Auckland Philharmonia tunes up for big concert season
Last week's big APO concert ,“German Romantics,” featuring Brahms and Bruch, was one of the year's great concerts. The standout performance by violinist Natalia Lomeiko, the 2003 winner of the Michael Hill Violin Competition, was particularly impressive given her captivating interpretation of Bruch's Violin Concerto.
That concert has something of a counterpoinrt next year, when the orchestra will be presenting The Emperor Meets Brahms concert, which will feature Brahms’ Academic Overture and Symphony No 4 along with Beethoven’s Emperor Piano Concerto played by pianist Behzod Abduraimov.
This is just one of the three Bayleys Great Classic Concerts and will also feature Schubert’s Symphony No 5, Schumann’s Cello Concerto and Dvorak’s Symphony No 7.
The orchestra will be playing more than a dozen other symphonies including Beethoven No 6, Elgar No 2, Tchaikovsky No 5 and Shostakovich No 12. Mahler hasn’t really made it for next year, with only the Adagio from his 10th Symphony on the programme. The NZSO, however, will be playing Mahler’s Symphony No 9 in the middle of the year.
Among a world-class selection of musicians visiting the APO for the first time is pianist Joanna MacGregor, who is known for her daring repertoire choices. She will perform Messiaen’s Oiseaux Exotiques in March for the New Zealand Herald Premier Series concerts.
Also appearing in that series is conductor Paul McCreesh who is the artistic director of The Gabrieli Consort and Players, with which he has won numerous prizes, including most recently the Early Music category in the 2013 Gramophone Awards.
Among 2014’s other major attractions are two former prodigies who have gone on to take the music world by storm. Violinist Chloë Hanslip was, at 13, the youngest musician ever to sign to the Warner Classics label. She makes her APO debut with the New Zealand premiere of John Corigliano’s ‘Red Violin’ Concerto. Uzbek pianist Behzod Abduraimov, who won the London Piano Competition in 2009 at just 18, will be playing Beethoven’s epic Emperor Concerto.
As well as artists making their first visits, there are several returning musicians including percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, who plays View from Olympus by John Psathas. Soprano Christine Brewer sings works by Beethoven and Josef Marx in the Songs of Vienna concert.. Stephen Layton will be conducting the Choral Masterpieces concert, which will be Bach’s St John Passion.
Stars from closer to home include rock supergroup The Adults, featuring Jon Toogood (Shihad), Julia Deans (Fur Patrol) and alternative music legend Shayne Carter (Straitjacket Fits, Dimmer) with special guests Anika Moa and Ladi6. The Adults Meet the APO is the first concert of 2014.
A highlight of any concert season is the Trusts Community Foundation Opera in Concert. In 2014 the APO is proud to present Richard Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. The 19 July concert marks the New Zealand debut of the full Tristan und Isolde; it is just one of several works never played here before.
Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra chief executive Barbara Glaser says that as well as containing some of Wagner’s most beautiful writing, Tristan is incredibly influential in the development of Western music. "We are delighted to have engaged a cast of Wagner specialists, including, in the title roles, Lars Cleveman and Annalena Persson, both of whom have sung at Bayreuth.”
The Tristan und Isolde concert runs for six hours with a dinner break of an hour and a quarter and special diners and buffets will be available.
With 2014 the 100th anniversary of the beginning of WWI there are three concerts reflecting on the disasters of war. Among the works on offer will be Elgar’s Cello Concerto, Vaughan Williams’ London Symphony, and three pieces from Berg’s Wozzeck and Stravinsky’s The Soldiers Tale.