New Zealand Symphony Orchestra – Bold Worlds

This concert is a celebration of the rich tradition of British music. Ralph Vaughan Williams implored his fellow composers to ‘learn your own language first.’ A student of England’s music history, he merged contemporary and past traditions, and his Symphony No. 4, composed in 1935, is a furious reflection of the world he lived in.

Fellow Brits Thomas Adès and Sir James MacMillan continue this tradition with distinct voices and responses to the world around us today. In Grammy-award winning Thomas Adès’ Polaris, sounds swell and magnify, merging with each other in a work of hypnotic splendour.

Scottish composer Sir James MacMillan writes emphatically rhythmic music that is steeped in the spiritual. Virtuosic percussionist Colin Currie is MacMillan’s perfect collaborator and the duo have a longstanding relationship spanning more than twenty years. Currie’s influence on MacMillan can be heard in the new percussive sound pallets and the wild kinetic energy of the Percussion Concerto No.2. Continuing our Bold Worlds tradition of presenting contemporary concertos performed by the soloist for whom they were written, it is especially exciting to have the composer conducting in this evening of brilliant British music.

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