AYO - 2019 September Concert Series

Page 1

THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS We acknowledge the Lodge of the Liberal Arts No.500 for its continued generous support of AYO. The Lodge’s loyalty and generosity since 2007 is deeply appreciated. We extend our sincere thanks to all members of the Lodge of the Liberal Arts No.500 and to their supporters.

Please be respectful to fellow audience members and our players by switching off all electronic devices 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.


September 2019 Concert Series

All Saints Church, Howick Saturday 14 September, 7.30pm St Peter’s School, Cambridge Sunday 15 September, 2.30pm Orewa College Arts & Events Centre Saturday 21 September, 7.30pm Auckland Town Hall Saturday 28 September, 7.30pm


Kihoon Sung Niflheim Winner of AYO 2019 Young Composers Competition Strauss Don Juan Op.20 _________ INTERVAL Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.2 in C minor



Golden Supporters Lodge of the Liberal Arts Philip Galloway Margaret Leman (dec.) & 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 Judith & Alistair Freeman Richard Galloway

Diana Gash Julie Goodyer Dora Green Judith Gust Diane & Mark Hall Bob Kinnear Acer Lin Louise & AndrĂŠ Molon-Noblot Janis & Peter Metcalfe Mike & Sara Sullivan Tony Sullivan Pip Townend Elisabeth Wilson

And 13 anonymous General Supporters

ROLL OF HONOUR Recently we received a bequest from the estate of Beverley Simmons, for which we were most grateful. We appreciate those who have generously left bequests to AYO in the past: 2019 2013 2005 1999 1995 1988 1987 1976


Beverley Alison Simmons Janetta McStay Moya Rea Norman W (Chip) Stevens Alicia Griffin Patricia Emma Sara Cole Alwyn Olive Hutchinson Joan Rattray

SOLOIST Kent Isomura 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 including Franklin Cohen, Alexander Gebert, Frank Celata, Eric Lamb, Hiroko Kondo and Martin Rummel. In 2015, Kent 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. Kent has received coaching from world renowned artists such as Timothy Eddy (Juilliard School/Orion String Quartet), Atar Arad (Indiana University Violist), Steven Doane (Eastman School of Music Professor of Cello), Hagai Shaham (Tel Aviv University), Lawrence Dutton (Emerson String Quartet Violist), Patinka Kopec and Nobuko Imai. 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 concert at the Auckland Town Hall Concert Chamber was performed to a full house audience. Isomura Brothers had the privilege to tour with this special instrument for the first time in New Zealand. In April 2018, the Isomura Brothers embarked on their first Japan Tour which included performances in Tokyo, Okayama, Naoshima, Yamada-machi and Hokkaido/Tomakomai. The recital in Okayama was presented in collaboration with the concert-mistress of the Okayama Philharmonic Orchestra, Mrs. Hiroko Kondo. The brothers later visited the Tohoku Region and gave a special performance for the people who suffered during the devastating 2011 Japan earthquake & tsunami. The Isomura Brothers’ most recent engagement included a 2019 tour in China consisting of multiple recitals, seminars, workshops and masterclasses invited by the Beijing Capital Normal University, South China Normal University School of Arts, Renmin University School of Music and the South China University of Technology School of Arts. They presented a recital programme of music by renowned composers from China, Japan and New Zealand, including a world premiere of a brand new work by Central Conservatory of Music Associate Professor of Composition, Yao Chen. With his interest in contemporary music, Kent has presented multiple New Zealand premieres of works by renowned Japanese composers such as Yasushi Akutagawa, Shiro Sagisu, Akira Ifukube and has recently commissioned and performed world premiere works by Japanese composer Toshiaki Komori and New Zealand composer Xu Tang. Kent has had concerto appearances with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and the University of Auckland Symphony Orchestra.


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.

COMPOSER Kihoon Sung AYO held a Composition Competition this year for young composers. Kihoon’s work, Niflheim, was the winning composition. Kihoon first discovered composition during his time at Auckland Grammar School. Over the years, his passion for composing grew with close guidance from New Zealand composer David Hamilton and his music teacher Barry Wasson. He is now in his second year at the University of Auckland, studying music composition and chemistry and is currently being taught by various New Zealand composers. Kihoon aspires to become a renowned composer.


Kihoon Sung (1999 -


In Norse mythology, Niflheim is one of the nine worlds and is known as the realm of ice. The world consists of a well, named 'Hvergelmir,' which diverges into a system of eleven rivers, named the 'Élivágar.' The piece depicts the realm before it was frozen completely, with the well and the rivers flowing with a hot, yeasty substance called 'Eitr,' which is believed to the origin of all living things. Programme note by Kihoon Sung


Don Juan Opus 20

Richard Strauss (1864-1949)

During the latter half of the 19th century the European musical world divided into two quite hostile factions. One faction supported the so called ‘music of the future,’ that of Liszt and Wagner, while the other, the conservatives, held up Brahms as the champion of the great Germanic classical tradition and the heir of Beethoven, Schubert, and Schumann. Although Wagner and Brahms personally remained aloof from the worst aspects of this debate it was impossible for any young composer to escape being included in one camp or the other. Richard Strauss grew up in an intensely musically conservative family. His father, who was the principal horn player in the Court Opera in Munich, had taken part in the premiere performances of most of Wagner’s operas but detested Wagner’s music and forbade his son to have anything to do with it. It is unsurprising, then, that Richard Strauss’s first major compositions were firmly in the conservative mould. His first recognised success, the first horn concerto, which he composed at the age of 18, was clearly influenced by Schumann and his second symphony, which he composed in 1884 at the age of 20, was also firmly in the conservative tradition. The turning point in his development came with his meeting with the violinist and composer Alexander Ritter. Ritter persuaded him that his way forward was to explore the possibilities of the tone poem, a symphonic form created by Liszt which had as its basis a story, or narrative, providing scope for a composer to write descriptive and dramatic music, using the harmonic language and techniques which Wagner had developed so effectively in his music dramas. Richard Strauss, despite his father’s prohibition, had discovered the score of Tristan at the age of 16 and had found it a revelation. He was therefore open to exploring Ritter’s exciting new idea and his first attempt at writing a tone poem, Aus Italien (From Italy), although it received a mixed reception at its first performance, confirmed in his mind that he had found the way he wanted to go. In Aus Italien Strauss had remained faithful to the four movement structure of the symphony, but in Don Juan, his next attempt, he found his own voice and created a one movement work of astonishing originality, establishing himself firmly in the modernist camp. The inspiration for Don Juan was a verse play by the Hungarian poet Nikolaus Lenau, where the protagonist is not simply the rake of the traditional story but an idealist who, continually seeking and failing to find the ideal woman, allows himself to be killed in a duel by the father of his last conquest. That that the work is filled with such youthful exuberance and audacity can perhaps be attributed to the fact that the 24 year old composer was at the time in love with the soprano Pauline de Ahna, who later became his wife. The demands he made upon the orchestral players were unprecedented for the time, pushing every section of the orchestra to the limits of bravura orchestral virtuosity. He conducted the premiere himself, which established him not only as a composer of the first rank, but also gained him recognition as a conductor of international stature.


Piano Concerto No 2 in C minor Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943) 1. Moderato 2. Adagio sostenuto 3.Allegro scherzando It is an interesting question as to whether devastating criticism or the indifference and neglect which, for instance was experienced by Van Gogh, has the more destructive effect on the psyche of a creative artist. There is no question, however, that the critical lambasting which Rachmaninov’s first symphony received threw the composer into a severe clinical depression which lasted four years and almost destroyed his career. Rachmaninov was born into a wealthy aristocratic Russian family, and when he showed signs of musical talent at the age of four his mother arranged for a graduate of the St Petersburg Conservatory to come and live with the family to give the precocious child daily piano lessons and supervise his practice. In 1882, however, due to his father’s improvidence he was a gambler and a wastrel - the family suffered a financial crisis which resulted in the sale of four of their five estates and a move to a flat in St Petersburg. Rachmaninov’s teacher then arranged for her gifted pupil to enter the Conservatory. Although his musical development made rapid progress he neglected his general studies and after failing his exams he faced being expelled. This was averted by a move to the Moscow Conservatory where he remained until 1888. Although by this time he had become a brilliant pianist with a phenomenal technique, he had set his sights on becoming a composer and at first seemed destined to achieve instant success, winning the Great Gold Medal of the Conservatory with a one act opera, Aleko. This made such an impression that it was produced at the Bolshoi Theatre and the young composer was praised and congratulated on his work by Tchaikovsky, a composer whom Rachmaninov idolised. The first signs of trouble came with the sudden death of Tchaikovsky in 1893. On the day he heard the news Rachmaninov immediately began work on his Trio Elegiaque, a work which clearly expresses the depth of his grief, but after the completion of this work he found it increasingly difficult to apply himself to composition, earning a living by teaching the piano. In 1895, however, he began work on his first symphony and this was premiered in 1897 during a series of symphony concerts devoted to Russian music. The first performance was a critical disaster, the influential nationalist composer and critic Cesar Cui likening it to the ten plagues of Egypt, and that it could only be admired by the inmates of a music conservatory in Hell! Although Rachmaninov professed to be unaffected by the failure of the symphony it clearly had a devastating effect on his self-confidence and by 1900 he had become so selfcritical that composing became impossible. It was his aunt who recognised that he needed professional help and persuaded him to seek treatment from the psychiatrist Nikolai Dahl. He underwent daily hypnotherapy and psychotherapy sessions and in 1901, miraculously, the result was his famous second piano concerto. This work has become synonymous in the popular imagination with the very idea of the romantic piano concerto. It famously featured as the soundtrack to the celebrated 1945 film Brief Encounter, and is still today one of the most frequently performed of all piano concertos and a necessary addition to the repertoire of every concert pianist. It is also probably the only musical masterpiece dedicated to a psychiatrist. Programme notes by Alexander Cowdell © 2019


AYO MEMBERS 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 Lachlan Grant

Music Director Communications Assistant Manager Player Representative

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 Warren Drake Anne-Marie Forsyth Mary Greig-Clayton

Judith Gust Bob Kinnear Helen Lewis Acer Lin Mary Lin Elizabeth Morris Stephanie Morris

T. McD. Morton Grant Reay Diana Richardson Kevin & Jan Sutton


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

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.

PLAY YOUR PART Our Executive Committee would welcome some new members. Please contact our Secretary, Anne-Marie Forsyth ayo@ayo.org.nz if you would like to investigate or discuss ways you could become involved in this enjoyable and rewarding work. Attend our concerts! Check our website regularly for concert information: ayo.org.nz Sign up to receive the Chairman’s e-newsletter on our website homepage Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/AYOrchestra Join us by emailing auditions@ayo.org.nz – auditions held in December Subscribe, support or sponsor us: ayo.org.nz/support-us


AYO PLAYERS Violin I ‡ Jim Wu #Zosia Herlihy-O’Brien Walter Xu Mana Waiariki Bryan Lin Chelsea Hong Angeline Xiao Amber Edwards Jasper Yang Darren Breeze Michael Luo Ericia Chang Leonardo Zhuyan Violin II #Joseph Chen Kenny Li Gemma Nash Erin Lorenzo Santiago Romano Sadie Stroud Annalise Wong Martin Qiang Bethany Yates Kelly Siew Niki Ng Pui Hei Athena Shiu Sebastian Romano

Viola # Jessie Anderson Jasper Anika Ong Lin Isaiah Kaiawe Elise Ji Tal Amoore John Donaldson Jennifer Chen Nicholas Newman Irene Kim

Cello #Gabrielle Wu #Marcus Ho Phoebe Pierard Masha Pavlenko Damon Herlihy-O’Brien Michka Kangsathien Nathan Chen Claire Xu Wendy Ni Ben Lin

French Horn # Henry Close Max Glazier Evan Metcalfe Sean Tang Luke Lin

Double Bass # Alicia Kidd Hana Agatsuma John Moon

Trombone # Daniel Nihotte Amy Laithwaite Alexander Botha Tavite Tonga Mark Bingham

Flute #Jacob Webster Anna Kexin Zhang Micah Sullivan

Trumpet # Jake Krishnamurti Sang Hyun Kim James Brady

Tuba # Lachlan Grant

Oboe # Akari Ouchi Matilda Hur

Timpani # Michael Cai Donovan Kelso

Cor Anglais Jesse Niu

Percussion # Naomi Kelly James Tang Michael Cai

Clarinet # Kiara Kong Gautam Pathumanithy Clara Lui Bassoon # Monica Dunn Ricky Shi

Harp Harrison Chau Legend ‡ Concertmaster # Principal

Contra Bassoon Charlotte Naden


Join us in 2020! Auditions will be held early December See our website to Register


Cover art by Mary Lin Š 2019 Auckland Youth Orchestra | Here Plays the Future www.ayo.org.nz