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Vector Wellington Orchestra: 1910 - Firebird


Sat 11 Sep 2010, 7:30pm

Where: Wellington Town Hall, 111 Wakefield St, Wellington

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Adult A reserve: $56.00
  • Adult B reserve: $46.00
  • Concession A reserve (senior, unwaged): $51.00
  • Concession B reserve (senior, unwaged): $41.00
  • Child (14 years and under) A & B reserve: $15.00
  • Additional fees may apply

Related Artists:

Listed by: VWOadmin

Special guest soloist, violinist Feng Ning, with Music Director Marc Taddei.

Barber – Adagio for Strings
Stravinsky – Firebird Suite
Elgar – Violin Concerto in B minor Op 61

“An extraordinary powerhouse of a performer with an unforgettably dazzling technique…” Graham Strahle, The Australian, March 2009.

“Feng Ning... is blessed with a fantastic technique and a luxuriously rich and flowing tone.” Rod Biss, The Listener, 2008.

Vector Wellington Orchestra’s September 11 concert celebrates the return, by popular demand, of violin virtuoso Feng Ning. Ning has maintained a strong following in New Zealand since winning the Michael Hill International Violin Competition in 2005.

The concert, called ‘1910’ - Firebird, marks the centenary of Stravinsky’s first great ballet score. Full of startling new colours and a highly physical rhythmic drive, the Firebird took the symphony orchestra in an exciting new direction. For music director Marc Taddei, this concert is a chance to celebrate the genius of a composer he greatly admires.

“Firebird was the work that launched the career of the century’s greatest composer,” Taddei says.

This year is also the centenary of the birth of American composer Samuel Barber. His yearning Adagio perfectly blends traditional romanticism with the new musical language of the 20th century. The work will call forth the orchestra’s richest, darkest sound in a work whose serenity is a perfect foil to the dazzling Firebird.

The programme’s third work, the Elgar Violin Concerto, also premiered in 1910.

As a child in Chengdu, Ning dreamed of following in Paganini’s footsteps. “In middle school, I once bought a CD, and it came with a photo of Paganini's own violin, Cannone,” says Ning. “I thought then, ‘Perhaps one day, will I hold Cannone and hear its sound from my own hands?’”

That dream came true in 2006 when Ning won the prestigious Paganini Violin Concerto. One bonus of the win was the chance to hold – and play – the famous Cannone.

Not that Ning was immediately aware of this. He heard the competition jury, who spoke only Italian, call his name, and went up to receive one of the medals. “So, who won?” he ventured to ask somebody who spoke English. “Why, you did!” he learned.

That humble manner is typical of this seemingly artless young man. But put him on stage and he makes a chameleon-like transformation that leaves critics reaching across the whole spectrum of praise: fiery, passionate, arrogantly assured, insouciant, rakish, yet also lyrical and meltingly poetic.

Feng Ning’s appearance with the VWO is sponsored by the Adam Foundation.

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