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Piano master Garrick Ohlsson plays Brahms with NZSO

American piano virtuoso Garrick Ohlsson will captivate concertgoers with a highly personal and profoundly revealing performance of Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1 when he makes his debut with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO) in November.

Garrick Ohlsson, photo by Pier Andrea Morolli.

As Brahms’ first major orchestral work, this piece is often described as a ‘titanic struggle between piano and orchestra’, written by a passionate young genius aged only in his twenties. While some audience members hissed at its premiere in 1859, this has become one of the best-loved concertos in the world.

Known as a player of exceptional intelligence and sensitivity, Ohlsson is famous for his vast repertoire, including the works of Brahms. He has enjoyed a highly successful international career spanning more than four decades since being the first and only American to win the prestigious Chopin International Piano Competition in 1970.

Conducted by internationally acclaimed Spanish conductor Jaime Martín, the NZSO will begin the concert with Beethoven’s supremely dramatic Leonore Overture No. 3, from his only opera, Fidelio. This work is considered one of the greatest of Beethoven’s overtures.

The Orchestra will also play Mozart’s bubbling Symphony No. 35 in D major, known as the Haffner Symphony. This work was originally commissioned as a serenade to be used as background music for the ennoblement of Sigmund Haffner, and later evolved as a highly successful symphony.

Conductor Jaime Martín has risen quickly to international acclaim as a conductor in recent years, following his prominent career as a flautist. Having taken up the role of Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of Gävle Symphony Orchestra in September 2013, he has most recently also been designated the Principal Guest Conductor of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León. He is also Chief Conductor of the Orquestra de Cadaqués and Artistic Director of the Santander International Festival. In addition to his engagements in these roles, he is also regularly invited to conduct as a guest by a wide range of orchestras.

‘Garrick Ohlsson plays Brahms’ will be performed in Wellington on 13 November and Auckland on 14 November.

NZSO: Garrick Ohlsson plays Brahms

Jaime Martín CONDUCTOR

Garrick Ohlsson PIANO


BEETHOVEN Leonore Overture No. 3

MOZART Symphony No. 35 in D Major Haffner
BRAHMS Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor

WELLINGTON / Michael Fowler Centre / Friday 13 November / 6.30pm

Ticketek / 0800 842 538 /


AUCKLAND / Town Hall / Saturday 14 November / 7.30pm

Ticketmaster / 0800 111 999 /

Updated on 17th November 2015