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Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra


Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra Tickets

14 Upcoming Events

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About Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra

The New Zealand Herald Premier Series – Fantasy 

8pm, Thursday 14 February Auckland Town Hall 

Conductor Giordano Bellincampi

Violin Anthony Marwood 

Wagner Die Meistersinger: Overture

Thomas Adès Violin Concerto ‘Concentric Paths’

Berlioz Symphonie fantastique 

Berlioz composed this spectacular symphony to recover from a failed love affair. He evidently found it therapeutic to write music depicting his own beheading and to conclude the piece with his beloved appearing as the bride of the Devil. Unsurprisingly, it is music which is bizarre, deliriously romantic, and irresistibly exciting. 

Like Berlioz, the British composer Thomas Adès has a wild, far-ranging imagination and an extraordinary ear. His coolly dazzling concerto was written for our soloist, the marvelous violinist Anthony Marwood. 

Wagner kicks off the season with the grand yet warm overture to his only comedic opera. 

The New Zealand Herald Premier Series – Beethoven’s Triple. 

8pm, Thursday 28 February

Auckland Town Hall 

Conductor Giordano Bellincampi

Violin Tianwa Yang

Cello Gabriel Schwabe

Piano Nicholas Rimmer 

Beethoven Triple Concerto

Bruckner Symphony No.7 

The conductor Bruno Walter once said that ‘Mahler was seeking God; Bruckner had found God’. Vast as a mountain, this cosmically spacious symphony is a cathedral in sound. Bruckner dedicated it to the memory of his idol, Wagner, and calls for the otherworldly sound of a quartet of Wagner tubas. 

To precede it, a rare performance of Beethoven’s lightest, most charming concerto. The slow movement gives a tantalising glimpse of what a Beethoven cello concerto might have been, but more exciting is the vivacity of three superb soloists playing off each other and the APO. 

Tianya Wang, Gabriel Schwabe and Nicholas Rimmer’s performances are supported by Naxos Music Group 

The New Zealand Herald Premier Series – Landscapes 

8pm, Thursday 4 April

Auckland Town Hall 

Conductor Tadaaki Otaka

Piano Alessio Bax 

Ritchie Suite No.1 for Strings

Grieg Piano Concerto

Sibelius Symphony No.5 

Grieg’s genius for melody troubled him terribly. Improbable though it sounds, he found it hard to obey the official rules of form when all he wanted to do was write one delightful tune after another! 

Equally delightful is the Suite No.1 by the late Christchurch composer John Ritchie. This New Zealand classic is as fresh today as it was when Ritchie wrote it in 1956. 

The crowning theme of Sibelius’s heroic Fifth Symphony came to the composer when he saw 16 swans flying in formation above the forests. Yet it emerges organically from the music, as if it has always been there. 

The New Zealand Herald Premier Series – Elgar’s Cello Concerto 

8pm, Thursday 9 May

Auckland Town Hall 

Conductor Ludovic Morlot

Cello Umberto Clerici 

L. Boulanger D’un matin de printemps

Elgar Cello Concerto

Stravinsky Petrushka 

Lili Boulanger died tragically young. It is hard to believe that this fresh, vibrant tone-poem is one of her last works. In fact the details in the score had to be completed by her elder sister. 

Acclaimed soloist and Sydney Symphony principal cellist Umberto Clerici joins the APO to play Elgar’s elegiac concerto, a lament for the England erased by the First World War. 

Stravinsky’s vividly colourful ballet celebrates Russian folk culture. It is set in a fairground and Stravinsky said you should be able to smell the food in the music. Amongst the gaudy hustle and bustle, a sinister Magician brings his puppets to life. 

The New Zealand Herald Premier Series – Ehnes Plays Bruch 

8pm, Thursday 30 May

Auckland Town Hall 

Conductor Giordano Bellincampi

Violin James Ehnes 

Strauss Metamorphosen

Bruch Violin Concerto No.1

R. Schumann Symphony No.3 ‘Rhenish’ 

The superstar violinist James Ehnes is absolutely not to be missed. His APO return with Bruch’s evergreen concerto, with its dramatic opening and spirited finale, will be a highlight of the season. 

Schumann’s ‘Rhenish’ Symphony was inspired by the country of the River Rhine and by Cologne Cathedral. It was a particularly happy time in Schumann’s life, and this shines through in buoyant, ebullient music. 

In contrast, Strauss’s indescribably moving tone-poem for 23 solo strings is a lament for the destruction of civilised Germany in World War II. 

The New Zealand Herald Premier Series –Pathetiqué 

8pm, Thursday 27 June

Auckland Town Hall 

Conductor Mikhail Tatarnikov

Violin Andrew Beer 

Khachaturian Gayane Suites (excerpts)

Ligeti Violin Concerto

Tchaikovsky Symphony No.6 ‘Pathétique’ 

Step forward, Andrew Beer! Our marvellous concertmaster plays Ligeti’s brilliant, and fiendishly difficult, concerto. This wonderful piece glitters, shimmers, soars; at times the music seems to come from other worlds. It is music that is not entirely tame but it is profoundly human and it is an unforgettable musical experience. 

From far-off Armenia, Khachaturian’s flashy and exotic ballet Gayane provides a scintillating beginning to the concert, and we finish with Tchaikovsky’s last, most powerful and most deeply felt symphony. Tchaikovsky’s soul is always on his sleeve but his tragic, fate-ridden passion is never more desperate than here. 

The New Zealand Herald Premier Series – Reimagined 

8pm, Thursday 8 August

Auckland Town Hall 

Conductor Tung Chieh Chuang

Pipa Wu Man 

Stravinsky Pulcinella Suite

Harrison Pipa Concerto

Shostakovich Symphony No.1 

To hear an unfamiliar instrument is a revelation, but doubly so when its unexpected depths are revealed by a virtuoso. Wu Man is the preeminent player of the pipa, a Chinese lute, with five Grammy nominations to her name. The American composer Lou Harrison, a lifelong devotee of Asian music, wrote this fabulously eclectic concerto for her. 

Shostakovich’s First Symphony is a madcap piece that instantly propelled its 19-year-old composer onto the world stage. 

Stravinsky reached back to the past with Pulcinella, reinventing 18th-century music in what can only be called an exceedingly Stravinskyian way. 

The New Zealand Herald Premier Series – Reveries 

8pm, Thursday 22 August

Auckland Town Hall 

Conductor Bertrand de Billy

Organ Benjamin Sheen 

Debussy Prélude à L’Apres-midi d’une faune

Poulenc Organ Concerto

Franck Symphony in D minor 

The distinguished French conductor Bertrand de Billy makes his d.but with the APO, opening with Debussy’slanguid masterpiece of high summer. Then the mighty Auckland Town Hall organ lets rip, as the organist Benjamin Sheen plays Poulenc’s darkly Gothic but very French concerto. 

The composer C.sar Franck, who was an organist in his day job, would have approved. His only symphony, written in the twilight of his career, is an ingenious blend of French sensibility and German form set in a three-movement format. This open, approachable work is laced with one splendid melody after another.

Sponsors/Partners: The New Zealand Herald 

The New Zealand Herald Premier Series – Ashkenazy & Mullova 

8pm, Thursday 12 September

Auckland Town Hall 

Conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy

Violin Viktoria Mullova 

Tchaikovsky Romeo and Juliet Fantasy-Overture

Sibelius Violin Concerto

Dvořák Symphony No.7 

Vladimir Ashkenazy is, quite simply, one of the greatest musicians alive. It is wonderful to welcome him back to the APO. Joining him is the breath-taking violinist Viktoria Mullova. Together, they’ll give us a night to remember for a long time. 

Sibelius’s mighty concerto is a mountain for the soloist to scale, requiring not only technical wizardry but also profound

artistry. Tchaikovsky’s homage to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet provides us with one of his loveliest melodies. And to close the evening Dvořák’s turbulent symphony starts with dark foreboding, but ends in hard-won triumph. 

The New Zealand Herald Premier Series – Boléro 

8pm, Thursday 17 October

Auckland Town Hall 

Conductor Kazuki Yamada

Piano Louis Schwizgebel 

Arvo Pärt Fratres

Bartók Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste

Ravel Piano Concerto in G

Ravel Boléro 

Meditative, timeless, unutterably beautiful, Pärt’s Fratres is something that seems to exist outside of this world. 

Bartók inhaled the essence of Hungarian folk music and from it made his own language. In the Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste, we have the mysterious sounds of a moonlit night and the rustic energy of a village dance. 

Ravel’s featherweight concerto is infused with the essence of jazz, but it is jazz through a very Ravellian filter. Then, an endlessly repeated rhythm, a sinuously feline melody, an imperceptible but implacable crescendo: it is the most hypnotic piece in the business, Ravel’s always-exhilarating Boléro

The New Zealand Herald Premier Series – Zarathustra 

8pm, Thursday 31 October

Auckland Town Hall 

Conductor Giordano Bellincampi

Cello Harriet Krijgh 

Mozart Symphony No.29

Haydn Cello Concerto No.1

R. Strauss Also sprach Zarathustra 

Although born a generation apart, Mozart and Haydn were dear friends and these two pieces are well paired. One of Mozart’s sunniest symphonies bounces off Haydn’s cheerful concerto, played by the outstanding Dutch cellist Harriet Krijgh. 

Then Strauss’s huge tone-poem. It is best known for that music in 2001: A Space Odyssey, but there’s much more to it than that, including some seriously glorious music for the strings and a sparkling solo for the concertmaster. It is a piece that offers Maestro Bellincampi and the APO a chance to really shine. 

The New Zealand Herald Premier Series – Conflict & Triumph 

8pm, Thursday 14 November

Auckland Town Hall 

Conductor Giordano Bellincampi

Violin Ning Feng 

Salina Fisher New work

Beethoven Violin Concerto

Nielsen Symphony No.5 

The extraordinarily talented young New Zealand violinist and composer, Salina Fisher, was the youngest ever winner of The SOUNZ Contemporary Award, and she’s won it again since. We are eagerly waiting to hear what she’s got in store for us in her new piece. 

APO favourite Ning Feng returns with Beethoven’s titanic concerto, one of the summits of the violinist’s repertoire. 

Giordano Bellincampi continues his survey of his compatriot Carl Nielsen’s music with this remarkable symphony. The then-recent First World War is echoed in staggeringly violent music, with a rogue snare drum doing its best to upend the orchestra. 

Templar Great Classics - Musical Postcards 

7.30pm, Thursday 21 February

Auckland Town Hall 

Conductor Giordano Bellincampi

Piano Tamara-Anna Cislowska 

Gershwin An American in Paris

Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue

Falla The Three Cornered Hat 

A concert of musical postcards, literally so in the case of An American in Paris. Gershwin’s love song to the Paris of the Twenties is a jaunty romp, complete with taxi horns and a swooning theme when our hero meets an elegant Parisian lady. 

Terrific fun, too, is the Rhapsody in Blue, the quintessential picture of Jazz Age New York, performed by Tamara- Anna Cislowska, one of Australia’s most acclaimed and recognised pianists. 

Then to sun-drenched Spain. In Falla’s ballet of village life, the oafish magistrate, whose official headgear gives the piece its title, pursues the miller’s wife. When she outwits him, everybody dances a joyful fandango, with castanets blazing. 

Templar Great Classics – A Baroque Easter 

7.30pm, Thursday 18 April

Auckland Town Hall 

Conductor Sofi Jeannin

Singers include: Sally-Anne Russell, Henry Choo, James Ioelu

Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir

Director Karen Grylls 

Arias and choruses from:

Handel Messiah

J.S. Bach Easter Oratorio

J.S. Bach St John Passion

J.S. Bach St Matthew Passion 

Handel’s Messiah is always played in December, but liturgically this is quite wrong. The familiar Christmas music is a prelude to Handel’s main concern, the Passion and Resurrection of Christ. It is an Easter piece, then, and so too are Bach’s two Passions and his Easter Oratorio. 

Sofi Jeannin, the new Chief Conductor of the prestigious BBC Singers, has devised an imaginative programme telling the Easter story using all four of these towering pieces, including the ever-popular Hallelujah Chorus. With an exceptional cast of singers and Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir it promises to be profoundly moving on a spiritual level and sublime on a musical one, just in time for Easter. 

Templar Great Classics – Tragic Heroes 

7.30pm, Thursday 25 July

Auckland Town Hall 

Conductor Giordano Bellincampi

Piano Javier Perianes 

Schubert Symphony No.8 ‘Unfinished’

R. Schumann Manfred overture

Beethoven Piano Concerto No.4 

In one way, of course, it is a musical tragedy that Schubert never finished his Eighth Symphony. In another way, though, the torso we have is oddly perfect, and it is no surprise that it is the best-loved of Schubert’s symphonies. 

Spanish pianist Javier Perianes returns to the APO for Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.4. It begins quietly, with the piano ruminating alone, then opens out into one of his most elegant and poetic works. 

Schumann passed a sleepless night after reading Byron’s dramatic poem Manfred, his imagination fired. The overture encapsulates the struggle and defiance of its tortured anti-hero. 

Templar Great Classics – Pastoral 

7.30pm, Thursday 3 October

Auckland Town Hall 

Conductor Douglas Boyd

Violin Amalia Hall 

Elgar Introduction and Allegro

Saint-Saëns Violin Concerto No.3

Beethoven Symphony No.6 ‘Pastoral’ 

The dynamic Scottish conductor Douglas Boyd returns with a programme of pure pleasure. Elgar’s carefree Introduction and Allegro gives the APO strings a moment in the sun. 

The prodigiously talented New Zealand violinist Amalia Hall made her début with the APO at the age of nine. She joins us for Saint-Saëns’ delightful champagne concerto. 

Getting out of Vienna and into the country was vital for Beethoven, and in this piece he pours his love of nature into ever more magnificent music: singing of birds, streams, a storm with thunderbolts and lightning, and the rainbow after the downpour.