Rach 2- Russian Romantics conductor and the soloist share some thoughts about their lives and also about the concert with us in October.

Simon Over – Principal GuestSimon Over Conductor 

Over the years in Dunedin I’ve met many great artists and enjoyed working with them; I’m sure Jian Liu will be no exception”

This programme features three giants of the repertoire, hugely popular across the world; Glinka’s Overture Ruslan and Ludmilla very well received when we toured Japan a few years ago, Rachmaninoff’s second Piano Concerto, much requested by DSO supporters, and Tchaikovsky’s monumental fourth symphony.

Over the years in Dunedin I’ve met many great artists and enjoyed working with them; I’m sure Jian Liu will be no exception. I’ve seen him described as ‘passionate, articulate, deeply expressive, and wholly musical’, suggesting he is perfect for this concerto. People approach this work in very different ways; some are completely indulgent and others more focussed on the overall shape of the work, keeping it in proportion. I tend towards one end of that particular spectrum and when I meet Jian the day before the concert, our fascinating process will be for me to understand his interpretation and blend it with my own effectively and efficiently. As far as the Tchaikovsky is concerned, I’m so happy that we have Hanover Hall to rehearse in. The blazing trumpets would be shattering anywhere less spacious!

It will have been over a year since I was in Dunedin but I have felt connected through performances of Anthony Ritchie’s Gallipoli to the Somme in the UK back in June; the fulfilment of a rewarding five-year project, commissioned by DSO with funding from Creative New Zealand. Around 30 members of City Choir Dunedin together with Anthony Ritchie (composer), Philippa Harris (DSO General Manager), Anna Leese (Soprano soloist), Tessa Petersen (DSO Concertmaster), and David Burchell (City Choir Dunedin Music Director) joined us for the performances, one in the Sheldonian Theatre (Oxford University’s Wrendesigned hall for degree ceremonies) and the other in the Queen Elizabeth Hall on London’s Southbank, the busiest classical music hub in the world. Both performances also included The Lark Ascending (Vaughan Williams) played by Dunedin violinist (a former DSO member and current member of Southbank Sinfonia) Annabel Drummond.

Both concerts were enthusiastically received:

…a most moving and inventive combination of words and music…Absolutely incredible and no wonder it got a standing ovation. 

Congratulations to all who conceived and then realised such an aurally, textually and metaphorically even monumentally perfect event. 

I will not be the only one to have been profoundly affected by last night, and not least by the UK-NZ co-operation with all its symbolism.

Long may that co-operation continue.