Guitar Extravaganza’s conductor Kenneth Young shares some thoughts about his life and his concert with us in June

“The orchestra is always a pleasure to work with”

I love visiting Dunedin. The orchestra is always a pleasure to work with, and the superfriendly management team do such a great job. Then, after having enjoyed the music-making, people, atmosphere and sights in this wonderful city, my wife and I will do what we usually do, and that is drive off into my favourite part of New Zealand, Central Otago, for a few days R and R.

I am very keen to work with the New Zealand Guitar Quartet. Jane Curry and I are colleagues at the New Zealand School of Music at Victoria University and have shared a concert platform previously. Owen and John I also know.However, they have a most accomplished new 4th member in Vladimir Gorbach whom I am looking forward to meeting and collaborating with.

I met Jack Speirs a couple of times; once when I was a member of the NZSO and he conducted a recording session of some of his works. I have always admired his compositional craft and sense of colour so am very pleased to have the opportunity to conduct his Night Music.

I adore Fauré, so consequently take any opportunity I can to programme his works. There is such a sweet sadness to his incidental music for Maeterlinck’s Pelléas et Mélisande, so in keeping with the play itself.

Bookending the programme are Beethoven’s thrilling overture to his incidental music for Goethe’s play Egmont and my favourite Mozart symphony, the brilliant Haffner.