NZSO Brings UK Violinist Nicola Benedetti to New Zealand
Acclaimed violinist Nicola Benedetti has secured the highest album chart position for any solo British instrumentalist in the past 20 years! And, in the wake of her chart success she's heading to New Zealand to tour with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
Her new album The Silver Violin shot to No. 32 on the UK Official Albums Chart following her appearance at the Last Night of the Proms on 8 September. It is the highest charting album by a British classical soloist since Nigel Kennedy in 1991 and she's even ahead of pop star Justin Bieber.
At only 16 years of age, Nicola Benedetti won the 2004 BBC Young Musician of the Year Award. Since then, she's been in the spotlight as a passionate advocate for music education, the best Young British Classical Performer, announced at the 2008 Classical BRIT Awards, and an articulate communicator who is not afraid to speak her mind.
This is her debut in the UK pop charts, a feat which she recently described on Billboard.biz as "wonderful" before reiterating that she does "crossover audience" not "crossover music". "I was clear with everyone from the start what I did and didn't want to do," she added.
It's a year of firsts for the 25-year-old Scottish beauty. This will be her debut with The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra when she performs Tchaikovsky's breathtaking Violin Concerto in D major as part of the North Island Forbidden Love tour from 13-19 October. Initially, this work was declared unplayable but it has since become a cornerstone of the repertoire, beloved by audiences and Benedetti herself.
Emmy-Award winning Peruvian conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya joins the Orchestra to add his charismatic touch of colour to all four orchestral works including Bernstein's Symphonic Dances. Extracted from the iconic West Side Story Bernstein's score is filled with recognisable tunes from the movie in music that is bold, driving and vital.
New Zealand composer Kenneth Young's feisty work Dance, which was first performed by the NZSO in 1997, opens this romantic evening of music before the great Russian returns for the finale - Tchaikovsky's Francesca da Rimini. Inspired by Dante's Inferno, this dramatic work takes us down to the abyss where we witness the consequences of forbidden love.
Join the NZSO on this passionate tour and enjoy a charming night of romance and dance with your national orchestra.
Forbidden Love begins in Wellington on Saturday 13 October before heading to Palmerston North on Monday 15 October, Napier on Tuesday 16 October, Hamilton on Thursday 18 October and Auckland on Friday 19 October.
Soprano Joanna Heslop (Victoria University of Wellington Master of Music and Master of Strategic Studies graduate) will give a free 30-minute talk 45 minutes prior to each concert.