In the review of the second Brahms concert from the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Rosemary included a few paragraphs about Christopher Doig who had died that morning. The concert master had dedicated the concert to his memory.
Concertmaster Vessa-Matti Lepännen spoke to the audience before the conductor entered, dedicating the evening’s concert to the memory of Christopher Doig, who had died that morning. Among his many, many roles in the cultural and sporting life of the nation he was responsible over recent years for Sponsorship and Business Development for the orchestra, based in his beloved home city of Christhcurch. In the last week he had greeted the great tenor Placido Domingo in Christchurch, a trip organised by Doig to raise funds for earthquake victims there.
He announced only days ago a scholarship for young singers – as a superb tenor himself, one of the very best New Zealand has produced, he was always encouraging others musicians, as Lepännen attested.
In Wellington he will be remembered best as the Director of the 1990 New Zealand International Festival of the Arts, and the production in that Festival of Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, with Sir Donald McIntyre as the principal soloist. His loss to the cultural scene in this country is colossal; the fruits of his labours will live on for a long time.
How appropriate, then, for the concert to commence with the Tragic Overture, by a composer who spent most of his life in Vienna, a city where Chris Doig had been principal tenor at the opera house for a number of years.