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NZSO to perform four special live performances in Wellington

News: 29 October 2021

NZSO media release.

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Te Tira Pūoro o Aotearoa presents four special performances in Wellington in November designed to safely accommodate a live audience under current Alert Level 2 guidelines.

Song of Destiny, in association with InterContinental Hotels Group, features a 50-member Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir for performances at the Michael Fowler Centre. Audience numbers are limited to fewer than 400 for each concert to ensure safe social distancing.

There will be no interval during the 70-minute performance to further ensure social distancing is kept between audience members.

Audiences will also be required to wear masks throughout the concert, which features works by opera great Giuseppe Verdi, Antonín Dvořák and Johannes Brahms’ choral masterpiece Schicksalslied (Song of Destiny).

Song of Destiny replaces a previously planned performance by the Orchestra of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, with four vocalists and Voices New Zealand.

NZSO Chief Executive Peter Biggs says the many components involved in staging Missa Solemnis meant it wasn’t possible to perform the work under current Alert Level 2 conditions.

“We were still determined to perform in the Michael Fowler Centre in November, while also abiding by guidelines ensuring audience safety. Normally we love nothing more than playing to a full house. However, the NZSO is delighted that by limiting audience numbers and having four performances, many people can still enjoy Song of Destiny.”

For music lovers around Aotearoa New Zealand unable to attend, the Orchestra will also livestream the evening performance of Song of Destiny on Saturday 27 November, powered by e-commerce innovation partners Jetstream.

NZSO Music Director Emeritus and internationally renowned conductor James Judd will lead the Orchestra for Song of Destiny.

The concert opens with Nabucco Overture from the opera that established Verdi’s reputation as a composer.

Schicksalslied (Song of Destiny) was inspired by a poem by German literary giant Friedrich Hölderlin. Brahms’ captures the tranquillity, havoc, drama and mystery of the poem in his captivating piece, with the NZSO accompanied by Voices New Zealand.

Compared to Dvořák’s more sombre Seventh Symphony, his Eighth Symphony is often seen as joyful and idyllic, although it is not without its darker moments. From the brooding opening theme in the cellos to the joyful trumpet fanfares of the final movement, Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8 is a work of great contrasts.

All NZSO concerts, including entry conditions, strictly follow Ministry of Health guidelines for live events as understood by each venue. If the guidelines change, the NZSO will update information about the concert and contact ticket holders.

Tickets to all NZSO performances can be booked with the assurance that, should any concert be cancelled or postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions, ticket holders are eligible for a full refund – including booking fees. Ticket holders experiencing Covid-19 symptoms on the day of a concert can exchange their ticket for another NZSO performance.

More information is available on the NZSO website


Song of Destiny

in association with Intercontinental Hotels Group

JAMES JUDD Conductor


VERDI Nabucco Overture

BRAHMS Schicksalslied, Op. 54 (Song of Destiny)
DVOŘÁK Symphony No. 8 in G Major, Op. 88

TE WHANGANUI-A-TARA WELLINGTON| Michael Fowler Centre| Thursday 25 and Friday 26 November 6.30pm | Saturday 27 November 2:30pm and 7.30pm

Updated on 19th November 2021