Music lilts through city in eventful day

Warmth, cold, dry air or moist — it can all affect the sound of string instruments.

All of the above were experienced by members of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO) yesterday, who took to the streets of Dunedin to play a series of pop-up shows as part of the Dunedin Arts Festival.

The group of four played at about 10 sites across the city, including the University of Otago Union Hall, the Otago Museum, the Dunedin Public Art Gallery and the Dunedin City Library.

Assistant principal violinist Amy Brookman said it had been an eventful day — from being invited to play an unscheduled performance on Radio One, to being ejected from Wall Street Mall during their performance.

Assistant principal violinist Jessica Oddie said there were some challenges that came with playing in different environments.

Everything from the humidity to the saltiness of the air could change the sound and potentially damage the instruments.

Playing to the public at the St Clair Hot Salt Water Pool yesterday are New Zealand Symphony...
Playing to the public at the St Clair Hot Salt Water Pool yesterday are New Zealand Symphony Orchestra members (from left) Amy Brookman, Ian Greenberg, Jessica Oddie and Lyndsay Mountfort. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
There were also environmental hazards, as in one location a set of shop stands fell on them while playing.

Viola player Lyndsay Mountfort said a young girl came in at the end of their set at the museum.

They would run late for their next show, but the girl was so excited by the pop-up performance they decided to continue.

"We had to play another number."

Ian Greenberg, who played cello, was a triallist with the orchestra and had only been with it for a few weeks.

He originated from Chicago and had never been to Dunedin before.

Playing for the public at interesting locations was a great way to see the sights, he said: "I wish more orchestras did this".

NZSO has four concerts scheduled in the festival. The first is tonight.