World Premieres And Sensational Soloists

Press Release – Auckland Philharmonia

Four world premieres of New Zealand works, debuts from sensational international soloists, a contemporary collaboration with three Kiwi music legends and performances of some of the best-loved classical music in the world feature in the Auckland Philharmonia …MEDIA RELEASE: Strictly Embargoed to Wednesday 29 September 2010 6.30pm

World Premieres And Sensational Soloists in Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra 2011 Season

Four world premieres of New Zealand works, debuts from sensational international soloists, a contemporary collaboration with three Kiwi music legends and performances of some of the best-loved classical music in the world feature in the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra’s 2011 Season.

The season was tonight launched at Auckland Town Hall, THE EDGE with a special concert previewing highlights of the 2011 programme. A free season preview concert for the public will be held on Friday 15 October at 6.30pm.

“We’re very excited about the 2011 programme,” says chief executive Barbara Glaser. “2010 has been an incredible year for us with many of our flagship APN News and Media Series concerts selling out and some fantastic highlights, and 2011 will be even better.”

Barbara says Music Director Eckehard Stier, together with new Artistic Planning Manager Ronan Tighe, has brought together a programme rich in drama, passion and exuberance, aimed at attracting an increasingly diverse audience to concerts and orchestral events.

In 2011 the APO presents four world premieres of New Zealand works – a new work from John Psathas to open the season, then in March, Psathas’ New Zeibekiko (in association with Auckland Arts Festival 2011), followed by a new work from Psathas written for blues artist Warren Maxwell with the APO, and Ross Harris’ Fourth Symphony inspired by poetry sent to him by the late Maori folk singer Mahinarangi Tocker.

Described as “something of a phenomenon” by The Strad and “a high-powered soloist” by the New York Times, Canadian violinist Lara St. John is in huge demand around the world and debuts with the APO on the back of rave reviews from Europe, Canada and the United States, performing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto.

British violinist Tasmin Little and Russian-born violinist Alina Ibragimova also have New Zealand debuts with the APO. Little plays Sibelius’ Violin Concerto and presents her award-winning project The Naked Violin, in association with Chamber Music New Zealand; while Ibragimova plays Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto.

New Zealand baritone Paul Whelan performs with the APO for the first time, singing the lead role of Wotan in the orchestra’s Westpac Opera in Concert performance of Wagner’s Das Rheingold. Wagner’s masterpiece has not been performed in New Zealand for more than a decade, and the APO is proud to continue its tradition of bringing exciting large scale operatic works to Auckland.

Other notable artist debuts are Argentinian pianist Sergio Tiempo playing Tchaikovsky, British organist Robert Costin and cellists Peter Bruns and David Geringas. Australian violinist Kristian Winther plays the New Zealand premiere of Brett Dean’s violin concerto The Lost Art of Letter Writing, with Dean making his New Zealand conducting debut.

Making their conducting debuts with the APO are British conductor Garry Walker who, until very recently was the Permanent Guest Conductor with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; exciting young Polish conductor Michal Dworzynski and clarinettist Michael Collins who is conductor and soloist for Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto and conducts the orchestra in Holst’s The Planets.

German conductor Andreas Delfs also debuts with the APO, leading the orchestra for two of the three Splendour Series concerts which in 2011 focuses on the music of, and inspired by, one of the greatest composers of all time, J.S Bach.

Conductors Okko Kamu and Christopher Seaman return to the podium in 2011 and the orchestra welcomes back soloists including soprano Sara Macliver; pianists Ewa Kupiec and Nikolai Demidenko playing Rachmaninov, Michael Houstoun playing Mozart, and Cédric Tiberghien playing Brahms; and 2003 Michael Hill Violin Competition winner Natalia Lomeiko.

From Excalibur to Lord of the Rings, Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana has been used in hundreds of films and television commercials. This bawdy tale of love, lust, excess and the joys of spring is the APO’s Choral Masterpiece concert in 2011 featuring Australian soprano Penelope Mills, Kiwi tenor Benjamin Makisi and 2007 Lexus Song Quest winner Philip Rhodes with Auckland Choral and a specially assembled children’s choir.

In 2011 the APO once again takes leave of traditional decorum for The Last Night of the Proms with conductor Christopher Seaman and soprano Helen Medlyn in a night of musical excellence and high-jinks.

The APO has become renowned for unique collaborations and in 2011 the orchestra celebrates NZ Music Month in May with APO Amped bringing together Warren Maxwell (Trinity Roots, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Little Bushman), saxophone squire Nathan Haines and composer John Psathas.

The APO is Auckland’s only full-time professional orchestra and plays more than 75 performances each year. With an extensive education programme and a diverse range of events, the APO brings the magic of music alive for everyone.

After rave audience reviews, the APO is continuing its Unwrap the Music programme with three concerts presented by entertaining host Graham Abbott exposing the inner workings of orchestral masterpieces, and this year adds Tasmin Little’s The Naked Violin project to the series.

New for 2011 is the Sanctuary Series which has APO principals and musicians moving out of the city to present chamber music recitals in churches in Takapuna, Remuera and Howick. Each recital is themed around a section of the orchestra – woodwind, strings and brass, and concerts take place in the early evening.

Plus the APO has six APO4Kids concerts Auckland city, North Shore and Manukau, three free Open Days for everyone to come along for a behind-the-scenes experience of the orchestra also in Auckland city, North Shore and Manukau, and free Happy Hour concerts at the Auckland Town Hall.

Subscriptions for 2011 are available now, with subscribers receiving considerable savings on individual ticket prices. Season brochures are available by phoning (09) 623 1052 or online at

For a preview of the 2011 Season, come along to a FREE concert on Friday 15 October at 6.30pm at Auckland Town Hall, THE EDGE. Register by phoning (09) 623 1052, or online at


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