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Programming our 2019 Concert Series has been both exciting and gratifying.  I am very much looking forward to a season where we further explore 20th Century music. Last year we placed emphasis on Arvo Pärt’s music, which was extremely well received.  Our first concert of 2019 will feature not only two 20th Century composers (Britten and Vasks) but also a new piece composed by our local Stephen Lange.  This selection I believe is important not only to support the composition of new music but also because the wealth of 20th Century music is so worthy of exploration by our audiences.


Alongside this first programme we will bring a combination of concert weekends which will be a very joyful experience.  Beethoven’s 9th paired with its predecessor, Fantasy for Piano, Soloists, Choir & Orchestra, presents a great opportunity to hear both these pieces together, and to appreciate the link between them.  Matteo Napoli will be busy on this third weekend of concerts, playing in both the choral as well as the orchestral programmes.  The famous Rachmaninov 2nd Piano Concerto will be rounded out by the Hawke’s Bay Orchestra with the wonderful Brahms 4th Symphony.


Lisa Harper-Brown will join us for our Opera Spectacular concert, our fourth concert weekend, where we will be thrilled to perform music by Wagner, Verdi, Puccini, Dvořák, Mascagni and more. Pairing that feast of Operatic catharsis, the orchestra will perform their version of Spectacular music, with Tchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony and Grieg’s Piano Concerto.


To finish the year, and breaking a tradition that has been held for the past six years, instead of Handel’s Messiah we will perform Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, alongside the celebrated Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto performed by returning violinist virtuoso Amalia Hall.


2019 will be a year of varied, interesting, easy-listening, challenging, overwhelming, inspirational and heart-warming music, performed by our tenacious, hardworking local choir and orchestra.  I am very grateful that I can not only live in a beautiful place like Hawke’s Bay, but also perform and listen to music of this calibre.


See you at the next concert,



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Bach: Christmas Oratorio                 


The complete Bach Christmas Oratorio is a rare opportunity to hear back to back the six cantatas of which the oratorio is comprised.  The virtuosity of solo parts, choir and orchestra makes this wonderful work an exciting journey for both audience and performers.

Soprano             Carleen Ebbs

Alto                     Catherine Pierard

Tenor                  Lachlan Craig

Bass                   Joel Amosa



Mendelssohn  The Hebrides in D major, Op. 26, MWV P7, Fingal’s Cave

Tchaikovsky   Violin Concerto                         

Mendelssohn  Symphony No.3           


Amalia Hall returns to delight us with her virtuoso playing of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto. Mendelssohn’s Scottish Symphony ranks among the best crafted symphonies in the history of music, the lyricism and purity of its romanticism closing our year of symphonic music.


Violin                  Amalia Hall

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