19 Mar 2017

NZ50 - New Directions

From The Sunday Feature, 2:00 pm on 19 March 2017

NZ50 - New Directions

Featuring the voices of Peter Averi, John Dodds, Farquhar Wilkinson, Peter Nisbet, Ron Goodwin, Clare Galambos-Winter, John Hopkins, Ashley Heenan, John Button and Neville Marriner.

Franz-Paul Decker

Franz-Paul Decker Photo: Courtesy of NZSO

One of the high points in the development of the NZSO came in 1974 with its first overseas tour, which was to Australia with conductor Brian Priestman. They gave nine performances in 11 days including a series of six different programmes in the Sydney Opera House. Soloists were Kiri Te Kanawa who sang Four Last Songs by Richard Strauss, two Puccini arias and Mozart's Exsultate Jubilate and a 22-year-old Michael Houstoun who played Prokofiev's Third Piano Concerto.

In 1977, Michi Inoue and Owain Arwel Hughes led the orchestra on its tour to Hong Kong and the New Territories.

A much loved and respected conductor was the Hungarian György Lehel who impressed with his complete Brahms' symphony cycle and then an extremely emotional performance of Saint-Saëns' Organ Symphony in Dunedin, which proved to be his last ever concert, as he was already seriously ill with cancer.

A career highlight for many players was the visit to Seville in 1992 for the international Expo. Franz Paul Decker conducted, again with Kiri Te Kanawa as soloist.

This Gallery shows a selection of photos of the Orchestra down the years:

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