12 concerts a year throughout the upper North Island region and has attracted full houses at their concerts in many locations. This endeavour requires large operating costs and AYO relies upon the generosity of our Sponsors, Subscribers, and Supporters. All grants and donations are helpful and greatly appreciated.
AYO MEMBERS Governance Dame Catherine Tizard ONZ GCMG GCVO DBE QSO DStJ, Patron Michael McLellan, FTCL LRSM, President Alastair Clement, Vice-President Margaret Leman, Vice-President
Executive Committee Alexander Cowdell Anne-Marie Forsyth Mary Lin Helen Lewis Rachael Brand
Chairman Secretary Manager Treasurer Communications
Antun Poljanich Lachlan Grant Charlotte Naden Bryan Lin
Music Director Player Representative Player Representative Player Representative
Administration Alison Dunlop and Louise Roe Librarians
Honorary Members Alastair Clement Michael McLellan Anne Draffin
Cameron Stuart Margaret Leman Lynn Pettit
Barrie Ross Lois Westwood
Subscribing Members Philippa Black Rachael Brand Alexander Cowdell Ian Cunningham Warren Drake Anne-Marie Forsyth Judith & Alistair Freeman
Mary Greig-Clayton Judith Gust Bob Kinnear Helen Lewis Acer Lin Mary Lin L. & A. Molon-Noblot
Elizabeth Morris Stephanie Morris T. McD. Morton Grant Reay Diana Richardson Kevin & Jan Sutton And 1 anonymous Subscriber
AYO PLAYERS Violin I ‡ Jim Wu #Zosia Herlihy-O’Brien Kauri May Walter Xu Michael Luo Mana Waiariki Bryan Lin Chelsea Hong Angeline Xiao Reagan Luo Amber Edwards Lynn Han Jasper Yang Darren Breeze Leonardo Zhuyan Violin II #Joseph Chen Kenny Li Gemma Nash Erin Lorenzo Santiago Romano Sadie Stroud Annalise Wong Martin Qiang Emily Kamimura Bethany Yates Kelly Siew Niki Ng Sungju An John Yang Isabella Healy Athena Shiu Sebastian Romano
Legend ‡ Concertmaster # Principal
Viola # Jessie Anderson Jasper Lin Isaiah Kaiawe Rachel An Elise Ji Jennifer Chen John Donaldson Irene Kim Cello #Marcus Ho #Gabrielle Wu Phoebe Pierard Masha Pavlenko Damon Herlihy-O’Brien Michka Kangsathien Claire Xu Nathan Chen Double Bass # Thomas Hall Alicia Kidd Hana Agatsuma Flute # Jacob Webster Anna Zhang Micah Sullivan Oboe # Akari Ouchi Matilda Hur
French Horn # Henry Close Max Glazier Evan Metcalfe Sean Tang
Trumpet # Jake Krishnamurti Sang Hyun Kim James Brady
Trombone # Daniel Nihotte Amy Laithwaite Alexander Botha Tavite Tonga
Tuba # Lachlan Grant
Timpani # Michael Cai
Percussion # Naomi Kelly Donovan Kelso
Harp Clarinet # Kiara Kong Gautam Pathumanithy Clara Lui
Bassoon # Ricky Shi #Charlotte Naden
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FUTURE 2019 CONCERTS Strauss Horn Concerto No.1 Soloist: Henry Close Mouquet La Flute de Pan Soloist: Jacob Webster Prokofiev Symphony No. 7Sat 22 June 7.arei - The Old Library
Sat 22 June 7.30pm Whangarei Old Library Sun 23 June 4pm Warkworth Town Hall Sat 29 June 7.30pm Helensville War Memorial Hall Sun 30 June 2.30pm AUCKLAND TOWN HALL New Composition – winner of current AYO Composition Competition, to be confirmed Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.2 Soloist: Kent Isomura Strauss Don Juan 14 Sept Howick All Saints Church
Sat 14 Sept 7.30pm Howick – All Saints Church Sun 15 Sept tbc Cambridge – St Peter’s School Sat 21 Sept 7.30pm Orewa Arts & Events Centre Sat 28 Sept 7.30pm AUCKLAND TOWN HALL
See our website for ticket details and for details of the current Composition Competition
Cover art by Gloria Tian © 2019 Auckland Youth Orchestra | Here Plays the Future www.ayo.org.nz