Orchestral reunion delights

Simon Over conducts the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra with soloists Anna Leese and Martin Snell,...
Simon Over conducts the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra with soloists Anna Leese and Martin Snell, joined by the City Choir Dunedin and the Southern Youth Choir in Anthony Ritchie’s Gallipoli to the Somme at the Dunedin Town Hall on Saturday night. Photos: Gerard O'Brien.
Half a century of musical history was recalled as past and present members of the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra gathered in the city over the weekend.

About 70 past and present orchestra members were in Dunedin to attend the reunion, including watching or taking part in Saturday night’s Gallipoli to the Somme performance at the town hall.

Prof  Ritchie acknowledges the sustained applause from the audience after the world premiere of...
Prof Ritchie acknowledges the sustained applause from the audience after the world premiere of his work.
Yesterday, the group gathered at the Carnegie Centre rehearsal rooms to perform together — in some cases for the first time — as part of a "play-in workshop" conducted by Peter Adams  of the University of Otago music department. 

They also enjoyed lunch together and spent the afternoon swapping stories about the orchestra’s history, DSO marketing manager Pieter du Plessis said.

Members travelled from around New Zealand for the reunion.

The longest-serving member taking part was Dunedin-based violinist Patricia Leen, who had been with the orchestra since its formation in February 1966, Mr du Plessis said.

Dunedin composer Anthony Ritchie said the standing ovation for the world premiere of his composition Gallipoli to the Somme  was "very moving".

London-based  Simon Over,  in his second year as the orchestra’s principal guest conductor,   will conduct  the Southbank Sinfonia and Parliament Choir in London in 2018 when Prof Ritchie’s composition will have its UK premiere.

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