Big-noting their upcoming tour to Japan in the Octagon yesterday are Southern Sinfonia players (from left) Elisha Watson (violin), Rowena Bell (cor anglais), Cally McWha (violin), Hanna Cone (viola), Lloyd Williams (double bass), Nick Cornish (oboe) and Matt Toomata (tuba). Photo by Peter McIntosh
The Southern Sinfonia will be practising chopsticks before
its next big concert.
The 52-strong orchestra has been invited to perform at the
Asia Orchestra Festival in Japan next month.
The sinfonia is only the third New Zealand orchestra to be
invited; following the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in 2003
and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra in 2011.
The invitation requested the sinfonia include a composition
by Dunedin composer Anthony Ritchie in its programme, which
will feature Remember Parihaka (Ritchie), Piano Concerto
(Grieg) and Symphony No 2 (Brahms).
The Japanese Government and Association of Japanese Symphony
Orchestras are paying travel and accommodation costs for the
52 orchestra members, conductor Simon Over, composer Anthony
Ritchie, Auckland pianist Stephen de Pledge and three
''It's huge. It's costing an absolute packet,'' sinfonia
manager Philippa Harris said yesterday.
''I've never seen the players so excited before. We've never
been out of the South Island before, so they're beside
themselves with excitement.''
The invitation was both a compliment and an investment,
sinfonia board president Stephen Christensen said yesterday.
''To be invited to tour is a recognition of just how good our
orchestra is. It will pay enormous dividends in terms of
long-term artistic benefit, and this will be appreciated by
our audiences back home for years to come.''
The sinfonia will hold a fundraising concert in the Dunedin
Town Hall at 7.30pm on October 2.
It will leave for Japan the following day and perform in the
Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall on October 6 and Morioka Civic
Cultural Hall on October 8, before returning to Dunedin on