BENEE is teaming up with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO) in Wellington and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (APO) and Auckland Live in Auckland for a season of spectacular shows that will bring her award-winning songs to life in an amazing new symphonic setting.

Accompanied by a 66-piece orchestra in each city, joining with her own band and guest vocalists, the rising star of New Zealand music is set to shine, delivering new arrangements of her Platinum hits like ‘Glitter’, ‘Soaked’, and the worldwide smash ‘Supalonely’.

“I’m so stoked to be playing with the NZSO and APO!! Adding 66 super talented musicians to the band is going to be something else,” says BENEE.  “I can’t wait to hear and play some crazy different versions of my songs (:::”

After dropping her debut album Hey U X! at the end of 2020, this is an exciting moment for 21-year-old Stella Bennett as she continues her eclectic musical journey.

With album collaborators as diverse as Lily Allen, Grimes, and US rapper Flo Milli, BENEE now extends herself to team up with the country’s premier orchestras and foremost conductor, Hamish McKeich.

BENEE’s songs have been freshly arranged into unique orchestral settings by Claire Cowan, a current leading light on the New Zealand composition scene, making an enticing musical treat for fans of both her music and orchestra.

"The diversity of styles and the depth and detail of production in BENEE's songs are an exciting challenge to re-imagine,” says Claire Cowan. “We’ve gone the full spectrum from Disney to James Bond to 90's trip-hop treatments to give the audience a really dynamic show full of surprises."

NZSO Chief Executive Peter Biggs says the national orchestra has a proud history of collaborating across genres with many exceptional artists – from Sting on his 2011 world tour to recent projects with The Phoenix Foundation, Tami Neilson, and Maisey Rika.

“BENEE is a gifted songwriter and performer and we’re excited at what we can create together on stage and for new audiences to experience the NZSO.”

 APO Chief Executive Barbara Glaser says “We identified BENEE as a young Kiwi artist we were very keen to work with back in 2019 before Covid-19 struck. These events are part of our APO Session Series, which has previously seen sell-out shows with LEISURE, TEEKS and earlier in 2021,  Louis Baker. It’s therefore with great excitement and a certain amount of relief that we are finally able to bring this special collaboration to life for our Auckland audiences.”

Friday 30 and Saturday 31 July 2021 at the Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington
Tickets on sale at 9 am, Friday, 7 May 2021 from

Presented in association with Auckland Live
Friday 10 and Saturday 11 September 2021 at the Auckland Town Hall, Auckland
Tickets on sale at 12 noon, Friday, 7 May 2021 from

Media enquires:

BENEE - Chelsea King Universal Music
NZSO - Tom Cardy
APO - Rebecca Hendl-Smith M: 0274 666 921

With two-and-a-half-billion worldwide streams and counting, Auckland’s 'Supalonely' superstar might well have expected to be touring everywhere in recent months but has been content with releasing an acclaimed debut album, selling out her October national tour, taking home the APRA Silver Scroll and adding to her haul of Music Award Tuis (now totalling eight in the past two years). With fans including Elton John, and with close to 3 million followers across streaming and social media platforms, BENEE is still the freshest act on the block and the world is happy to wait for her. In the meantime, she is all ours.

About NZSO
The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Te Tira Pūoro o Aotearoa, founded in 1946, is one of the world’s oldest national symphony orchestras. Over many years the NZSO has performed and collaborated with some of the biggest names in New Zealand music including Neil and Tim Finn, Dave Dobbyn, Annie Crummer, Salmonella Dub, Nathan Haines, The Phoenix Foundation, Bret McKenzie and international stars such as Sting. Yehudi Menuhin, Nigel Kennedy, Jacquelin du Pré, Evelyn Glennie, Vladimir Ashkenazy, and Janine Jansen are just a few of the biggest names in classical music to play with the NZSO over the past 75 years. New Zealand greats, including Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Dame Malvina Major, and Michael Houstoun began their careers working with the NZSO.

The NZSO has a long history of performing on film and television soundtracks and in 2016 was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance.

About APO
The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (APO) is Auckland’s professional symphony orchestra, serving the country’s largest and most vibrant city for over 40 years. A comprehensive season of symphonic works brings Auckland’s orchestra together with many of the world’s finest classical musicians, including violinists Viktoria Mullova and James Ehnes, pipa player Wu Man, and conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy. Collaborations with some of New Zealand's most exciting contemporary artists such as Neil and Liam Finn, Marlon Williams, Nadia Reid, Topp Twins, TEEKS, and The Dust Palace speak to the APO’s reputation of being endlessly innovative, passionate and versatile. The APO is an integral part of the cultural landscape of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, dedicated to providing myriad education and community activities to young people and adults through the APO Connecting programme. Each year the APO performs to more than 250,000 people live and, over the last 12-months, has reached more than four million people globally through live streams and other digital offerings.

About Hamish McKeich
New Zealand-born conductor Hamish McKeich has forged an impressive international conducting career alongside a passionate loyalty for developing the repertoire of contemporary and experimental music.  He has established an acclaimed partnership with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and is currently their Principal Conductor in Residence. Among the many projects he has curated the NZSO Shed Series - featuring a redefined way orchestras interact with audiences - has met with critical acclaim for its concept and innovative programming.

In 2019 McKeich was also appointed Principal Conductor of the Royal New Zealand Ballet.

McKeich has performed in New Zealand, Australia, China, the Netherlands, Italy, England, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Armenia, and Lebanon. Working regularly in Europe, and with all the major orchestras in New Zealand and Australia, he has given over 100 world premieres of new works and is also chief conductor of the contemporary ensemble Stroma.

About Claire Cowan
Claire Cowan is at the forefront of composition in New Zealand. She has gone from strength to strength as a composer, with two prestigious Silver Scroll nominations, a win for her first television series soundtrack Hillary, and being awarded the APRA Professional Development Award for Film and TV Music. In 2019 she completed the first ballet score ever commissioned from a female composer in the history of the Royal NZ Ballet  - Hansel and Gretel - and went on to record it with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in 2020.  Her chamber music has been performed around the world. She directs the Blackbird Ensemble - a vagabond chamber orchestra that creates highly visual and theatrical musical experiences in non-traditional spaces.

About Auckland Live
Auckland Live is a world-class leader in live arts and entertainment, and a major contributor to the cultural life and economic development of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. As custodians of some of Auckland’s most iconic event venues, it presents live arts performances and experiences that support the creative sector and provide opportunities for people of all ages to engage with the arts. Accessibility is at the heart of everything Auckland Live does, and it takes pride in celebrating and showcasing the diversity of our communities, clients, stakeholders, and presenters.


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