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Symphony of sound: classical music concerts in Wellington this August

By Simon 1 Aug 2019 • 3 Comments

As the home of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Wellington, the capital is lucky to have a year-round offering of first-class music events, but August is truly shaping up to be one of the best months of the year for lovers of all things classical.

From huge international performers, to some local favourites - whatever you like the sound of, get your culture on and check out any of these amazing classical music events in August here in Wellington.


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Jennifer Stumm + Te Kōkī Trio

A night with an acclaimed American Viola player

Jennifer Stumm + Te Kōkī Trio, 8 August, Michael Fowler Centre

Jennifer Stumm is one of the most dynamic Viola players of her generation, and she will be performing in Wellington for one night only alongside the wonderful Te Kōkī Trio. Secrets and hidden messages lie at the heart of this performance, with a Chamber Music New Zealand commission ‘Spirit Flies Sun Rises’ by composer Michael Williams part of the programme. The viola’s capacity for emotion and making beautiful music will be on full show here, with Stumm having performed at some of the world’s most prestigious venues. Jennifer is also the International Chair of Viola Studies at the Royal College of Music in London, so it’s safe to say this will be a concert to remember.

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NZSO's Shed Series: Sinfonietta

An intimate orchestral experience

Shed Series: Sinfonietta, 9 August, Shed 6

Orchestras don’t have to be seen and heard in the biggest of spaces, and this special concert promises to prove that point in the intimate surroundings of Shed 6. Under New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conductor Hamish McKeich, this smaller chamber orchestra will present an evening of rhythmic and adventurous music to kick-start your weekend. One of the most exciting elements of Sinfonietta is the Roadrunner movement in John Adam’s Chamber Symphony, an energetic piece inspired by the classic Roadrunner Looney Tunes cartoons. With flexible seating, you can sit, stand or move around the venue whilst the orchestra performs, with drinks available throughout the concert.

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The Royal New Zealand Air Force Band

Military music marches 

The Air Force In Concert, 10 August, Michael Fowler Centre

From military classics to popular show tunes, seeing the Air Force perform live is something you need to experience! Appealing to all ages, The Royal New Zealand Air Force Band have been delighting audiences across Aotearoa and further afield for over eight decades as a vital unit of the New Zealand Defence Force. This concert showcases a vast array of Wellington’s finest professional musicians, with a 65-strong symphonic band creating an incredible sound. You may have seen them across your time in Wellington at ANZAC Day services, but you’ve never truly experienced them at their peak until you’ve seen them in concert.

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Orchestra Wellington's Heroes & Villains!

Pop culture crowd-pleaser

Orchestra Wellington: Heroes & Villains! 24 August, Michael Fowler Centre

Orchestra Wellington have been delighting families in recent times with their hugely popular family production of Disney’s Songs of Moana, and now they are back with another concert bound to appeal to families and all those who love superheroes and Disney classics. Whether it’s those iconic princesses, the ever-popular caped heroes or a galaxy far, far away, there’s bound to be plenty to savour throughout this afternoon concert. All these pop culture classics will be worked together into an original story set around Mission Control. If last year’s Moana concerts are any indicator, you will need to book fast before this one sells out.

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NZSO presents a festival devoted to Beethoven

Beethoven’s best brought back to life

NZSO Beethoven Season, 28 -31 August, Michael Fowler Centre

Ludwig van Beethoven. One of the greatest composers of all time. Now, thanks to the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra under their Music Director and Conductor Edo de Waart, all nine of his symphonies are brought to life live in our glorious Michael Fowler Centre. Starting on Wednesday 28 August with ‘Heroic’ covering his first three symphonies, over four nights you can dip into or experience all of these incredible compositions. With 2020 marking the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birthday, there’s never been a better time to learn or re-acquaint yourself with this legendary music. On Saturday, the ‘Joy’ concert sees Voices New Zealand join the orchestra to lend their vocal chords to his Ninth Symphony, the first symphony by a major composer to use voices when it premiered in Vienna in 1824.

Add your comment

  • Eric Sidoti on 6 Aug 2019

    Don't forget all of the fantastic choral concerts on too, including the Bach Choir's concert on 24 August featuring the beautiful Frostiana and the Kapiti Chorale's concert on 1 September featuring Haydn's Mass No. 13

  • Delia on 1 Aug 2019

    My son wants to come to the Nzso, so Heroes and Villains will be perfect!

  • Jenny on 1 Aug 2019

    Can't wait for Heroes and Villains!

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