AYO - 2020 October Concert Series

Page 1

THANKS TO OUR SUPPORTERS Golden Supporters Lodge of the Liberal Arts Philip Galloway The Wallace Foundation And 1 anonymous Golden Supporter

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 17 anonymous General Supporters


Helensville War Memorial Hall Sunday 11 October, 2.30pm

Auckland Town Hall Sunday 18 October, 2.30pm


Malcolm Arnold Clarinet Concerto No.2 Soloist: Kiara Kong Sviridov Romance from “The Blizzard” INTERVAL Tchaikovsky Symphony No.5


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 Rimsky-Korsakov 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 Music Director.

SOLOIST 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.


PROGRAMME NOTES Clarinet Concerto No 2

Malcolm Arnold 1921-2006

From a very early age Malcom Arnold showed himself to be both a forceful and individualistic character. He hated school so much that his parents had to have him educated at home. At the age of twelve, inspired by the playing of Louis Armstrong, he decided to become a trumpeter and five years later won a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Music. Within two years he had started playing with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, becoming a full- time member of the trumpet section in 1941. At the start of the war he registered himself as a conscientious objector but after his brother was killed while serving in the R.A.F. he decided to enlist in the army. This was a disaster, and after two months in an army band he literally shot himself in the foot in order to obtain a discharge. After a season with the BBC Orchestra he returned to the London Philharmonic as first trumpet, a position he held until the age of 27 when he resigned to become a full-time composer. He had started composing music at the College, quickly developing a remarkable fluency in writing immediately attractive and tuneful compositions. He soon developed a reputation as a film composer, completing the scores for 132 films during his career and winning an Oscar for The Bridge on the River Kwai in 1957. As well as writing many attractive and accessible pieces for orchestra and other ensembles, including brass band, he also wrote many other works where he displayed a more serious and personal side of his nature. All in all, he completed 9 symphonies and over 19 concertos, as well as a substantial amount of chamber music and choral works. For the theatre he wrote 5 ballets which were produced by the Royal Ballet, two short operas and a musical. His initial success faded in the 1970s, when his difficult and sometimes abrasive personality caused him to be side-lined by the British musical establishment. He developed extreme mood swings, alcoholism, and mental collapse, which led to two attempted suicides. In 1978, following the break-up of his second marriage, he was admitted as an in-patient for several months to the acute psychiatric ward at the Royal Free Hospital in London, and a year later he entered the private St Andrew’s Hospital in Northampton to be treated for depression and alcoholism. On leaving the hospital, and following the death of his social worker, he found himself destitute and living on the streets. By good fortune he was recognised by a passer-by who informed the BBC of his plight. He was rescued, and for the rest of his life was cared for and managed by Anthony Day, to whom he left a substantial part of his estate in gratitude. During the 1980s it became apparent to the establishment that he was in fact one of Britain’s major composers, and although on the death of Sir Arthur Bliss he was turned down for the honorary position of Master of the Queen’s Music, he was knighted in 1993. The Second Clarinet Concerto was written in between Arnold’s first and second suicide attempts. At the time he was living in Ireland, where he hoped to find some peace and escape the temptations of London. It was commissioned by Benny Goodman, who related that when he phoned Arnold to discuss commissioning the concerto the composer slammed the phone down on him, thinking the call was a hoax. Benny Goodman however persisted, and with him as its advocate the concerto was an immediate success. The final movement, which takes the form and style of a ragtime, is probably a reference to Goodman’s career as a jazz player.


Romance from “The Blizzard”

Georgy Vasilyevich Sviridov 1915-1998

Among Sviridov’s most popular orchestral pieces is the Romance from “The Blizzard”, his musical illustrations originally written for the eponymous 1964 film based on the short story from Pushkin’s The Tales of the Late Ivan Petrovich Belkin. The dramatic opening of the Romance leaves one in no doubt as to the nationality of the composer. Despite the melancholy suggested by the minor key of the theme which follows, the listener becomes absorbed by the increasing intensity and strength which support the beauty of the melody. This theme is first introduced as a duet from the solo violin and piano, developing into a trio with the addition of exquisite harmonies from the cello. The theme is reprised four more times, firstly by the oboe and flute, then with a sense of drama by the violins, climaxing resolutely with the trumpet. The passion subsides with the gentle, final rendition of the theme from the clarinet, solo violin and cello. A neoromantic composer, Sviridov completed his studies under Shostakovich at the Leningrad Conservatory in 1941, just before Hitler invaded the Soviet Union. He experimented with different genres and different types of musical composition, later turning to the rich Russian musical heritage, including the folk songs, for inspiration. While Sviridov's music remains little known in the West, his works received high praise in his homeland for their memorable lyrical melodies, national flavour and Russian soul. Programme note by H J Lewis (sources include RT Russiapedia and Wikipedia)

Symphony Number 5 in E minor Opus 69 Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky 1840-1893 1. Andante-Allegro 2. Andante cantabile 3. Valse, Allegro moderato 4. Finale Andante maestoso-Allegro By 1888, when the premiere of his 5th Symphony took place, Tchaikovsky had become the most famous Russian composer in Europe. His reputation in Russia, and the popularity of his music, had grown to such an extent that the Tsar Alexander 3rd had conferred on him the Order of St Vladimir and awarded him a lifetime pension of 3,000 roubles per annum. Strangely this recognition did not spare him from the excoriating criticism which always seemed to follow the premieres of his compositions. The 5th Symphony was no exception. Cesar Cui described it as “meretricious” and “routine” while Berezovsky thought it the weakest of his symphonies. Despite the enthusiastic reception it received from the audience Tchaikovsky himself came to the conclusion that the work was a failure. Writing to his patron the enigmatic Nadeja von Meck after the second performance, which he had conducted himself, Tchaikovsky wrote “I have come to the conclusion that it is a failure. There is something repellent in it, some exaggerated colour, some insincerity in construction, which the public instinctively recognises. It is clear to me that the applause and ovations were not for this but for other works of mine, and that the symphony itself will never please the public.” Its reception abroad was equally devastating. The New York Musical Courier described the Valse as a farce and a piece of musical padding, while in the Finale “the composer’s Calmuck blood got the better of him, and slaughter, dire and bloody, swept across the storm driven score.” The Boston Evening Transcript went even further.”


In the Finale we have all the untamed fury of the Cossack whetting itself for the deeds of atrocity, against all the sterility of the Russian steppes. The furious peroration sounds like nothing so much as a horde of demons struggling in a torrent of brandy, the music growing drunker and drunker. Pandemonium, delirium tremens, raving. And above all noise.” It is clear to us now that criticism like this was nothing more than racism, that the Slavic people were perceived to be barbaric and uncivilised and their music must reflect this. Tchaikovsky, writing to his brother a few months after the premiere, had come to view the work in a very different light. “The symphony no longer seems bad to me…I have fallen in love with it again.” The Russian people, as time passed, certainly grew to love the symphony. During the Second World War it became a symbol of hope and defiance for the suffering people of Leningrad in the terrible siege during which over a million inhabitants died of hunger and privation. The Leningrad Orchestra continued to perform throughout the siege and in October 1941 during a broadcast to London, as the second movement began, bombs could be heard falling on the city. The orchestra continued playing to the end.

Programme notes for Arnold and Tchaikovsky by Alexander Cowdell © 2020

© Photo by Dave Simpson Photography


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

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 Anne-Marie Forsyth


Julie Goodyer Helen Lewis Acer & Tina Lin Mary Lin T. McD. Morton

Grant Reay Kevin & Jan Sutton And 1 Anonymous Subscriber

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. 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 + Zosia Herlihy-O’Brien Kauri May Sadie Stroud Bryan Lin Mana Waiariki Darren Breeze Martin Qiang Jasper Yang Santiago Romano Ericia Chang Alan Qin Bethany Yates

Violin II #Kenny Li Gemma Nash Justin Chan Athena Shiu Tabitha Yates Kelly Siew Sebastian Romano Matilda Hol Emma Ma Tony Yan Tong Chen Angeline Xiao Jun Lee Dylan Xin

Viola # Jessie Anderson Jasper Lin Elise Ji Nicholas Newman Elena Bloksberg Jennifer Chen Tal Amoore John Donaldson


Cello #Gabriel Wu Phoebe Pierard Damon Herlihy-O’Brien Ben Lin Claire Xu Michka Kangsathien Tara Hurley Vincent Chen Phoebe Qiu Vicka Allen Daniel Ng Wooyoung Wang

French Horn # Henry Close Max Glazier Evan Metcalfe Sean Tang Geeny Moon

Double Bass # Alicia Kidd Oliver Spalter Caitlin Casey John Moon Zazi Ndebele Robbie Brown

Trombone # Daniel Nihotte Amy Laithwaite Esther Simpson

Flute # Anna Kexin Zhang Claire Huang Leon Reynolds (piccolo) Oboe # Akari Ouchi Matilda Hur Clarinet # Kiara Kong Gautam Pathumanithy Olivia Littlejohn Bassoon # Monica Dunn Venice Qin Sue Lynn Leong

Trumpet # Jake Krishnamurti James Liston James Brady

Tuba # Lachlan Grant Alex King

Timpani # Michael Cai

Legend ‡ Concertmaster + Associate Concertmaster # Principal

DONATIONS If you marvel at the music produced by these young musicians, help us continue the work by making a donation either online (see our website) or via the buckets with ushers as you leave the concert (Auckland Town Hall concert only) All donations will be appreciated and, if your name and email address is included, you will receive a receipt for tax rebate purposes.

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

BECOME AN AYO SUPPORTER Our Supporters Scheme provides invaluable financial support in assisting us to balance our books. A donation of $60 or more will confer General Supporter status and, in appreciation of such support, we reserve seats for our General Supporters at the Auckland Town Hall concerts. Many of our Supporters appreciate being able to relax before the concert, knowing that seats are held for them. The names of our Supporters are also listed in our printed programmes as an acknowledgement (unless anonymity is requested). General Supporter >$ 60 Special Supporter >$ 500 Golden Supporter >$5,000 AYO is a registered charity and has IRD Donee Organisation status - a tax receipt is issued for all donations. See our website for easy ways to make donations or contact our Treasurer: treasurer@ayo.org.nz.


AUDITION FOR 2021 Do you know any young musicians (age 16-26) who would enjoy developing orchestral skills and friendships with other like-minded young adults? Please encourage them to register for an audition so they can play with us in 2021. Auditions will be held in Auckland on Sunday 6 December - digital auditions will be accepted if attendance on the day is not possible - see our website for details.

AYO SOLOIST COMPETITION This annual competition, open only to current AYO players has become a highlight of the AYO calendar. 2020 marks the 10th annual competition. We invite you to attend the competition to hear some of our outstanding musicians perform a concerto or a shorter piece, in a supportive environment.

Where: Music Suite at St Kentigern College, 130 Pakuranga Rd When: Sunday 25 October – Final begins at 7pm Entry: by Donation

ROLL OF HONOUR We are grateful to those who leave a bequest to AYO in their will and acknowledge again the gracious bequests received in the past from the estates of: 2019 2013 2005 1999

Beverley Alison Simmons Janetta McStay Moya Rea Norman W (Chip) Stevens

1995 1988 1987 1976

Alicia Griffin Patricia Emma Sara Cole Alwyn Olive Hutchinson Joan Rattray

Cover art by Emma Ma Š 2020 Auckland Youth Orchestra | Here Plays the Future ayo.org.nz