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The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, NZSO, founded in 1946, is the country’s leading professional orchestra. It has an establishment of 90 players and performs over 100 concerts annually. Touring within New Zealand looms large in the orchestra’s activities. All its main symphonic programmes are presented in Auckland and Wellington, and as well as this, the orchestra visits some 30 New Zealand towns and cities annually. In 2005 the NZSO undertook a highly successful tour that included performances at the BBC Proms, the Concertgebouw, Snape Maltings and the World Expo at Aichi in Japan.

“Triumph for Kiwis”
“…In Sibelius’ great Second Symphony, Judd … seemed determined to inspire his orchestra to play out of their skins. And play out of their skins they certainly did in a magnificent, beautifully shaped performance that really set the spine tingling.”
Evening Standard (London)

Pietari Inkinen has recently been appointed as the NZSO’s Music Director from January 2008. He succeeds James Judd who held the position from 1999 to 2007 and is now Music Director Emeritus. Other conductors who have worked with the NZSO during his tenure include Alexander Lazarev, Dimitri Sitkovetsky, David Atherton, Yan Pascal Tortelier and Edo de Waart. Soloists who have worked with the orchestra recently include Lynn Harrell, Lang Lang, Hilary Hahn, Vadim Repin, Steven Isserlis, Jonathan Lemalu and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

The NZSO has an extensive catalogue of CD recordings. As part of a commitment to promote and encourage music by New Zealand composers, the NZSO records at least one CD of New Zealand music annually. The orchestra has a strong relationship with Naxos, recording repertoire as diverse as Elgar (three disc), Ferdinand Ries, Beethoven, Bernstein, Copland, Lilburn, Sculthorpe, Frank Bridge, Akutagawa, Mendelssohn, Honegger, Liszt, and Vaughan Williams. Over half a million of these CDs have been sold internationally in the last decade and they have received critical acclaim. NZSO discs (Hummel, Elgar and Bernstein) were chosen for the “Editor’s Choice” section of Gramophone in 2004 and Lilburn’s Orchestral Works was chosen in 2006.

Source: New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, May 2007

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