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A rising-star conductor, a world-class cellist and a much-loved work

One of the fastest rising American conductors of the decade is coming to New Zealand next month for the first time.

Photo of American conductor James Feddeck by Terry Johnston.

James Feddeck will lead the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in its five-city Schumann & Barber concert tour from 15 June.

The tour also features the much-anticipated return of acclaimed German cellist Daniel Müller-Schott in a programme that includes Samuel Barber’s universally popular Adagio for Strings.

German cellist Daniel Müller-Schott, image courtesy of the NZSO.

Feddeck is in demand as one of the most versatile American conductors aged under 40, including concerts with the Chicago Symphony, Manchester’s The Hallé, the Toronto Symphony, and Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. He’s also worked with singer-songwriter Randy Newman.

The Chicago Tribune spotlighted Feddeck’s innate talent and outstanding musicianship, declaring that he was “a gifted conductor who's clearly going places”.

“We’re honoured to have James Feddeck conduct the NZSO for the first time and New Zealanders will understand why he’s in demand all over the world,” says NZSO chief executive Christopher Blake.

Müller-Schott, praised by The New York Times this year for another “bold performance”, returns to play Robert Schumann’s achingly romantic Cello Concerto.

Winner of the prestigious International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians when he was 15, Müller-Schott has gone from strength to strength since his celebrated concerts with the NZSO in 2013. Among the highlights have been his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic and performances in Japan of a cello concerto written for Müller-Schott by music legend Sir André Previn.

“I feel the cello is somehow my instrument, my voice. It should be a part of you,” Müller-Schott said when he last played with the NZSO.

Barber’s Adagio for Strings is one of the most popular classical works by a 20th-century composer. Played at the funerals of John F Kennedy and Princess Diana and after the September 11 attacks, it is instantly recognisable from its use in film and television.

The programme also features Barber’s ambitious Symphony No. 1, which fuses the four traditional movements of a symphony into a single movement. It was a hit when it premiered in Rome in the same year he wrote Adagio for Strings.

The concerts will open with Johannes Brahms’ intoxicating Tragic Overture. Brahms, a close friend of Schumann, wrote the overture while he was being lauded throughout Europe for his first two symphonies.


Schumann & Barber




BRAHMS Tragic Overture

SCHUMANN Cello Concerto in A minor

BARBER Adagio for Strings

BARBER Symphony No. 1


HAMILTON | Claudelands Arena| Thursday 15 June| 7.30pm

AUCKLAND | Town Hall| Friday 16 June| 7.30pm

WELLINGTON | Michael Fowler Centre| Saturday 17 June| 7.30pm

BLENHEIM | ASB Theatre| Tuesday 20 June| 7pm

CHRISTCHURCH | Isaac Theatre Royal| Wednesday 21 June| 7pm.

Updated on 19th June 2017