THANKS TO OUR SUPPORTERS /
Golden Supporters Lodge of the Liberal Arts Philip Galloway The Wallace Foundation
Special Supporters Ruth Ell Alison Buchanan & Eric Johnston
And 1 anonymous Special Supporter
General Supporters Clive Aucott Rosemarie & Alex Biland John Boscawen Anna Brooker Bleau Bustenera Kerin Buttimore Nigel Chadwick Mark Close Gillian & Harold Coop John Duder Marcia Dwyer Fiona Ell Judith & Alistair Freeman
Diana Gash Julie Goodyer Dora Green Julia Griffiths & David Yates Judith Gust Diane & Mark Hall Danielle Hancock David Jorgensen Bob Kinnear Acer & Tina Lin Janis & Peter Metcalfe Michael & Sara Sullivan Elisabeth Wilson
And 22 anonymous General Supporters
Auckland Town Hall Sunday 21 June
As a result of the national COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, rehearsals and the scheduled June concert series were cancelled. In its place, AYO is holding a recording session at the Auckland Town Hall. A professional video recording is to be made by SOUNZ of the two works from the March concert series (which had been cut short due to COVID-19) and also of a revised work by Alexander Cowdell. AYO is grateful to receive support for this project from: The Wallace Foundation Creative Communities NZ Pettman National Junior Academy of Music SOUNZ â€“ video recording & film editing Franco Viganoni â€“ audio recording for inclusion in the film
Alexander Cowdell Cressida Beethoven Triple Concerto Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherazade
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 Orchestraâ€™s fourth Music Director.
COMPOSER Alexander Cowdell Alexander Cowdell was born in Scotland in 1945 but educated in New Zealand. He studied music at the Adelaide Elder Conservatorium, and after beginning his career as a violinist with the NZSO and South Australian Symphony Orchestra, became a longstanding first violinist with the English National Opera (ENO) Orchestra in London, as well as freelancing with the London Symphony Orchestra, amongst others. His compositions have been performed and broadcast in Britain, Holland, Slovenia, Germany, Australia and New Zealand, where he has now lived since 2005. He is currently chairman of the Auckland Youth Orchestra.
‘CRESSIDA’ SOLOISTS Kent Isomura, Piano Kent Isomura holds a Master of Music with First Class Honours in Piano Performance at the University of Auckland under the guidance of Stephen De Pledge. As a collaborative pianist, Kent has performed with acclaimed international artists and in 2015 he was chosen as one of four pianists to participate for the inaugural collaborative piano fellowship for the prestigious Heifetz International Music Institute in United States. In 2017 Kent, along with his brother/violinist Shauno, (together known as the Isomura Brothers) embarked on a national concert tour with a special instrument, the 'Tsunami Violin', which was made in remembrance of the deceased and in hope for the survivors of the 2011 Japan tsunami & earthquake. The following year they embarked on their first Japan Tour which included performances in Tokyo, Okayama, Naoshima, Yamada-machi and Hokkaido/Tomakomai The Isomura Brothers’ most recent engagement included a 2019 tour in China where they presented a recital programme of music by renowned composers from China, Japan and New Zealand. With his interest in contemporary music, Kent has presented multiple New Zealand premieres of works by renowned Japanese composers and NZ composer Xu Tang. Kent has had concerto appearances with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and the University of Auckland Symphony Orchestra.
Kiara Kong, Clarinet A young accomplished clarinettist, pianist and composer, Kiara is in her third year at The University of Auckland, majoring in music composition. She studies clarinet and piano under Rowan Meade and Bryan Sayer respectively. She has studied composition with Dr David Chisholm, Dr Leonie Holmes, Dr Eve de Castro-Robinson and Dr John Coulter. Kiara was a finalist in the 2019 AYO Soloist Competition, receiving the Outstanding Performance award. She was awarded the Junior Bishop Music Prize and the First in Course Award for composition in 2018. In 2017 she won the Nadine Levitt Scholarship as well as her school music competition (piano section) as a soloist. She was a scholar of the Pettman National Junior Academy of Music in 2016 and 2017 and was one of the regional finalists and semi-finalists of the NZCT Chamber Music Contest. Kiara’s next goal is to work towards the 2020 Gisborne International Music Competition in December. She will continue to study composition, with a view to completing her BMus(Hons) degree in 2021.
BEETHOVEN SOLOISTS Zosia Herlihy-O’Brien, Violin Zosia is much in demand as a musician across her four instruments (Violin, Piano, Pipe Organ, Harp). By the age of 16, she held LTCL Diplomas across three instruments. Zosia is Associate Concertmaster of the AYO and also plays with the Wairua Sinfonietta, the University of Auckland Symphony Orchestra, and the NZSO National Youth Orchestra. Zosia is an Alumna of the Pettman National Junior Academy of Music and is an Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (APO) Inspire Young Achiever. Her string quartet Viereinigkeit was the 2019 winner of the Carl and Alberta Rosenfeldt Prize in Chamber Music at the University of Auckland. Zosia is the current Organ Scholar at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell, and is an itinerant organist across Auckland. She has twice been selected for the NZSO Mentoring Programme. Zosia is in her second year of study towards her BMus at the University of Auckland, where her teacher is Andrew Beer, APO Concertmaster.
Junghwan Choi, Cello Cellist Junghwan Choi was born in South Korea and came to NZ in 2018. He is a prize winner of the Seoul Music Association competition and the Incheon Music Association competition and he was the section leader of the Bucheon youth string orchestra . As a soloist, he played the Haydn D major concerto with the Bucheon Orchestra. Since 2018, he has been a scholarship recipient of the Pettman National Junior Academy, studying with Edith Salzmann. Junghwan has attended the international Akaroa Festival and has participated in masterclasses with Ramon Jaffe, Wen Sinn Yang, Josephone Vains and Inbal Meggido.
Modi Deng, Piano A pianist from Dunedin, Modi is currently studying a Master of Music with Rae de Lisle and Stephen De Pledge at University of Auckland, having earlier completed a Bachelor of English. In March 2018, she received first prize in the National Concerto Competition, performing Rachmaninov’s Concerto No. 3 with Benjamin Northey and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. Modi has performed concerti by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Rachmaninov and Clara Schumann with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Dunedin Symphony Orchestra, and collegiate orchestras and has recorded for RNZ Concert and SOUNZ. An avid chamber musician, Modi’s trio toured the U.K. in July 2018 as the winner of the Pettman/ROSL Arts Chamber Music Arts scholarship. Her trio also received the Auckland Chamber Music Society Prize last year. Modi has recently accepted a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music in London.
PROGRAMME NOTES Cressida Alexander Cowdell 1945I conceived Cressida after attending a performance of Shakespeare’s play, Troilus and Cressida, given by the Young Vic in London. Somehow as the play was performed by young people, it seemed to me to be particularly powerful and moving, despite its bleakness. The musical idiom in which Cressida is written could be described as a kind of expressionism. This artistic development evolved at the beginning of the twentieth century, when composers and artists tried to express the most extreme human emotions, together with insights into the subconscious mind uncovered by the advances in psychology at that time. Expressionism will never be popular. It is not the kind of art you would hang on your livingroom wall, nor the sort of music you can have on while you do the dishes. It demands your total attention and commitment. There is no attempt to tell the story of the tragic lovers, victims of powerful political forces, in the composition. The narrative is purely musical, but there are poetic and dramatic elements which are related, principally the use of the clarinet to represent Cressida and the piano, Troilus. The brass also evokes historical associations with human conflict. The work begins with divided strings, building a series of canonically generated chordal structures from which expressive melodic figures emerge, played successively by solo cello, viola, and violin. At the climax of this introduction the clarinet enters alone and commences a dialogue with the piano which develops into a second climax, at which the piano begins an agitated section, joined by the clarinet and solo strings; that in turn develops to a third climax with the entry of the brass for the first time. This is followed by a short reflective section for clarinet over tremolo strings, interrupted by dramatic interjections of ‘alarums’ by the brass, the trumpets having separated and moved to the opposite sides of the stage. Finally, there is an extremely agitated section leading to a frenetic ending of rushing semiquaver figures and strident trumpet calls - a freezing of emotion, not a resolution.
Concerto in C major Op. 56 for piano, violin, cello, and orchestra
1. Allegro 2. Largo-3. Rondo alla Polacca This work, which is generally known as The Triple Concerto, is a reminder of just how important composers’ patrons have been in the creation of much of the world’s greatest music. It was written for the fifteen-year old pupil of Beethoven, The Archduke Rudolph of Austria, and it clearly demonstrates just how highly Beethoven regarded his gifted pupil as he taught him not only piano but composition as well. He was indeed the only composition pupil Beethoven ever had. The Archduke went on to become one of his most important patrons and Beethoven dedicated fourteen compositions in all to him, including the 4 th and 5th piano concertos, the Hammerklavier piano sonata and the Opus 96 violin sonata, as well as the Archduke trio, the Missa Solemnis, and the Grosse Fuge.
Although the concerto was written for the Archduke Rudolph, perhaps because of his age it was not dedicated to him, but to another of Beethoven’s patrons, Prince Lobkowitz, who was just two years younger than Beethoven. Prince Lobkowitz, who had helped sponsor the premiere of Haydn’s Creation in 1798, had his own private orchestra and it was in his palace that the first performance of the Eroica symphony took place in 1804, one year after the composition of the Triple Concerto. This was one of Beethoven’s most productive periods, for as well as these two major works he also wrote the great piano sonatas the Waldstein and the Appassionata, and his opera Fidelio. He also dedicated to Prince Lobkowitz his Opus 18 string quartets and the 5th and 6th symphonies. In 1808, alarmed that Beethoven might be lured away from Vienna by the offer of a post at Cassel, Prince Lobkowitz, together with The Archduke Rudolph and Prince Kinsky, set up a pension for Beethoven which offered him some basic financial security, and which continued until his death in 1827, despite Prince Lobkowitz himself dying earlier in 1816 at the early age of 44. The Triple Concerto is a unique work; Beethoven never wrote another concerto for more than one instrument. It is one of his most life enhancing works, full of youthful exuberance and joy. It is easy to imagine just how proud the fifteen-year old boy would have been to have had such a wonderful concerto written for him.
The Sea and Sinbad’s Ship/The Kalendar Prince/The Young Prince and the Young Princess/Festival in Baghdad-The Sea-Shipwreck on a Rock-Conclusion. Convinced that all women are faithless, the Sultan Schahriar has vowed that he will take a new bride each night and have her killed in the morning. However, Scheherazade manages to avoid this fate by entrancing the Sultan with her captivating stories, leaving them unfinished when morning comes, and therefore giving herself a chance to live one more day. This continues for 1001 nights when the Sultan, having fallen in love with her, rescinds his terrible vow. By the latter half of the nineteenth century aspiring composers in Western Europe were expected to have undergone a rigorous system of training along the lines laid down by the Leipzig Conservatory, which was established by Mendelssohn in 1843. This consisted at the start with an intensive study of harmony and counterpoint, leading to a mastery of writing fugues and motets for unaccompanied voices, followed by the study of musical forms, and detailed analysis of selected masterpieces by eminent composers. Only then would the prospective young composer be considered ready to begin composing little piano pieces, while at the same time beginning a study of instrumentation and orchestration to enable him to compose a large-scale cantata for orchestra and chorus which he was expected to complete for his graduation. This academic approach to composition was completely rejected by the small group of aristocratic amateur musicians who became known in Russia as the mighty handful. Under the charismatic and egotistical leadership of Balakirev, this group of five extremely gifted individuals, working basically by instinct at the piano, sought to create a distinctly Russian national style of music derived from Russian folk song and dance, combined with exotic harmonic and rhythmic elements of an oriental origin. Rimsky-Korsakov, who had been
introduced to Balakirev by his piano teacher Theodore Kanille, enthusiastically embraced these ideals, and with extraordinary self-belief, immediately set about writing a symphony, although he had received virtually no instruction in composition whatsoever. He was at that time a naval officer and during a two year and eight months voyage he passed the time working on this symphony (the first ever written by a Russian) while studying Berlioz’s treatise on instrumentation, and scores which he had picked up in ports of call. His reputation began to grow after the performance of this work in St. Petersburg, arranged and directed by Balakirev. Further performances of other orchestral works confirmed his reputation and in 1871, when he was only 27, he was appointed professor of composition and instrumentation at the St Petersburg Conservatory. He immediately began a rigorous three-year programme of self-education, which included sending his exercises to Tchaikovsky for correction, as at the time his knowledge of musical theory was very limited. As he himself later confessed, he had never studied counterpoint, and could not even harmonise a simple chorale in traditional style, nor did he know the names of the chords of classical harmony. At the end of this period, however, he emerged as the most technically accomplished of the five composers making up the mighty handful. His studies had produced a complete change in his attitude to musical education and composition, and he began writing chamber works following strict classical models. Not surprisingly this brought about the scorn of his fellow nationalists who thought he was rejecting his Russian heritage to compose fugues and sonatas. [These works are today forgotten, together with his 15 operas]. In the spirit of co-operation which pervaded the group, however, he generously put his new found knowledge to use, helping his comrades with their work, his extraordinary gift for orchestration being particularly valued – a skill he passed on to his pupil, Stravinsky. It was after the sudden death of Borodin in 1887, when he and Glazunov began working together to complete Borodin’s unfinished opera Prince Igor, that he was drawn into the fairy tale world and the orientalism found in that opera. Taking as his inspiration the stories from the Arabian Nights, he found the perfect subject to display his mastery of orchestral colour, together with a melodic and harmonic originality which resulted in an orchestral showpiece which to this day continues to delight audiences throughout the world. Programme notes by Alexander Cowdell © 2020
Governance Dame Catherine Tizard ONZ GCMG GCVO DBE QSO DStJ, Patron Michael McLellan, FTCL LRSM, President Alastair Clement, Vice-President
Executive Committee Alexander Cowdell Anne-Marie Forsyth Mary Lin Helen Lewis
Chairman Secretary Manager Treasurer
Antun Poljanich Rachael Brand Bryan Lin
Music Director Communications Assistant Manager
Player Representatives: Lachlan Grant, Mana Waiariki, Naomi Kelly, Jessie Anderson
Administration Alison Dunlop and Louise Roe Librarians
Honorary Members Alastair Clement Michael McLellan Anne Draffin
Cameron Stuart Lynn Pettit
Barrie Ross Lois Westwood
Subscribing Members Philippa Black Rachael Brand Alexander Cowdell Ian Cunningham Sylvia Dean Warren Drake Anne-Marie Forsyth
Julie Goodyer Mary Greig-Clayton Bob Kinnear Helen Lewis Acer & Tina Lin Mary Lin
Elizabeth Morris Stephanie Morris T. McD. Morton Grant Reay Diana Richardson Kevin & Jan Sutton
We acknowledge the support of Edith Salzmann and the Pettman National Junior Academy of Music in tutoring the soloists for the Beethoven concerto. 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. www.viganoni.com
The ongoing support of the following organisations is acknowledged with thanks:
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 appreciated.
AYO PLAYERS Violin I ‡ Jim Wu + Sadie Stroud Kauri May Mana Waiariki Bryan Lin Darren Breeze Jasper Yang Martin Qiang Santiago Romano Ericia Chang Alan Qin Bethany Yates
Violin II #Kenny Li Gemma Nash Isabella Healy Justin Chan Athena Shiu Tabitha Yates Kelly Siew Sebastian Romano Matilda Hol Emma Ma Caragh Puttick Tony Yan Tong Chen Walter Xu
Viola # Jasper Lin Daniel Kim John Donaldson Elise Ji Nicholas Newman Elena Bloksberg Tony Zhang
Cello #Marcus Ho Phoebe Pierard Damon Herlihy-O’Brien Ben Lin Nathan Chen Max Chen Victoria Shen Claire Xu Michka Kangsathien Tara Hurley
Double Bass # Alicia Kidd Oliver Spalter Caitlin Casey John Moon
Flute #Jacob Webster Anna Kexin Zhang Linda Lin
Oboe # Akari Ouchi Matilda Hur
Clarinet # Kiara Kong Gautam Pathumanithy Olivia Littlejohn
Bassoon # Monica Dunn Sue Lynn Leong
French Horn # Henry Close Max Glazier Evan Metcalfe Sean Tang Trumpet # Jake Krishnamurti James Liston
Trombone # Daniel Nihotte Amy Laithwaite Esther Simpson
Tuba # Lachlan Grant
Timpani # Michael Cai James Tang Percussion # Naomi Kelly James Tang James Brady Tavite Tonga David Paligora
Harp Harrison Chau Legend ‡ Concertmaster + Associate Concertmaster # Principal
Recording of Cowdell's "Cressida", Beethoven's Triple Concert and Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scheherazade".