With the rest of the world teetering on the edge of lockdown or hamstrung by social distancing the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (APO) is fortunate enough to be in a position to announce its 2021 season. During lockdown periods this year the APO drew more than 4 million views online across 29 countries. Auckland’s orchestra is a powerful representative for the city on the global stage and reinforces Auckland’s status as a UNESCO City of Music. APO is also the largest employer in Auckland’s performing arts sector. So what does 2021 hold in store for the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra?
Giordano Bellincampi will continue to be the orchestra's Music Director for a further three years to ensure the APO continues to fulfil its ambitious artistic plans over the years to come. And the highlights of 2021 can be summarised in terms of diversity, support of Kiwi artists, a continuation of the somewhat truncated celebration of 250th anniversary since the birth of Beethoven.
New Zealand has developed a rich pool of musical talent and in 2021 APO audiences can look forward to enjoying home-grown talent from Kiwis based both here and those who now make their home abroad. Some of the featured artists for 2021 include Michael Houstoun - Piano (in his final year of performance before retirement). Benjamin Morrison - Violin (the only NZer to have won a place in the Vienna Philharmonic), Benjamin Baker - Violin, Natalia Lomeiko - Violin. Teddy Tahu Rhodes (Bass-baritone), Kirstin Sharpin (Soprano), Natasha Wilson (Soprano).
Women in music – righting the balance
In 2021 the APO makes a particular point of championing female composers and artists. Audiences, emerging musicians and composers can look forward to performances of new commissions by Dame Gillian Whitehead (featuring APO Concertmaster Andrew Beer as soloist) and Ruby Solly integrating Taonga Puoro alongside classical orchestral instruments. High profile kiwi conductors Holly Mathieson, Tianyi Lu and Gemma New will also return to New Zealand for APO engagements and more than half of the featured soloists will be women, many from within the APO’s own ranks.
Roll Over Beethoven
2020 should have seen the APO celebrating the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth. COVID lockdowns stymied those party plans so it’s heartening to see Auckland won’t go without and the full symphonic cycle will be presented in 2021. Music Director, Giordano Bellincampi will lead this momentous undertaking and in addition to all nine Beethoven symphonies, the APO has thrown in an extra treat, Beethoven’s only opera Fidelio, presented in concert with a cast of New Zealand’s most successful operatic exports, led by Simon O’Neill.
All about Auckland – now and into the future.
In 2021 the orchestra continues to reach diverse audiences by venturing beyond the traditional symphonic format. Look out for How to Train your Dragon in Concert and Superheroes Live in Concert. Aretha will see the APO celebrate the Queen of Soul and showcase the vocal talents of Boh Runga, Bella Kalolo and Vanessa Stacey along with Auckland’s own a capella gospel choir, Jubilation. The new season sees APO musicians out in the community again in chamber ensembles for In Your Neighbourhood and the new Baroque and Beyond series.
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Subscriptions for the APO 2021 Season are on sale from 9 November, book 4 or more tickets and enjoy priority booking, exclusive discounts and no booking fees. For ticketing, enquiries visit apo.co.nz or phone (09) 623 1052.