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Posts tagged: youth orchestra

Worlds of Music – Lilburn, Vaughan Williams and Mozart from the NZSM Orchestra

By , 01/10/2015

So, what on earth has Mozart got to do with Douglas Lilburn? By a happy coincidence, the concerto (Mozart's K.466) with which the brilliant soloist Xing Wang earlier this year won the NZSM Concerto Competition First Prize was again performed by her during this concert, to stunning effect. But alongside Lilburn? Mountains and Mozart?

Anybody who has read Lilburn's beautifully-wrought treatise on being a composer here in New... read more

The Apprentice, La Mer, Ibert’s flute concerto and an enchanting francophone premiere from National Youth Orchestra

By , 02/07/2015
The National Youth Orchestra has generally played a major symphony in the second part of its main annual outing (and this is its 56th year). They’ve included Mahler’s First and Seventh, Tchaikovsky’s Fourth and Fifth, Shostakovich’s Tenth, Rachmaninov’s Second, Brahms’s First and Second, as well as Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra, Also sprach Zarathustra, many taxing concertos and other large and challenging works. Back in 2007, they played La Mer... read more

Wellington Youth Orchestra under Hamish McKeich with winning Brahms and Rachmaninov

By , 29/05/2015
One might as well begin by quoting the information about the provenance of the theme of the Brahms variations that is offered in Wikipedia: “In 1870, Brahms's friend Carl Ferdinand Pohl, the librarian of the Vienna Philharmonic Society, who was working on a Haydn biography at the time, showed Brahms a transcription he had made of a piece attributed to Haydn titled Divertimento No. 1. The second movement bore the heading... read more

School of Music Orchestra wins audience delight with demanding programme

Once again, the audience was treated to a very demanding programme brought off with skill and panache by the NZSM orchestra, with the help of quite a number of guest players. It coupled the familiar with the unfamiliar.  The opening piece from Smetana’s Má Vlast was familiar, but seldom programmed recently, within my hearing.  It provided a good work-out for a student orchestra.  There was plenty of scope for the... read more

Wellington Youth Orchestra’s final, tumultuous concert for 2014

By , 21/10/2014
Richard Wagner described Beethoven's Seventh Symphony as "the Apotheosis of the Dance", referring to the dominance of rhythm over melody throughout much of the symphony's duration. Yes, the tunes are there, but, apart from some lyrical sequences in the work's introduction, and throughout the trio of the third-movement Scherzo, the melodies are constantly dancing, stamping or galloping about! If ever a work by Beethoven demonstrated the composer's own euphoric description... read more

Soloists add distinction to NZSM Orchestra concert

By , 02/10/2014
In the wake of a couple of crackingly good recent concerts given by the NZSM Orchestra and its intrepid conductor, Kenneth Young, I found myself eagerly looking forward to this particular evening's presentation. The programme followed the orchestra's policy of mixing the familiar (Brahms, Tchaikovsky) with the less-frequently performed (Barber, Bartok), the repertoire obviously designed to present the student musicians with a wide range of technical and stylistic challenges For... read more

Searing contribution from the WYO to “Recovering Forbidden Voices”

By , 25/08/2014
This concert was associated with a series of performances, presentations and discussions entitled "Recovering Forbidden Voices" -  programmes organised by Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music and the History and German Programmes of Victoria University of Wellington, and held over the previous few days (22nd-25th August) in the capital. The "Forbidden Voices" referred to music and composers who fell foul of the Nazis in Europe, resulting in many... read more

NZSO National Youth Orchestra 2014 tackles showpieces with a will

By , 18/07/2014
This year the NZSO National Youth Orchestra is fifty-five years young - it's a Gilbertian kind of paradox that the orchestra seems, with each passing season, just as youthful, energetic, enthusiastic and capable as ever!  Here on Friday evening last week were some of New Zealand's finest young musicians brought together in the time-honoured manner for a short rehearsal period, before shaping up for their first concert in Wellington's... read more

Rich opportunities for NZSM Orchestra’s youthful freshness, commitment, poetry and dynamism

This interesting and varied programme opened with Mendelssohn’s incidental music for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Kenneth Young set a whacking pace for the Overture but the players rose confidently to the challenge with exemplary clarity in the demanding high speed pianissimo passagework, excellent intonation, and effective balance within the orchestral forces. The phrasing and dynamics of the more poetic sections were thoughtful and musical throughout, as were those of... read more

Scintillating Te Papa concert by National Youth Orchestra

By , 06/02/2014
Ben Northey’s name should have been familiar to me as his website ( refers to up-coming concerts that include the NZSO in November: entitled In the Hall of the Mountain King, where he will conduct Mozart’s Paris Symphony; the Variations on a Rococo Theme by Tchaikovsky (with cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan) and two works by Grieg. He has just conducted the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra and the next six months see him... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy