Newsletter:  Dunedin Symphony Orchestra Notes

Read the September/November 2017 issue

Read the July/August 2017 issue

Read the April/May 2017 issue

Read the September/October 2016 issue

Read the July/August 2016 issue

Read  the May/June 2016 issue

You can enjoy the March/April 2016 issue:  Download Notes as a PDF file.

Find out what reviewers have said about our performances.


New Event! Masterclass with Ilya Gringolts


Read more about events offered by the Friends of the DSO.

Explore what musical education options are available.

Performance partners

The Dunedin Symphony Orchestra regularly accompanies productions by resident and touring opera, ballet, musical and choral companies. The following are our engagements for the 2017 season:

The Armed Man, Saturday 1 April 2017, 7:30 pm, Dunedin Town Hall

2017-04armedman-eventfindaHenryk Górecki: Totus tuus
Karl Jenkins: The Armed Man – A Mass For Peace

In The Armed Man Karl Jenkins has fashioned a work that uses the ancient mass structure to communicate a powerful message for world peace. To this end, the composition uses texts from classic poets, biblical verses and the traditional mass, as well as from Muslim, Hindu, and Japanese sources. The music is powerful in its melodic simplicity and is cosmopolitan in its inspiration.

The work conjures images of war and the threat of The Armed Man, but ends with a simple chorale based upon an excerpt from the Book of Revelations, promising that “… God shall wipe away all tears… and there shall be no more death.” This must be the heart-felt prayer of us all: Dona Nobis Pacem (Give Us Peace).

The performance will be enhanced by the simultaneous showing of The Armed Man Film which was created to complement the music through historic and contemporary images of many aspects of war and its impact on the world.

The concert will begin with an a capella performance of Henryk Górecki’s Totus tuus. This work, subsequently acclaimed a contemporary classic, was written for mixed choir in 1987 to celebrate Pope John Paul II’s third pilgrimage to Poland. The music repeats a simple chant form to slowly build a musical affirmation of faith.

Romeo and Juliet – Royal New Zealand Ballet, Wednesday 13 September and Thursday 14 September 2017, 7:30 pm, Regent Theatre


Fall in love this winter with the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s world premiere of Romeo and Juliet

A sunlit piazza, the candlelit corner of a noble ballroom, a moonlit balcony… when young lovers meet, the world is stilled… then changed forever.

Italian choreographer Francesco Ventriglia creates a new production of Shakespeare’s great love story, especially for the Royal New Zealand Ballet. This brand new ballet, with exquisite sets and costumes by Academy Award winning designer James Acheson (The Last Emperor, Dangerous Liaisons) brings to life all of the splendour and seduction of Renaissance Verona. Join us as we follow the Montagues and Capulets in Shakespeare’s original tale of two star-crossed lovers though desire, struggle and tragedy

Prokofiev’s passionate score will be performed live by the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra at the performance in Dunedin.

In a first for the RNZB, and thanks to Auckland Live, we are delighted to offer a live audio description of Romeo and Juliet for blind and visually impaired patrons at the performance on Sunday 3 September.

The Ryman Healthcare Season of Romeo and Juliet is a Partner Event of Christchurch Arts Festival

Handel’s Messiah, Tuesday 12 December 2017, 7:30 pm, Dunedin Town Hall

2015-12messiah-eventfindaMessiah is heard around the world during the Christmas season, being greatly appreciated, admired and enjoyed. Handel began composing Messiah on August 22, 1741, and completed it twenty-four days later. The scholar Clifford Bartlett writes, “such speed was not unusual, nor was the time of year. Not much happened in London during the summer, so it was a good time to get ahead with the preparation for the next season…  Bach could produce a cantata, organizing the copying of parts, and rehearse and perform it every week: Three weeks to compose an oratorio without the immediate responsibility for organizing the performance was, therefore, ample. But, however hasty the composition, the power of the musical imagination, the wealth of ideas, the depth of inspiration, and the sheer variety of invention continue to astonish.”

The Dunedin Symphony Orchestra is pleased to provide orchestral accompaniment for City Choir Dunedin’s concerts in the Dunedin Town Hall.