NZSO Principal Conductor in Residence Hamish McKeich presents some of Beethoven’s most iconic works in the 250th anniversary of his birth. Diedre Irons joins the Orchestra as soloist for Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto.
Awarded an MBE and an ONZM for her outstanding contributions to music as both a stunning performer and dedicated educator, her formidable talent and musicality will bring out every nuance of Beethoven’s last-written and best-loved Piano Concerto.
Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 has perhaps the most famous opening of any piece of classical music. Its “da-da-da-dah” rhythmic motif has found its way into pop songs, Morse code and even Doctor Who. But its ubiquity hides its genius: using this distinctive motif as a common thread throughout all four movements, Beethoven wrote a symphony whose form was cyclic, rather than linear, and thus revolutionised symphonic form.
Brahms initially struggled to find his voice while still under the shadow of Beethoven’s immense influence on the symphonic form. By the time he came to write his fourth symphony, however, Brahms had come into his own as the next great German symphonist.
The work alludes to multiple Beethoven compositions, but also forges its own path forward in its structural innovations and organic development. The Orchestra also presents Carl Maria von Weber’s Overture to Der Freischütz.
Though rarely performed now, Weber’s opera Der Freischütz was an overnight sensation in its time, and is a clear forerunner to Wagner’s operas with its use of German folk tunes and mythology.
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