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Sat 23 Mar 2013, 7:30pm–9:30pm

Where: Air Force Museum of New Zealand, 45 Harvard Ave, Wigram, Christchurch

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Adult A Reserve: $45.00
  • Adult B Reserve: $35.00
  • Child: $15.00
  • Additional fees may apply


Listed by: michellewalsh

Benjamin Northey - conductor
Stephen De Pledge - piano

Gao Ping - The Mountain (world premiere)
Cresswell - Concerto For Piano And Orchestra
Stravinsky - The Firebird (1919)

Opening this concert is the world premiere of composer, Gao Ping’s The Mountain. Gao Ping grew up in China during the country’s transformation from a collective to a market economy. This has left lasting traces and influences in his music with contrasting images of old meets new and east meets west.

New Zealand composer Lyell Cresswell’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra was written in memory of his friend, Scottish Composer Edward Harper. Unfortunately Harper died before the concerto was finished but his illness and subsequent passing have distinctly coloured this concerto. It begins with a funeral march concluding with a fast presto which Cresswell himself has described as “more of a kind of celebration of his friend's life”.

Pianist, Stephen De Pledge is one of the most exciting and versatile musicians of his generation. Having studied at the University of Auckland his career was launched after winning the Gold Medal from the Guildhall, London and the NFMS Young Concert Artists’ Award.

Written as a ballet score, The Firebird was Russian composer Igor Stravinsky’s breakthrough work and led to establishing him as one of the true masters of the 20th Century.

The Firebird relates a fantastic tale drawn from Russian folklore. Brilliant orchestral effects and colours are used throughout to depict the story and characters within the tale. Dark, brooding music opens for the arrival of the evil ogre, King Kashechi and the orchestral tour-de-force in the Variations of the Firebird alerts the audience that good always overcomes evil. The finale is heralded by the sounds of the horn with the orchestra joining in to build to a triumphant climax.

After critically acclaimed performances with the orchestra in 2012 we welcome back conductor Benjamin Northey.

Restaurants to book near Firebird