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The NZSO launches an extraordinary 2015 Season

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra is excited to present its 2015 Season.

Designed to inspire, exhilarate, and move you, the new Season offers something for everyone – celebrated composers, star appeal, bold new music, and extraordinary talent.

Sensational soprano Renée Fleming debuts with the NZSO in a Gala Evening featuring popular art songs and arias, acclaimed violinist Janine Jansen performs Tchaikovsky’s beloved Violin Concerto, and star conductors Vasily Petrenko and Simone Young return to dazzle you again.

Many enjoyed this year’s exciting symphonic series, when NZSO Music Director Pietari Inkinen led the Orchestra through all nine Beethoven symphonies. To open the 2015 Season, acclaimed pianist Freddy Kempf returns to New Zealand to direct the Orchestra in Beethoven’s piano concertos.

We celebrate much-loved composer Douglas Lilburn who left an enduring impression on the landscape of New Zealand music. 100 years on, we honour his rich musical legacy with a performance of his Symphony No. 2 alongside the world premiere of NZSO commission Claro by Wellington composer Michael Norris.

NZSO Music Director Pietari Inkinen says he is particularly looking forward to the Inkinen Festival in June. Inspired by the epic tales of his homeland Finland, Sibelius’ Lemminkäinen Suite is his personal Season highlight.

I want to create more unforgettable moments for the audience and performers in 2015. I want to bring people to the edge of their seat,” says Maestro Pietari Inkinen. “There’s the unique power of Wagner in the Gala, one of the best violinists, Hilary Hahn, performing one of the most famous concertos, plus the highly original and wonderful Lemminkäinen Suite by Sibelius who is our most important composer in Finland. There is no question that performing these big works shows some of the real strengths of the NZSO.

The Inkinen Festival includes two exciting programmes – Hilary Hahn plays Beethoven featuring Beethoven’s famous Violin Concerto in D major and Sibelius’ Lemminkäinen Suite, and the Wagner Gala including well-known scenes from the last two operas of Wagner’s Ring Cycle – Siegfried and Götterdämmerung, and the return of star tenor Simon O’Neill and powerful soprano Christine Goerke.

“The Festival brings together some of my most significant projects with the NZSO – our European tour with Hilary Hahn in 2010, the complete Naxos recordings of the Sibelius symphonies, and our 2012 performance of The Valkyrie with Simon O’Neill and Christine Goerke. Those moments I wouldn’t trade for anything,” says Maestro Inkinen.

Another highlight will be Spirit of Anzac. The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Sydney Symphony Orchestra collaborate to commemorate the centenary of the Gallipoli landings with almost simultaneous concerts featuring the world premieres of NZ composer Michael Williams’ Symphony No. 1, Letters from the Front and Perth composer James Ledger’s War Music, plus Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis and Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man.

We welcome an impressive line-up of guest soloists who return to perform with the NZSO – virtuoso trombone player and conductor Christian Lindberg, violinist Anthony Marwood, pianist Simon Trpčeski, violinist Baiba Skride, and clarinet star Kari Kriikku as well as renowned conductors Thomas Søndergård, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Nicholas McGegan, and NZSO Music Director Emeritus James Judd who returns to conduct Renée Fleming – A Gala Evening and our Classical Hits tour in September.

We celebrate our own talent when NZSO Concertmaster Vesa-Matti Leppänen plays Vaughan Williams’ popular The Lark Ascending following his lauded 2013 performance of the much-loved piece and David Bremner, our award-winning Section Principal Trombone player, teams up with his “idol” Christian Lindberg to perform Jan Sandström’s concerto for two trombones and orchestra, Echoes of Eternity.

In July, the increasingly popular NZSO National Youth Orchestra concerts take place in Wellington and Christchurch featuring our very own Bridget Douglas, Section Principal Flute, performing Ibert’s Flute Concerto with Venezuelan conductor Jose Luis Gomez. We also premiere an exciting new work by our new NZSO National Youth Orchestra Composer in Residence Salina Fisher. These concerts, and our other extensive Community and Education programmes, offer New Zealand’s future generations the opportunity to experience the exceptional skill of our NZSO players, inspiring them towards a life-long love of music.

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra continues to grow and develop artistically, taking a challenging and varied programme of music to communities throughout New Zealand. Next year, the NZSO tours 13 centres including Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, Napier, Wellington, Blenheim, Invercargill, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Rotorua, Tauranga and Whangarei. New Zealand’s smaller centres (Blenheim, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Rotorua, Whangarei) can enjoy the NZSO’s Classical Hits tour in September with conductor James Judd. Invercargill and Tauranga will be treated to Freddy Kempf’s Beethoven in March.

In 2015, the NZSO continues to be an excellent and affordable entertainment choice with its wide range of price options. For less than $100, one can become a Season Ticket Holder with full benefits. For younger generations of concertgoers, we continue to offer our popular ticket deals – the 35-Down Season Ticket and Pay Your Age initiatives. Plus, we offer appealing Family Passes for adults and children 18 years or under.

We invite all ages to experience the excitement and drama of our exhilarating line-up of international stars alongside New Zealand’s elite orchestral musicians.

Meet the NZSO in the concert hall and share more unforgettable moments with New Zealand’s national orchestra in 2015.

View the full 2015 NZSO Season Programme

Request a 2015 NZSO Season Brochure

Updated on 23rd July 2015