THE great Romantic
Welcome to ‘The Great Romantic’! Please read on, and discover all of the wonderful music that we have in store for you in 2020. At Orchestra Wellington we are proud of our long tradition of supporting New Zealand’s best artists, and 2020 is no exception: our season features performances by our Concertmaster Amalia Hall, singers Margaret Medlyn, Jared Holt and Wade Kernot, and pianists Jian Liu and Tony Chen Lin. And, of course – the unique and irreplaceable Michael Houstoun. We are honoured that Michael will make his final concerto appearance with Orchestra Wellington. And as ever, we will be taking the music out of the concert hall and into the community, to ensure that people from across this beautiful region of ours can experience the thrill of a live orchestra performance. Join us in the Dell for Summer City’s Kids Magic, out on the streets for Cuba Dupa, and in arenas in Porirua and the Hutt Valley for big family-friendly shows that celebrate fantastic local artists, local stories and simply great music. We will also continue to perform with our friends from Virtuoso Strings and Arohanui Strings, and down in the pit for our other close friends, the Royal New Zealand Ballet and New Zealand Opera. We are YOUR orchestra, we play for YOU, and we look forward to seeing you again in 2020! Kirsten Mason General Manager
Marc Taddei Music Director
Wellington City Council â€“ proud orchestrators of the vibrant, diverse arts and events scene in our city. wellington.govt.nz
Supporting New Zealand music ARTS COUNCIL OF NEW ZEALAND TOI AOTEAROA We encourage, promote and support the arts in New Zealand for the benefit of all New Zealanders www.creativenz.govt.nz firstname.lastname@example.org Image: Orchestra Wellington, Michael Fowler Centre May 2019
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THE great Romantic
Welcome to Orchestra Wellington’s 2020 season – The Great Romantic! My pick for the great romantic is Sergei Rachmaninoff! Here was a musician who could seemingly do it all – composing great symphonies, concertos, operas, oratorios and chamber music, while also nurturing a full-time career as the greatest pianist of his time. While he was still studying at University in Moscow, Sergei Rachmaninoff was declared Tchaikovsky’s heir by Tchaikovsky himself. Rachmaninoff’s melodic gifts and his tonal language certainly feel like a natural progression from the great master’s works. Rachmaninoff had a problem however, and that was the emergence of new styles of composing, along with a renewed sense of the progression of the Grand Narrative of music, both of which we associate with Modernism. Rachmaninoff had no interest in writing in modernist styles, rather crafting his work carefully in the style in which he had been brought up. Rachmaninoff’s style of composition was at odds with the emerging modernist ideals of composition. But it wasn’t just the modernists with whom Rachmaninoff found himself at odds – he was also found wanting by classicists, who viewed his pianistic virtuosity as suspect, and even the nationalists, who felt that as a follower of the cosmopolitan Tchaikovsky, he did not sound Russian enough! Contrasting the views of Rachmaninoff and his contemporary Stravinsky in terms of music's meaning is instructive. They were in fact antipodes of each other, Stravinsky saying, “music by its very nature is powerless to express anything at all”, while Rachmaninoff believed the exact opposite: “A composer’s
music should express the country of his birth, his love affairs, his religion, the books that have influenced him, the pictures he loves, it should be the product of the sum total of a composer’s life.” This different approach also extended to how composers could best engage an audience. Stravinsky (having just ended an affair with Coco Chanel) believed the best way to create an audience was to establish a provocative style, setting fashions, while Rachmaninoff, being a peerless concert pianist as well as a composer who saw his music as a continuation of the great Russian Romantic tradition that began with Glinka, thought that connecting with an audience was the best approach. Rachmaninoff was literally left homeless during the Russian Revolution. After finding his house commandeered by Social Revolution members, and finally confiscated by the Bolsheviks, he left Russia in 1917, never to return. In the 1930s, even his music was banned in the USSR because of a letter that he had written, criticising the Bolsheviks. As a result of seeing his life’s savings taken away, Rachmaninoff performed as a great piano virtuoso in earnest, and by 1925 he was the second most highly-paid classical musician in the United States (after Paderewski). As his solo career took off, Rachmaninoff's composition output vastly reduced. This is completely understandable, as any musician will tell you, because to be a great musician, you must constantly practice. It was precisely his unwavering commitment to performance and composition that ensured his continued popularity throughout the modernist period. Ironically, Rachmaninoff’s voice is as distinctive
as any of the great modernist composers. In fact, during his lifetime, Rachmaninoff’s music was already entering the core repertoire, while most of the music of his modernist contemporaries were novelty items on the concert stage, at best. Rachmaninoff’s music and career bring up a question that should drive every practicing musician: Whom do composers and musicians serve? This question, and Rachmaninoff’s answer to it, go some way to explaining why we at Orchestra Wellington have chosen to celebrate this great composer’s work. Rachmaninoff is a natural fit for us, as his approach as a composer and performer was to make connections through music. The idea of featuring Rachmaninoff brings to the fore what we believe at Orchestra Wellington, in terms of making music relevant for you. We believe there is room for the modernist celebration of the storyline of music, but equally, we believe that presenting programmes that explore different paths taken will bring huge resonance to the music we present. By bringing out these connections, we will (hopefully) create even more enjoyment, appreciation, and pure excitement for our world-class audience! From one great pianist to another, our work with Michael Houstoun has been a profound inspiration to me, and it is a huge honour that my gifted colleagues in Orchestra Wellington will accompany him in his final concerto appearance! It says everything you need to know about Michael’s extraordinary commitment to the music of today, and in particular, the music of New Zealand that he has chosen to perform two works by John Psathas in his final season. Not for him, saying
goodbye with a war horse concerto, but rather with contemporary masterpieces by one of New Zealand’s very greatest composers. On that topic, it gives me great pleasure to announce John Psathas as Orchestra Wellington’s composer-in-residence for a period of three seasons! In each year, we will perform two of his works, many in New Zealand and world premiere performances. But in fact, the most exciting aspects of his residency will be the work he does with gifted young composers, as well as the close relationship he will form with the orchestra and also the public. Expect to see a lot of John at concerts and our talks – his views are always considered and enthralling. If this is not enough, we have carefully crafted a season that puts Rachmaninoff in a historic context, but the modernist view of music’s “progress” does not tell the entire story, and without question, does not begin to refer to our perception of music in the concert halls. Curating Rachmaninoff’s great works alongside modernist works, masterpieces from the generation before him (including of course, his mentor, Tchaikovsky), and then post-modern masterpieces by our very own John Psathas and others, will hopefully give a sense of the extraordinary diversity that classical music offers the listener. For all these reasons (and more), I am excited to present to you #The Great Romantic! Thank you for your continued support – it is as inspiring to us as it is humbling. See you at the Michael Fowler Centre! Marc Taddei Music Director
RACHMANINOFF: THE BELLS RACHMANINOFF 1: RAPTURE RACHMANINOFF CONCERTO 4: SONG OF EXILE RACHMANINOFF 2: TRIUMPH RACHMANINOFF 3: MELANCHOLY HOUSTOUN'S LAST DANCE
THE great Romantic
RACHMANINOFF: THE BELLS
RACHMANINOFF: THE BELLS Saturday 4 April, 7.30pm Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington
Gabriel FAURÃ‰ Requiem Margaret Medlyn, Soprano Wade Kernot, Baritone Orpheus Choir of Wellington Sergei RACHMANINOFF The Bells Margaret Medlyn, Soprano Jared Holt, Tenor Wade Kernot, Baritone Orpheus Choir of Wellington
A small perfect work that rises from solemn chords to a serene and almost sensuously beautiful setting of the Requiem. Fauré minimised the more hellfire parts of the liturgy; the choir and orchestra rarely unleash their full roar. Instead, sinuous plainchant-like lines reflect Fauré’s early training in church music. The work ends in the uplifting “In Paradisum,” sung by a host of angelic voices. Rachmaninoff’s imaginative setting both supports and subverts the coloristic wordpainting of Edgar Allen Poe’s poem. It’s a broad emotional canvas filled with innocence and joy, drama and solemn spirituality. The first movement, a dashing sleigh-ride, is filled with youthful optimism and delight, “Silver bells, what a world of merriment their melody foretells.” The second movement’s joy is more reserved, with winding, gently surging waves of melody until the choir and soprano enter, singing, “Hear the mellow wedding bells— Golden bells!” and the horns ring out in bell-chords. The third movement charts the course of a terrible conflagration arising from a single spark. A long cor anglais solo introduces the final movement whose sombre vision of funeral bells and the shivering terror of ghostly apparitions ends with a surprising lift into peace.
RACHMANINOFF 1: RAPTURE
RACHMANINOFF 1: RAPTURE Saturday 16 May, 7.30pm Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington
Antonin DVOŘÁK Serenade for Strings Jennifer HIGDON Violin Concerto Amalia Hall, Violin Sergei RACHMANINOFF Symphony No. 1
Dvořák wrote his lilting, graceful Serenade as he was becoming popular. It was an immediate hit. Each movement is a perfectly crafted musical snack, filled with delightful melodies, beginning with a happily pastoral first movement and ending with something like a lively Bohemian folk dance. The graceful Menuetto is one of Dvořák’s best-loved and most recognisable movements, while the slow movement is filled with passion and beauty. Despite a late start to her musical life – she taught herself flute at the age of 15 – New York born Jennifer Higdon has gathered wide renown for her music. The first movement of this concerto, written for the violinist Hilary Hahn, carries the somewhat enigmatic title “1726” – the street number of the Curtis Institute, where soloist and composer first met. The second movement is a calm and pensive “Chaconni”. The third movement is called “Fly Forward”; Higdon found the title such a compelling image, “that I could not resist the idea of having the soloist do exactly that”. The premiere of Rachmaninoff’s first symphony was almost the end of his career. The performance was a disaster; the conductor, Glazunov, was quite possibly drunk. The critic Cesar Cui savaged it. Rachmaninoff’s subsequent depression was serious. Luckily he didn’t burn the score: it is stuffed with musical riches right from its boldly brassy opening. There’s a hint of Tchaikovsky at his most Russian in the first clarinet melody, but immediately we also hear Rachmaninoff’s characteristic sweeping string lines. Throughout the symphony, Rachmaninoff alludes to the famous Dies Irae theme from Gregorian plainchant; it was a favourite motif that he would use in myriad forms throughout his life.
RACHMANINOFF CONCERTO 4: SONG OF EXILE
RACHMANINOFF CONCERTO 4: SONG OF EXILE Saturday 25 July, 7.30pm Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington
Robert SCHUMANN Manfred Overture Sergei RACHMANINOFF Piano Concerto No. 4 Tony Chen Lin, Piano Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY Manfred Symphony
Schumann was greatly moved by Byron’s 1817 poem, Manfred. He based a “dramatic poem with music” on it, of which this is the overture. The swirling, brooding music, full of drama and passion, describes Byron’s tormented Romantic anti-hero. When, in 1911, Rachmaninoff composed his Etude Tableau in C minor, he seemed to recognise its potential for expansion. Years of revolution and exile followed in which he could devote little time to composition, earning his living instead as a touring concert pianist. When he returned to this composition, he’d had years to develop it; the original theme became the climax of this concerto’s second movement. The opening is complex, moody and brilliant, dropping us right in the middle of something that appears already fully alive. The slow movement pulls forward with a tremendous sustained force of concentration; a slow, determined journey. The kaleidoscopic finale is fierce, fast and highly demanding on the soloist. Between his fourth and fifth symphonies, Tchaikovsky wrote this programme symphony based on Byron’s poem. Manfred is a despairing wanderer tormented by guilt and memories of lost love. The tragedy is interspersed with more hopeful encounters: the magical delight of a mountain waterfall in the second movement, the peasant dances of the mountain folk in the third. The fourth movement is a kind of infernal dance. In a Romantic fantasy reminiscent of Berlioz’ Symphonie Fantastique, but with a more hopeful ending, Manfred meets his beloved’s ghost and receives her pardon.
RACHMANINOFF 2: TRIUMPH
RACHMANINOFF 2: TRIUMPH Saturday 12 September, 7.30pm Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington
John PSATHAS View from Olympus Michael Houstoun, Piano Claire Edwardes, Percussion Sergei RACHMANINOFF Symphony No. 2
Psathas’ most famous work was commissioned by percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie. Psathas says, “This double concerto takes listeners on a journey through the world of Greek percussion styles and playing techniques. The first movement features an adapted transcription of improvised Greek violin music (by Stathis Koukoularis), the second movement is a tribute to my two children, and the third movement is a wild depiction of the legendary Mænads celebrating their god Dionysos with song, music and dance.” Rachmaninoff No. 2 is is the epitome of a Russian romantic symphony, filled with fire and energy as well as tender melancholy and yearning. Rachmaninoff’s fabulous Russian melodies are enriched with the plangent wind writing and swooping string lines that are so characteristic of his writing. The music seems able to plumb the darkest depths while simultaneously soaring into the light. A dramatic and varied first movement is followed by a galloping scherzo with a slower interlude that is one of the most romantic ever written – though even that is outdone by the Adagio that follows, with its meltingly lovely clarinet solo.
RACHMANINOFF 3: MELANCHOLY
RACHMANINOFF 3: MELANCHOLY Saturday 17 October, 7.30pm Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington
Josef SUK Serenade for Strings Sergei PROKOFIEV Piano Concerto No. 1 Jian Liu, Piano Sergei RACHMANINOFF Symphony No. 3
Dvorak’s favourite student, friend and eventual son-in-law Josef Suk honed his string-writing skills during 40 years playing violin in the Czech Quartet. His Serenade is generously melodic, with a capriciously dance-like second movement and a third movement that features a reflective solo cello and some delicious harmonies. The final movement bustles cheerfully over chugging locomotive quavers. Prokofiev caused a stir by winning the St Petersburg Conservatory’s piano competition playing his own concerto. The work opens dramatically, with piano and orchestra striving together in surging waves. Its percussive, playful piano lines with their startling leaps are instantly recognisable as Prokofiev’s style. The slow movement alternates between magical delicacy and sweeping tuttis. The wildly inventive finale is a cascade of notes accelerating to a triumphant return of the first theme. Rachmaninoff’s mastery of orchestral colour gives this symphony a thrillingly cinematic sweep. Its opening snatch of what sounds like Russian Orthodox plainchant precedes an eruption of inventive music in which sweeping melodies contrast with elements of restlessness and doubt. A magical central movement grows from a luscious solo violin placed over a simple horn and harp accompaniment. Its romance is interrupted by a mercurial scherzo. The third movement is likewise full of unexpected interludes in different moods, dominated by a dance-like theme.
HOUSTOUN'S LAST DANCE
HOUSTOUN'S LAST DANCE Saturday 5 December, 7.30pm Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY Serenade for Strings John PSATHAS Three Psalms Michael Houstoun, Piano Sergei RACHMANINOFF Symphonic Dances
In this elegant work, Tchaikovsky modelled the first movement on Mozart, whom he greatly admired. The next movement, a waltz, is pure joy, while the beautiful third movement is one of his most heartfelt. The finale is based on two Russian folk tunes. 'Three Psalms' was commissioned at the instigation of Michael Houstoun, to whom it is dedicated. This is the piece that he chooses to give as his final public performance in Wellington. The beginning, Aria, introduces a simple kind of melodic motion, which evolves throughout the concerto. This simple idea ‘tells the story’ of the concerto. The uncertain, wandering music of the second movement, Inferno, was inspired by the haunting images in James Nachtwey’s photographic elegy of the same name. The third movement takes the original melodic motion upwards by step, evolving into a celebration of one of the most ebullient passages in piano concerto literature: the initial allegro passage in the first movement of Prokofiev’s third concerto. ‘In ‘Symphonic Dances’, the fast light pulse of the opening bars maintains a constant tension as the first movement explodes into colourful activity. Soulful reeds including a saxophone interrupt with one of Rachmaninoff’s most gorgeously yearning melodies. For the second movement, spectral brass fanfares introduce a curiously halting waltz. The third movement begins with dramatic contrasts leading to a wild Spanish-flavoured dance whose slow middle section is another richly nostalgic meditation. Rachmaninoff’s favourite Dies Irae theme makes a final demonic appearance near the end.
Kid’s Magic Saturday 25 January, The Dell, Botanic Gardens Pack a picnic, grab the gang and head to the Dell to be entertained, with musicians from Orchestra Wellington, fun with big bubbles and more!
CubaDupa Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 March, Cuba Street & Hannah Courtyard Get up close and personal with Orchestra Wellington at the creative capital’s biggest most iconic street party with multiple performances throughout the day and night. Keep up to date at cubadupa.co.nz
Symphony in the Hutt Friday 22 May, Walter Nash Centre, Taita Join Orchestra Wellington and friends for a fantastic free family event spanning music from Star Wars to Nessun Dorma, and everything in between! huttcity.govt.nz
Marriage of Figaro (NZ Opera) 27 June – 4 July, Opera House Mozart’s much-loved opera The Marriage of Figaro is a rollicking tale of love, lust and longheld secrets. The action takes place over one crazy, passion-fuelled day full of plots, double crosses and seductions.
Orpheus Choir Mass in B minor Saturday 19 September, Michael Fowler Centre We are thrilled to once again be joining our good friends, The Orpheus Choir of Wellington, for a piece regarded by many as one of the supreme achievements of Western classical music – Johann Sebastian Bach's Mass in B minor.
Halloween Family Show Saturday 31 October, Michael Fowler Centre Join Orchestra Wellington for the most spooktacular night of the year in a family show that will make you scream! Celebrate All Hallows Eve, with a selection of creepy classical, monster mashups, and modern bogeyman boogie!
Sleeping Beauty (Royal New Zealand Ballet) 29 Oct – 1 Nov and 5 – 7 Nov, Opera House The Sleeping Beauty is the quintessential classical ballet. The grandest of fairy tales, luxuriating in Tchaikovsky’s gorgeous orchestral score, it spills over with fairies, woodland sprites, handsome princes and, at its heart, an enchanting princess. This new Sleeping Beauty will unfurl like a fragrant summer rose, with all the radiance and joy that any ballet lover, young or old, could wish for.
Beethoven’s Big Birthday Bash Sunday 22nd March, Te Rauparaha Arena, Porirua Beethoven’s Big Birthday Bash is a huge glorious celebration of the music and genius of Beethoven, born 250 years ago this year. We will be bringing together singers and instrumentalists from across the region to form a mass orchestra and mass choir – the largest we can muster! In one afternoon at Te Rauparaha Arena, we will rehearse and perform all together several much-loved works, including excerpts from Beethoven’s mighty 5th symphony and the last movement of his monumental 9th symphony, Ode to Joy. Singers and instrumentalists of all levels are welcome, with special arrangements available for less advanced musicians. If you can sing or play an instrument – we want YOU to be part of Beethoven’s Big Birthday Bash! Please visit the sign-up page on our website (www.orchestrawellington.co.nz), or ask your choir or orchestra director for more details.
Limited Edition Coloured Vinyl 2LP/CD Beethoven Symphony No.1 Symphony No.3 ‘Eroica’
Recorded LIVE at the Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington, 2017. Beautiful 180 gram coloured vinyl double gatefold LP, mastered to vinyl specifications and pressed in Germany. Also available on CD 2LP: $40 | CD: $16 FREE SHIPPING WITHIN NZ Available online: orchestrawellington.co.nz or instore at Rough Peel Music, Slowboat Records, Marbecks, Real Groovy and where all good music is sold.
Arohanui Strings Sistema Hutt Valley Founded in 2010 by Director (and Orchestra Wellington violist) Alison Eldredge, Arohanui Strings – Sistema Hutt Valley is a groundbreaking music education / social development programme. Their goal is to help children in areas of high deprivation to reach their full potential, using teamwork, harmony and ensemble playing. Arohanui Strings now works with hundreds of children in the Hutt Valley each year, teaching violin, viola, cello, double bass, singing and music literacy through in-school, afterschool and holiday programmes www.arohanuistrings.org Orchestra Wellington is proud to support Arohanui Strings’ programmes, and we look forward to continuing our partnership in 2019 and beyond. “Social change through music is a long road, but it is full of discovery, creativity and joy. Our kids benefit from quality immersive music programming, many hours a week. We see transformations every day!” —Alison Eldredge, Founder and Director
CubaSonic We are thrilled to be involved in the CubaSonic project, taking place at CubaDupa 2020. World-renowned New Zealand composer and Orchestra Wellington’s new composer in residence John Psathas, has composed a musical piece to unite the CubaDupa site for a ten minute mass musical interruption. Psathas will be joined by over 450 musicians from Orchestra Wellington, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Royal New Zealand Air Force Band, The Nudge, Boat, synthesiser genius Leo Coghini, 250 Batucada drummers and many more ensembles. The musical backdrop to the piece features a locally developed 21st century instrument called Chime Red, that literally makes music with lightning. CubaSonic will be amplified through a custom designed audio system with over sixty speakers with individual outputs spanning the length of New Zealand’s favourite street. This beautiful interruption will be like nothing attempted in New Zealand before – and will happen twice at CubaDupa 2020. “To call CubaSonic ‘bigger than Ben Hur’ is not overstating the case. It is a highly ambitious undertaking” explains John Psathas, composer for the project. “It is extremely brave and visionary of CubaDupa to commit to presenting this ground-breaking project. I’m super-excited to feel it all coming together. It is going to be incredible”.
Image: Amandala Photography
Virtuoso Strings The Virtuoso Strings Orchestras are based in Cannons Creek, Porirua. The aim of the Senior Virtuoso Orchestra is to provide real opportunities for committed local string players to develop advanced ensemble skills in a supportive environment. The Virtuoso Strings Charitable Trust provides every aspect of music education freely to all participants from low decile schools. They emphasise inclusivity, accessibility and excellence, and their mission is to foster greater diversity among youth, amateur and professional orchestras within New Zealand.
Orchestra Wellington Intern Toloa Faraimo in lesson with Concertmaster Amalia Hall
Wellington Chamber Orchestra We are delighted to partner with the Wellington Chamber Orchestra again for 2020. All concerts at St Andrews on The Terrace Sunday April 5 at 3pm Conductor: Rachel Hyde Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, soloist Helene Pohl Shostakovich Symphony no 5 Sunday 28 June at 3pm Conductor: Ewan Clark Maria Grenfell River Mountain Sky Elgar Enigma Variations Vaughan Williams Serenade to Music, with Nota Bene and Baroque Voices Vaughan Williams Five Mystical Songs, soloist Robert Tucker Sunday 20 September at 3pm Conductor: Luka Venter SchĂźtz Symphonia Haydn London Symphony (no 104) Brahms Variations on a Theme by Haydn (St Anthoni) Schumann Symphony no 2 Sunday December 13 at 3pm Conductor: Andrew Atkins Verdi La Forza del Destino Overture Beethoven Piano Concerto no 5 (Emperor), soloist Andrew Atkins Franck Symphony in D minor More information at www.wco.net.nz
Proud to support ORCHESTRA WELLINGTON & AROHANUI STRINGS
PLAYING FOR YOU
Jared Holt Tenor Jared Holt has a degree in Classics and Law (Honours). Winner of the 2000 Mobil Song Quest in New Zealand, he furthered his vocal studies at the Royal College of Music in London, and later joined the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Having enjoyed a successful career as a baritone, Jared has now made the transition to tenor. As a baritone, Jared appeared with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Glyndebourne Festival and Touring Opera, Teatro Giuseppe Verdi, Northern Sinfonia, Opera Australia, New Zealand Opera, and at the Adelaide and Auckland Festivals. Jared made his debut as a tenor with the New Zealand String Quartet in a new song cycle, In Memoriam, by Janet Jennings. Jared’s 2019 performances include Young’s Man, Sitting in a Garden (World Premiere, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra), the Prologue and Peter Quint in Britten’s Turn of the Screw (New Zealand Opera), Mozart’s Requiem (Christchurch Symphony Orchestra), Beethoven Symphony No. 9 and Choral Fantasy (Napier Civic Choir), Haydn’s Nelson Mass (Auckland Choral Society) and Messiah (Christchurch City Choir).
Wade Kernot Bass Wade was a PwC Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist at New Zealand Opera, a semi-finalist representing New Zealand in both the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World and the Neue Stimmen in Germany, and a runnerup in the Lexus Song Quest. He was engaged at Theater St Gallen, Switzerland, from 2010-2015, where his highly varied roles included Monterone (Rigoletto), the Forester (The Cunning Little Vixen), Osmin (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Père Laurent (Roméo et Juliette), Gubetta (Lucrezia Borgia), Wotan (Siegfried), Truffaldino (Ariadne auf Naxos), Il Pedone di Schnals (La Wally), Commendatore (Don Giovanni), Melisso (Alcina), Méphistophélès (La Damnation de Faust), Sarastro and Sprecher (Die Zauberflöte), Sam (Un Ballo in Maschera), Frank (Die Fledermaus), and Comte des Grieux (Manon). In recent seasons, Wade has performed Nettuno, Tempo, Antinoo in Il Ritorno d’Ulisse for Pinchgut Opera, Zuniga for New Zealand Opera and State Opera South Australia; Masetto (Don Giovanni), Angelotti (Tosca), Raimondo (Lucia di Lammermoor), Arthur (The Riders) and Nourabad (The Pearl Fishers) for West Australian Opera; Verdi Requiem and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Napier Civic Choir; a solo recital in Auckland and Verdi Requiem with Aorangi Symphony Orchestra. He is now Lecturer in Voice at the New Zealand School of Music.
Margaret Medlyn Soprano Known as a singing actor, Dr Margaret Medlyn ONZM is one of Australasia's finest singers, consistently gaining high acclaim for her performances in opera, oratorio and recitals. Margaret has sung in the U.K. and Europe, particularly for English National Opera, Covent Garden, Vienna State Opera, and opera companies in Australia, including Opera Australia. Roles include Salome in Salome, Marie in Wozzeck, Agathe in Der Freischütz, Giorgetta in Il tabarro, Leonore in Il trovatore, Maddalena di Coigny in Andrea Chénier, various Rheinmaidens, Sieglinde and Fricka in Die Walküre, Gutrune in Götterdämmerung, Kundry in Parsifal, Aida and Amneris in Aida, Tosca and Turandot, Judith in Duke Bluebeard’s Castle, Isolde in Tristan und Isolde. Recent engagements are the solo in Gareth Farr’s Relict Furies, Kostelnicka in Jenufa and Kabanicka in Kat’ya Kabanova. Her position as Head of Voice at the New Zealand School of Music combines her teaching experience with the lessons learnt in her performance career which, as well as conveying these lessons through teaching, has prompted her to articulate her experience in her doctorate and recently published book, Embodying Voice, Singing Verdi, Singing Wagner.
Orpheus Choir of Wellington Orpheus Choir Wellington is New Zealand’s premier symphonic choir. Formed in 1947, Orpheus offers the big choir experience – dramatic, spectacular and emotionally charged performances of stunning choral music –to a wide variety of events. These include not just the choir’s own subscription series concerts but also festivals and pop concerts and engagements with other leading musical ensembles. The choir’s music director, Brent Stewart, was appointed in 2014. Stewart is a leading musical figure in New Zealand, having worked all across New Zealand and overseas as a percussionist, pianist, teacher, and conductor. Among his many successes, in 2012 he led his school choir, Cantala, on an international tour during which they won 1st equal in Vienna’s Summa Cum Laude Youth International Music Festival. With Orpheus, he continues to programme exciting works for the choir to perform.
Amalia Hall Violin Born and raised in New Zealand, Amalia Hallâ€™s numerous competition successes include laureate prizes at the Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition in Hannover, the International Violin Competition 'Premio R. Lipizerâ€™ and the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians. In 2016 she became New Zealand's youngest concertmaster when she was appointed Concertmaster of Orchestra Wellington. In 2019 she was also appointed Violinist of NZTrio. Amalia studied with Dimitri Atanassov at the University of Auckland before undertaking postgraduate studies at the Curtis Institute of Music with Pamela Frank and Joseph Silverstein. At age 16, she won the Gisborne International Music Competition. She received the top prize at the Jeunesses International Music Competition Dinu Lipatti; First Prizes at the Tunbridge Wells International Music Competition and Leos Janacek International Competition, and First Prize and Absolute Winner at the Postacchini International Violin Competition. Amalia has been a soloist with orchestras including I Virtuosi Italiani, the Munich Chamber Orchestra, and the NDR Radiophilharmonie. A regular performer throughout New Zealand, her career also encompasses China, Germany, Scotland, England, France, Austria, South Africa, Vietnam, Mexico, USA, Uzbekistan and Australia. Amalia currently plays on a Vincenzo Rugeri violin from c. 1694, generously on loan from a private benefactor.
Tony Chen Lin Piano New Zealand pianist Tony Chen Lin made his concerto debut at 14 after winning the Christchurch Junior Concerto Competition. Since then he has won the National Concerto Competition, second prize and the Best Classical Sonata Performance Award at the Kerikeri International Piano Competition and 2nd at the Lepthien Piano Competition in Germany. After receiving his Bachelor of Music in piano performance and composition at the University of Canterbury in 2009, Tony moved to Europe where he completed his Master of Music at the Hochschule fĂźr Musik in Freiburg, Germany. He studied at the Liszt Academy in Budapest. Tony received glowing reviews for his recent 14-concert solo tour with Chamber Music New Zealand. He regularly performs in New Zealand and Europe, notably at the Semaine Internationale Piano & Musique de Chambre festival in Switzerland and as soloist with the Stuttgart State Orchestra. Tony performed with Michael Houstoun and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra at the re-opening of the Christchurch Town Hall in 2019. Tonyâ€™s debut solo album DIGRESSIONS was released in April 2018 on Rattle Records and reached No. 1 on the Radio New Zealand Classical Chart.
Alissa Long Composer Alissa Long (formerly Kuang-Yun Liu) was born in Jordan, raised in Taiwan, and is now permanently based in New Zealand. She studied at Soochow University in Taipei under professor Ting Yi Ma, and finished her Master of Arts degree in 2012. She is a composer, arranger, and educator, with over a decade of experience in creating new music and arrangements for a large variety of musical soloists and ensembles at various levels. With wide-ranging international and local experience in music teaching and a number of different roles in the music industry, Alissa brings diverse inspirations and perspectives to her work. As an international composer, Alissa has a strong interest in combining western techniques with oriental elements, and bringing together multifarious cultural practices. Her recent successes include The Corner of the War for large orchestra which was selected for the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra 2019 composer session. Scherzo for Percussion Quartet was performed by Ju Percussion Group in March 2019 at the Taiwan National Concert Hall. Another notable piece is Love of the Ocean for female choir, which was the first prize winner in the Taiwan Choral Association Competition 2016.
Michael Houstoun Piano Michael Houstoun won all the major piano competitions in NZ and began playing with orchestras while still in his teens, and at the age of twenty he entered and placed third in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. This led to a year of study with Rudolf Serkin at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. A few years later he placed fourth in the Leeds International Piano Competition and then sixth in the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition. Houstoun returned home in 1981 to perform recitals, concertos and chamber music nationwide. His large repertoire spans from J S Bach to the present, including many commissions and compositions by NZ composers. He has twice presented the complete Beethoven sonatas; more recently he has performed the 48 Preludes and Fugues of Bach's 'Well-tempered Klavier'. Since 1999 he has recorded for Rattle Records, with five of his albums winning Classical Record of the Year awards. He has honorary degrees from Massey and Victoria universities, is a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit and a Laureate of the Arts Foundation of New Zealand.
Claire Edwardes Percussion Labelled the ‘sorceress of percussion’ by the Australian press, Claire Edwardes is an awardwinning Sydney performer cherished for her contribution to the arts. She has carved a remarkable career path as a percussion soloist, chamber musician and Artistic Director of Australia’s most pre-eminent new music group, Ensemble Offspring. In 1999, after graduating from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Claire went on to win the coveted Symphony Australia Young Performers Award, then relocated to the Netherlands for further studies at the Rotterdam and Amsterdam Conservatories. International awards and prizes soon followed, including first place at the 2001 Llangollen International Instrumentalist. In 2005, back in Australia, she was awarded many prestigious national arts awards. Claire champions the work of living composers, having a long list of solos and concertos commissioned and premiered by her. She presented the Australian premiere of James MacMillan’s Second Percussion Concerto with the Sydney Symphony, and his Veni Veni Emmanuel in Sydney and Wellington. She has performed Unsuk Chin’s Double Concerto in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw.
Jian Liu Piano Internationally celebrated concert pianist, chamber musician, and educator, Dr. Jian Liu, has performed and taught throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. His artistry has taken him to some of the most prestigious concert halls, including the Steinway and Carnegie Halls and the Lincoln Center in New York; also the Sprague and Woolsey Halls of Yale University. A dedicated chamber musician, Jian is the founding pianist of Te Kōkī Trio, the resident trio at New Zealand School of Music. The Trio has performed in Singapore, China, Australia and New Zealand. Jian has also collaborated with world-class musicians including cellist Jian Wang, clarinetist David Shifrin, and pianists Boris Berman, Claude Frank and Maria João Pires. Jian served for four years on the faculty of the Yale Department of Music, and he is currently the Programme Director of Classical Performance and Head of Piano Studies at the New Zealand School of Music.
Luka Venter Assistant Conductor A graduate of Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music, Luka completed a BMus in Classical Performance (Voice) and Composition, and has continued with postgraduate studies in Conducting under Hamish McKeich and Composition under Michael Norris. In 2018 he was awarded grants from the New Zealand Opera Foundation Trust, Wallace Foundation, Lankhuyzen/Whetu-Kairangi Masonic Trust, Todd Trust, to travel to Florence, London, and to Berlin where he was a Visiting Scholar with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra under Sir George Benjamin. While in Berlin and London, he also shadowed conductors including Simone Young, Matthias Pintscher, François-Xavier Roth, Sir Simon Rattle, and Esa-Pekka Salonen and Sir Antonio Pappano with such orchestras and institutions as the Berliner Philharmoniker, Ensemble Intercontemporain, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, among others. He was also a passive participant at the Florence Conducting Masterclass under Günter Neuhold. As a composer, he was the recipient of the 2018 NZSO Todd Corporation Young Composer Award, for which he has twice been a finalist. He continues to compose widely, and as a vocalist, sings regularly with New Zealand Opera.
COMPOSER IN RESIDENCE
Orchestra Wellington has secured internationally acclaimed Kiwi John Psathas, ONZM, as Composer-in-Residence. Orchestra Wellington's music director Marc Taddei says he is thrilled Psathas will be working alongside the orchestra from next year. “We’re beginning a new programme that will form an even deeper bond between the composers, musicians and audience,” Taddei said. “We have decided to begin a three year composer-in-residence programme, where a major New Zealand composer will be featured throughout the residency, performing existing masterpieces alongside new commissions. It is a great honour to announce John Psathas as the first composer in this position. His music exhibits a depth of expression that is rare today.” The orchestra will perform three new Psathas compositions between 2020-2022, one of which is specially commissioned by the orchestra. In 2020 Orchestra Wellington is exploring the catalogue of the Greek New Zealand composer by performing 'View from Olympus', and his Piano Concerto titled 'Three Psalms'. Both works are featured on Psathas’ ‘View from Olympus’ CD. Alongside composing for the orchestra, Psathas will mentor up-and-coming composers in the Wellington region and engage with the orchestra’s considerable subscriber and audience base through pre-concert talks and seminars.
John Psathas ONZM Composer In Residence The works of Greek New Zealand composer John Psathas emerge from a truly dazzling 21st century backdrop, where dynamic collaboration with creative masters from all corners of the physical and artistic globe result in outcomes that are visionary, moving, and inspired. From genre-crossing projects with jazz legends Michael Brecker and Joshua Redman, to an innovative e-book scoring collaboration with Salman Rushdie, from an unforgettable recording session with the Grand Mufti in Paris' Grand Mosque, to a Billboard classical-charttopping album with System of a Down front man Serj Tankian, John's musical journey weaves through a myriad of genres, and has moved concert audiences in more than 50 countries. Early career collaborations included working with such luminaries as Sir Mark Elder, Kristjan Jarvi, the Takacs Quartet, Lara St. John, the Netherlands Blazers Ensemble, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Edo de Wart, Joanna MacGregor, Pedro Carneiro, the Halle Orchestra, Orchestra Wellington, the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra of Emilia Romagna, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and many more. Then followed a period of creative exploration in the worlds of electronica and jazz, and a series of megaprojects (such as scoring for the opening ceremony of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games). All of this has led to an explosion of first-hand collaborations with artists from dozens of musical traditions around the world.
Marc Taddei Music Director Conductor Marc Taddei begins his 14th season as Music Director of Orchestra Wellington with the 2020 season. During his tenure critics have repeatedly remarked on his extraordinary connection with audiences and zest for continually creating engaging, erudite and innovative programmes. Marc is also music director of the Vallejo Symphony Orchestra near San Francisco in the United States. He is a frequent guest conductor in Australia as well as with every professional orchestra in New Zealand, working with the national ballet and opera companies, the New Zealand Festival, the Auckland Festival and the New Zealand International Film Festival. He has worked with such diverse artists as Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Anne Sofie von Otter, Ilya Gringolts, Julian Lloyd Webber, Horacio GutiĂŠrrez, Simon Oâ€™Neill, Michael Houstoun, Joshua Redman, James Morrison, Diana Krall, Bobby Shew, Art Garfunkel, Dave Dobbyn and Kenny Rogers, among many, many others. His discography includes more than 30 recordings. Marc is a graduate of the Julliard School in Manhattan, where he received both bachelors and masters degrees before moving to New Zealand. He divides his time between Queenstown, Wellington and San Francisco.
VIOLAS Sophia Acheson CONCERTMASTER Amalia Hall GRANT CORLEISON CHAIR DONOR
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