Recommended NZ | Guide to Money | Gimme: Competitions - Giveaways

'NZSO revamps concerts to ensure safe social distancing between players'

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra has revamped performances in Wellington and Auckland this month to ensure safe social distancing between its musicians on stage.

The Orchestra’s scheduled Inspiration concerts in Wellington and Auckland on 18 and 25 September were to have included three Spanish-inspired works by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel.

However, the number of NZSO players required to be on stage to perform the three works has made it difficult to maintain safe social distancing between each player.

The NZSO has replaced the three works with two where social distancing can be maintained: Anthony Ritchie’s Remember Parihaka and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 Eroica. The other work to feature in the concerts, Finnish composer Jean Sibelius’ Violin Concerto, will still be performed.

Both concerts have been renamed Eroica, the same title as NZSO performances in Gisborne and Kerikeri on 24 and 26 September. The Eroica tour is dependent on New Zealand returning to Covid-19 Alert Level 1 on 17 September. If the country remains at Alert Level 2, the Wellington concert will be live-streamed on 18 September without an audience in the venue.

Acclaimed United States-based Peruvian conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya leads the NZSO for all four concerts. He has been spending 14 days in managed isolation and will rehearse with the NZSO next week.

While in New Zealand, Maestro Harth-Bedoya will also work with young musicians, composers and conductors from New Zealand School of Music, Arohanui Strings, Wellington Youth Orchestra, Wellington Symphonic Bands, the NZSO Foundation and NZSO Fellowship Programme. The Grammy-nominated and Emmy Award winner is a perennial favourite with New Zealand audiences. Along with regularly conducting the NZSO, he and his family lived in Auckland while he was Music Director of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra from 1998 to 2005.

His international achievements include seven seasons as Chief Conductor of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and 20 seasons as Music Director of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. This year he became Director of Orchestral Studies at the University of Nebraska and he has also created The Conducting Institute, which offers a summer orchestral conducting programme and online courses.

With German violinist Augustin Hadelich unable to come to New Zealand for Eroica, NZSO Concertmaster Vesa-Matti Leppänen will perform Sibelius’ Violin Concerto. The extraordinary work is the only concerto written by the great composer and is technically demanding for any virtuoso. Tickets already purchased for Inspiration are still valid for Eroica. Tickets to Eroica in Wellington and Auckland are available via, in Gisborne via, and in Kerikeri via

The Wellington concert will be live-streamed at

All articles and comments on have been submitted by our community of users. Please notify us if you believe an item on this site breaches our community guidelines.