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BBC Radio 3 to broadcast NZSO concerts to UK listeners this week

News: 22 February 2021

NZSO media release.

BBC Radio 3, which has more than two million listeners, will broadcast six concerts by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra/Te Tira Pūoro o Aotearoa on its popular Afternoon Concert programme this week.

A Week in New Zealand, broadcast 22-26 February, includes performances of works by New Zealand composers alongside classical giants Mozart, Beethoven and more, and New Zealand soloists. The NZSO concerts were performed in Wellington in 2018 and recorded by RNZ Concert.

The opportunity for BBC Radio 3 listeners to enjoy the NZSO follows a push by the national orchestra over the past year to grow its international and domestic audience by streaming live concerts and recorded performances via digital channels, including a new website

From left, Madeleine Pierard, Kristin Darragh, Simon O’Neill, and Anthony Robin Schneider accompany the NZSO and Voices New Zealand for a 2018 performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. The recording concert will be broadcast by BBC Radio 3. Photo: Stephen A’ Court, courtesy of the NZSO.

Later this year British and other overseas audiences can watch new performances by the NZSO streamed by the high-profile platform Idagio’s Global Concert Hall.

The Berlin-based classical music streaming service launched Global Concert Hall last year after noting an unprecedented increase in the popularity of classical music streaming since the pandemic.

Some of the biggest names in classical music, including cellist Yo-Yo Ma, have premiered performances on Global Concert Hall.

NZSO Chief Executive Peter Biggs says the BBC Radio 3 broadcasts are an extraordinary opportunity for the Orchestra and some of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most talented soloists and composers to reach the British public.

“Since the Covid-19 pandemic, the NZSO has been one of the few orchestras in the world able to play before live audiences in concert halls. The online audience for our streamed concerts over the past year has included a large number from overseas. Many viewers told us they couldn’t see orchestras in their own countries and were overjoyed that the NZSO continued to play and stream performances.

“We’re also excited that an international audience this year can view new performances by the NZSO on Idagio’s Global Concert Hall.”

The NZSO concerts on BBC Radio 3 include performances of contemporary works by New Zealand composers Salina Fisher and Gillian Whitehead, and the Orchestra accompanied by New Zealand singers Simon O’Neill, Madeleine Pierard, Kristin Darragh and Anthony Robin Schneider. NZSO Section Principal Cello Andrew Joyce is a feature soloist.

The concerts are led by NZSO Principal Conductor in Residence Hamish McKeich, NZSO Conductor Laureate Edo de Waart and Dutch-Maltese guest conductor Lawrence Renes.

A Week in New Zealand is broadcast on BBC Radio 3 at 2pm 22-26 February UK time (3am 23-27 February NZ time.) It can also be heard via the BBC website.

Updated on 8th October 2021