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    • *official press release*orchestra wellington’s fourth...
      • 28 Aug 2015
      • Orchestra Wellington
      • *OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE* ORCHESTRA WELLINGTON’S FOURTH SUBSCRIPTION CONCERT   “FATE” Concierto de Aranjuez -  Joaquín Rodrigo Piano Concerto No 2 in F Major - Dmitri Shostakovich Symphony No 4 in F minor - Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Orchestra Wellington Marc Taddei, Musical Director Michael Houstoun, Piano Andrey Lebedev, Guitar Rodrigo’s guitar concerto casts a shaft of warm Spanish sunlight over Orchestra Wellington’s largely Russian programming this year. The Orchestra welcomes Russian-born Australian guitarist, Andrey Lebedev, performing it as part of his prize for winning the 2013 Gisborne International Music Competition. Gisborne International Music Competition manager Mark La Roche says he is incredibly proud of the partnership formed with Orchestra Wellington to provide the overall winner of the GIMC with the opportunity to perform in Orchestra Wellington’s subscription series. “I can vividly recall Andrey’s winning performance and know you will thoroughly enjoy hearing him play the Rodrigo Concerto - he is an exceptionally gifted and thoughtful musician.” Continuing its association with Michael Houstoun, Orchestra Wellington also presents Shostakovich’s Second Piano Concerto as part of this year’s Russian Piano theme. Shostakovich was a virtuoso pianist and a composer with a reputation for grim and cryptic works. But in this concerto he paid tribute to his son, for whom it was written, with a piece reflecting the boy’s lively, mischievous nature. He also gifted him a slow movement filled with beautiful melodies and lush harmonies worthy of the great Romantics. With his Fourth Symphony, Tchaikovsky stopped trying to be anything other than himself. It opens with the full brass section hammering out an uncompromising theme inspired by the “Fate” motif in Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. As Musical Director Marc Taddei says, “The Fourth Symphony is Romantic to its core, with clear programmatic expressions of fate, melancholy, grandeur and joy”. Tchaikovsky’s heartfelt expression of his inner life has found resonance with audiences everywhere ever since. Andrey Lebedev on Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez Lebedev says that the concerto had a profound impact on his life when he first heard it as a teenager. “I knew that I had experienced something very rare and special, and it was a key moment in my journey to become a professional musician. “My goal is to create this same magic when I perform - to remind ourselves that there is something greater than just the here and now.” He likes to view the concerto as a triptych framing the second movement. “The second movement is all about expression and meaning. I strive for intense beauty of sound, intimacy, lyricism, and direction - leading the music organically from the first bar all the way to the climax in the cadenza and resolving into the major cadence at the very end. When all of these elements come together I think the impact can be earth-shattering.” “The first movement introduces Rodrigo’s sound world and draws the audience into a relationship with the guitar and orchestra. It is joyous and spirited. The music has a natural vitality that stems from Rodrigo’s fascination with ancient Spanish rhythms and the flamenco tradition. “The final movement is a buoyant and uplifting finale, again using elements from the Spanish baroque in a modern context. I am still young, and every year I feel like I am discovering amazing new things about music. This piece has grown and developed just as I have over the last years. Most notably I now strongly feel that this is both a flamenco concerto and a baroque concerto, and somehow finding the balance of these elements lies at the heart of understanding the music.” Andrey Lebedev Biography Recognised for his powerful and expressive sound and exceptional musicality, classical guitarist Andrey Lebedev has defined himself as an artist pushing the boundaries of the instrument and gaining acknowledgment from new audiences. Born in Moscow and raised in Adelaide, he was brought to international attention as the first-prize winner of three major multi-instrumental competitions. In 2012 he won both the Australian National Fine Music Young Performers Award and the Sydney Eisteddfod NSW Doctors Orchestra Instrumental Scholarship, in both cases the only classical guitarist to receive this award. His artistry was further highlighted in 2013 as winner and recipient of the Bach prize at the 25th Gisborne International Music Competition, and the only Australian winner of the Adelaide International Guitar Competition. Now based in London, Lebedev enjoys a dynamic performance career as soloist with orchestra, solo recitalist and chamber musician. His engagements for the 2014/15 season include solo recitals at the Wigmore Hall, and the Adelaide International Guitar Festival. He has featured with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Canberra Festival Camerata. Lebedev studied with Timothy Kain at the Australian National University School of Music and is a postgraduate student at the Royal Academy of Music with Michael Lewin on an ABRSM international full scholarship and Julian Bream Trust scholarship. ORCHESTRA WELLINGTON  “FATE” Saturday 5 September, 7:30pm Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington Tickets from Ticketek box office (0800 842 538) or online HERE Ticket Prices: Adult Full Price $60 Under 35, (with ID), $25 Concession (Gold Card Holder), $48 Community Services Card $12 Student (with ID) $12 Child (still at school) $10
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    • ORCHESTRA WELLINGTON’S THIRD SUBSCRIPTION CONCERT  “POLISH”Night...
      • 22 Jul 2015
      • Orchestra Wellington
      • ORCHESTRA WELLINGTON’S THIRD SUBSCRIPTION CONCERT  “POLISH” Night on Bald Mountain -   Modeste Mussorgsky Piano Concerto Op 20 in F-sharp minor - Aleksander Scriabin Symphony no 3 in D Major -   Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Orchestra Wellington Marc Taddei, Musical Director Michael Houstoun, Piano Here is music to conjure up pictures in the mind’s eye! Few people could hear Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain without recalling Disney’s fantastic images created for the 1940 film Fantasia. Inspired by Gogol’s story of a witches’ Black Sabbath on the eerie Bald Mountain, Mussorgsky created a tense and dramatic score that resolves into one of the most beautiful clarinet solos ever written. Scriabin was a pianist-composer who saw music in colour, and ascribed mystical powers to it - and to himself! As he said in one of his notebooks: “I will ignite your imagination with the delight of my promise. I will bedeck you in the excellence of my dreams. I will veil the sky of your wishes with the sparkling stars of my creation. I bring not truth, but freedom.” His 1897 piano concerto was written as he moved from composing Chopinesque miniatures towards the larger, wilder musical canvases of his later career. Pianist Michael Houstoun says he finds the concerto highly poetic. “Its qualities are veiled, sometimes almost like a meditation. It’s a fabulous work.” This concert is named for Tchaikovsky’s Third Symphony, known as the Polish. It, too, is a transitional work. Here, Tchaikovsky loosens the demands of classical European forms in order to strike out on his own with this freely-imagined symphony. The Polish plays up his strengths, with middle movements that conjure up the grace and energy of the ballet, and in the middle, a yearning slow movement that could only be a wordless love song. As Music Director Marc Taddei says, “It is unique among all of his symphonies, being in a major key and with five movements. It is very free in inspiration and one hears intimations of the great ballet scores that he was just about to begin writing.” As you may know, shortly before our last concert, Matthew Ross resigned from his position as Concertmaster for Orchestra Wellington. We wish to thank him for his 12 years of service to the organisation and wish him the best. We also wish to congratulate longstanding Principal of the First Violins, Stephanie Rolfe, for successfully stepping up and leading the Orchestra through its last concert. As we get the recruitment process underway, we are delighted to be able to announce a Guest Concertmaster for this concert, Vesa-Matti Leppänen. To say this is a privilege would be an understatement. Leppänen comes to us from the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, where he is Concertmaster. This generous gesture is a visible demonstration of the way arts organisations and artists in Wellington are enriched by their cooperation and exchange with each other. Saturday 8 August, 7:30pm Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington Tickets from Ticketek, 0800 842 538 Ticket Prices Wellington: Adult Full Price $60 Under 35, (with ID), $25 Concession (Gold Card Holder), $48 Community Services Card $12 Student (with ID) $12 Child (still at school) $10
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    • We are absolutely thrilled to have James Rolleston (Taikas’ BOY...
      • 29 Jun 2015
      • Orchestra Wellington
      • We are absolutely thrilled to have James Rolleston (Taikas’ BOY : The Movie, The Dead Lands & Dark Horse) taking on a far lighter role than his latter work as one of our guest narrators for our upcoming family concert! Orchestra Wellington Presents:  Roald Dahl’s Dirty Beasts, and Maui’s Fishhook 3pm Sunday 12 July The Opera House, Wellington James Rolleston received the 2014 Te Whanau O Waipareira Best Supporting Actor for his role as Mana in The Dark Horse opposite Cliff Curtis. In 2014 he also featured in The Dead Lands, directed by Toa Fraser in which he played young Maori Warrior Hongi, and both films have received critical acclaim internationally. James is also well known to New Zealand audiences from the film BOY in which he played the title role and received a nomination for Best Actor in a Lead Role at the 2010 Qantas Film and Television Awards. Since then James has appeared in three short films, here in NZ he featured in Frosty and the BMX Kid and shot in Australia he was in MAN and the yet to be released Amúa in which he plays a Rugby League player. James also featured as himself in campaigns for Vodafone for several years. Maui’s Fishhook is an original piece for orchestra and narrator written for Orchestra Wellington by its Education Composer in Residence, Thomas Goss. The  famous story of Maui’s fishing trip and how he pulled up the North Island from the Pacific Ocean is transformed into a musical voyage.  Tickets from Ticketek HERE, 0800 842 538
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    • With the excitement building for this weekends ‘Little...
      • 17 Jun 2015
      • Orchestra Wellington
      • With the excitement building for this weekends ‘Little Russian’, we can’t wait to present next months show for the whole whanau, young and old! ORCHESTRA WELLINGTON’S FAMILY CONCERT: Roald Dahls 'DIRTY BEASTS’ & 'MAUI’S FISH HOOK’ 12th July 3PM at The Opera House, Wellington Featuring special guests including James Rolleston (of Taika Waititi’s 'Boy’ the Movie fame) and others to be announced! As with all our family concerts it will be a day of surprises, dancing, audience participation and FUN(!!!) so save the date and stay tuned for more info…
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    • New CDs for May
      • 8 Jun 2015
      • Wellington City Libraries News Blog
      • New music from Leonard Cohen, Alabama Shakes & Laura Marling, plus a couple of nice Box Sets round up this months new CD picks.
      • Accepted from WCL Blog feed 2 months ago by tonytw1
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    • FROM BROADWAY TO LA SCALAWELLINGTON | Michael Fowler Centre |...
      • 20 Apr 2015
      • Orchestra Wellington
      • FROM BROADWAY TO LA SCALA WELLINGTON | Michael Fowler Centre | Friday 18 September | An evening of glamour, passion and romance Renowned for their charisma, stagecraft and musical versatility, bass baritone Teddy Tahu Rhodes joins film, TV and musical theatre star Jennifer Ward-Lealand, Australia’s favourite tenor David Hobson (Baz Luhrmann’s La Boheme) and the breathtaking soprano Greta Bradman, to thrill audiences with a seamless blend of classical elegance and theatrical glamour. Joining this extraordinary quartet is a truly special guest star: the living national treasure Dame Malvina Major. From Puccini to Rodgers and Hammerstein, Bizet to Gershwin and Verdi to Cole Porter, this unique concert experience features many of the greatest songs, arias and duets ever composed, brought to life by five of our region’s most highly acclaimed singers and accompanied by Orchestra Wellington. Soaring with the exuberance of the great stage musicals, enriched with the power and passion of grand opera From Broadway to La Scala will transport you with a richly entwined repertoire of all time classics, drawn from two of the world’s most enduringly popular musical genres. For ticket presales head to Ticketek HERE
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    • Coming up this Saturday, before we kick off 2015 with...
      • 13 Apr 2015
      • Orchestra Wellington
      • Coming up this Saturday, before we kick off 2015 with KAMARINSKAYA at the Michael Fowler Centre, we have the honour of joining Neil Finn and Tami Neilson down at Slow Boat Records for official World Record Store Day celebrations! Festivities kick off at 9am so come have a dig through the bins for some of that ‘black gold’ & join our string quartet at around 2pm.
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    • Jesus and the ordinary
      • 31 Aug 2015
      • St John's in the City
      • Sermon by Rev Stuart Simpson on Sunday 9 August 2015 Readings were 2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33 and John 6:35, 41-51 Download this sermon as a PDF What are some ordinary things we have in life? Water Clothes Air to breathe Eyes-hair-teeth Food, such as bread – bread that although ordinary is something used in Communion In Communion we use something so ordinary and yet Communion is one of two Sacraments within the Presbyterian Church – there is something both ordinary and mysterious and sacred about Communion. This is what I believe Jesus, is trying to get across to us this morning in the Gospel reading. That is, God, Holy, Majestic and Divine speaks and acts in the ordinary. Let’s unpack this a little. Jesus in the previous verses has carried out the miracle of feeding 5,000 people. And now that crowd is following him. Some because of what he did. Some simply because they wished to criticise him. They regarded him as a teacher, and witnessed his miracles. But they also knew him as their own – that is, they knew his parents and his brothers and sisters, they watched him play and learn his trade, grow up and eventually leave home. In other words, they know him. And if they know him how can this ordinary man be anything other than ordinary? Because he is like them; he is common – he can’t be all that special and he certainly can’t be the one God sent for redemption. I like to think I follow Jesus out of faith. But there are times when I resonate with the crowd who complained – I mean, when I am hurt or afraid, when I am in need or in distress, I want to see a God who is strong and miraculous. I want to call upon a God who answers clearly and quickly, and I want to rely on a God is there, really there, when I need him. Not a God who is like me! Common and ordinary. No wonder some of the crowd are put off, offended, angered even by Jesus’ suggestion that he, a human just as they were, is the answer to their deepest longings and greatest needs. And why shouldn’t they be put off? Think of the daring claim Jesus is making. Whoever ever heard of a God having anything to do with the everyday, the ordinary, the mundane, the dirty? Gods are for greatness not grime. They are supposed to live in the clouds, not down here with the commoners. I mean who has ever heard of a God who is willing to suffer the pains and problems, the indecencies and embarrassment of human life? It’s crazy and laughable. No wonder the crowd grumbles against Jesus’ words, for his words seem to make fun of their understanding of God’s majesty, and, even worse, to mock their own deep need for a God who transcends the very life which is causing them so much difficulty. No wonder they are upset! They know – first hand, of their own flaws and shortcomings, of their own faithlessness and failures. They know of their doubts and fears, of their betrayals and broken promises, their grudges and foolish prejudices. They know all the shame of disappointment and regret that each person carries around on their backs. And so if Jesus is really like them then they are doomed. For how can someone who is like them save? So they grumble because they are angry. But even more because they are afraid, that just maybe, in the end they’re really not worth saving. I wonder if it is the same for us –are we all that different? I know that I, at least, am not. For rarely does a day go by that I don’t think of just how fragile is the foundation upon which we base our faith. I mean, can the words I speak in my sermon make much difference? And the water used in Baptism: it’s not holy, or special or different.  It’s from the same tap from which we drink and wash and brush our teeth. Same with the bread and wine of communion – these aren’t special either. Same with helping someone – that’s not really that uncommon. Same with balancing the budget – this is normal practice. Same with managing, creating, fixing – that’s just business. They’re ordinary, common, mundane. Hardly worthy of God’s attention, let alone God’s use. And yet…and yet we are bold enough, audacious enough, perhaps even foolish enough, to confess that God does use such ordinary things, such common elements, to achieve God’s will and to bring to the world God’s salvation. How? Why? We might ask. Because of this very one, Jesus, who was common, ordinary, mortal like you and me, and yet who was also uncommon, divine, the very Son of God. This is the claim Jesus makes in the reading today. The claim which offended the crowd who followed him then. The claim that still offends any who take it seriously today. For where we expect God to come in might, God comes in weakness. When we look for God to come in power, God comes in vulnerability. And when we seek God in justice and righteousness – which is, after all, what we all expect from a God – we find God (or rather we are found by God!) in forgiveness and mercy. This is the claim and promise Jesus makes today: that God became flesh – became common, became just like us, so that God might save us and all people who come to faith by God’s word. The God who does not despise the ordinary and common but rather who seeks such out by which to achieve God’s will…this is the promise that rests behinds the sacraments. For as God does not despise water, bread or wine, such ordinary, common things, so we also know that God does not despise or abandon us, who are similarly such ordinary and common people. And so in the sacraments we find God’s promise to take hold of us and make us God’s own, to remain with us and to never let us go. But we also find in the sacraments another promise which God makes to us. It is the promise not only to redeem us, but also to use us – to make use of our skills and talents, inadequate or insufficient through they may seem. To continue God’s work of creating, redeeming, and sustaining all that is. And that also, is an incredible promise!
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      • St John's, Willis Street, Te Aro, Wellington, Wellington City, Wellington, 6011, New Zealand/Aotearoa




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