Immersive Music Experience Opens NZSO Festival in Wellington and Auckland

Immersive Music Experience Opens NZSO Festival in Wellington and Auckland

Published: Wednesday 26 July, 2023

Since its premiere 10 years ago, Become Ocean by American composer John Luther Adams has captured the imagination of listeners around the world.

One of those listeners was none other than pop superstar Taylor Swift. Swift was so moved by the Seattle Symphony’s recording of Become Ocean, she donated US$50,000 to the orchestra.

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra concert Become Ocean on 4 August in Auckland, will be the New Zealand premiere of this stunning work.

Hailed as one of the best orchestral compositions of the 21st century, Become Ocean is a unique immersive music experience. Adams was inspired by the seascapes of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, and has said that it is also a meditation on climate change.

Become Ocean is one of three back-to-back NZSO concerts in Auckland (4-6 August) as part of the Orchestra’s winter festival.

For each performance the NZSO is led by renowned German conductor André de Ridder.

From working with top orchestras and opera companies around the globe, to collaborations with bands Gorillaz and The National, Maestro de Ridder is one of the most sought-after conductors in the world today.

The second concert, Marsalis: Blues Symphony, features two monumental works – George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, featuring renowned Australian pianist Simon Tedeschi, and legendary jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis’ acclaimed Blues Symphony.

Maestro de Ridder’s third NZSO concert, Beethoven 5, features the composer’s trailblazing Fifth Symphony and his remarkable Coriolan Overture, alongside a mesmerising contemporary piece subito con forza by Korean composer Unsuk Chin, inspired by both of Beethoven’s works.

The festival includes Open Doors, a series of free daytime family events on 29 July and 5 August.

Presenter and entertainer Chris Lam Sam hosts Tamariki Time, a 45-minute concert with music selected to appeal and enthral the youngest members of any whānau.

Lam Sam also hosts an NZSO Relaxed Concert, a free accessibility performance designed for audiences with sensory needs who may feel uncomfortable in a traditional concert environment.

Instrument Jams are a fun and informal opportunity to play through several easy pieces with NZSO players.

The NZSO Foundation Masterclasses connect university musicians with our visiting international soloists and musicians of the NZSO, allowing up-and-coming musicians to learn from leading.

Book your tickets to NZSO's Winter Festival now!

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