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NZSO to premiere new online performance tonight at 7.30pm

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

At times like these, we all must Play Our Part. The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra will still perform online for all of New Zealand tonight, 25 March, after adapting its planned free livestream performance for the new COVID-19 restrictions.

NZSO Concertmaster Vesa-Matti Leppänen and several Section Principals have filmed themselves at home each playing one of their favourite pieces of music. Pianist Stephen De Pledge, who performed with the NZSO earlier this month, has also been filmed playing one of JS Bach’s famous Goldberg Variations.

With help from Wellington-based audio visual company Latitude Creative, the at-home performances are being edited, along with De Pledge on fortepiano, into one video performance.

Play Our Part will premiere for free at at 7.30pm and can be viewed via smart TV, mobile phone, tablet or computer.

The NZSO had planned to present a livestream performance of Bach’s Goldberg Variations in its entirety with the Orchestra’s players performing together at a Wellington venue. Play Our Part will still be predominately works by Bach.

NZSO Interim Chief Executive Peter Biggs says after the Government announced the new COVID-19 restrictions on Monday the Orchestra’s players were still determined to bring music to New Zealanders as planned. "We had to move fast, as all NZSO players and staff, like most New Zealanders, will have to stay at home until Alert Level 4 is lifted. We decided that we could still present an online performance by having several players film themselves in their homes playing a favourite piece and premiere this unique NZSO performance online," he says.

"With most people must stay at home for the foreseeable future, they’ll still hunger for contact by other means. Music remains a vital force at this time. It can bring us together and lift our spirits. While NZSO players and staff player are at home they’ll still be active as technology means we can still connect to make music and present it to the nation."

Mr Biggs says Play Our Part will be the first of more NZSO at-home performances in the coming weeks under the Orchestra’s Engage@Home project. Other performances being considered include duets by NZSO couples who share the same home.

Joining Leppänen and De Pledge for Play Our Part will be Section Principal Cellist Andrew Joyce, Section Principal Harpist Carolyn Mills, Section Principal Flautist Bridget Douglas and other players to be confirmed.

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