Six By One, a series of six concerts showcasing all of Tchaikovsky’s symphonies and featuring top New Zealand pianist Michael Houston, is set to be Orchestra Wellington’s biggest season yet, says musical director Marc Taddei.
“These symphonies are one of the monuments of the 19th century and it’s extremely rare to hear them all done in one season,” he says.
The concertos, representing the height of the Russian Romantic movement, will be complemented by a piece written by Orchestra Wellington composer in residence Karlo Margetić, one of three who call the orchestra home, and one of New Zealand’s most renowned up-and-coming classical composers.
Based at the Michael Fowler Centre, the orchestra takes an accessible approach in their concerts, leaving white tie, tails and stuffiness to the 19th century, and favouring a more casual evening, says Marc.
“I talk to the audience; we’re not elitist, we want to bring new people to classical music — this amazing world we live in,” he says.
A new subscription offer available until the end of February means the concerts work out at a very affordable $18 each. In addition, the tickets are transferable, Marco explains, meaning they still have a value even if the owner can’t use them.
“Elasticity in pricing is something we have been looking at, and this way even if people can’t make every concert, they can have someone else go in their place under the same subscription.
“It’s going to be an incredibly popular season, as these pieces of music tell a real story.”
Six By One runs alongside the orchestra’s successful Baby Pops programme, an introduction to classical music and instruments for preschool children where a highlight is the chance to get up close and personal with the orchestra by walking through the middle of them while they are playing.
“Baby Pops has been incredibly popular for a number of years,” says Marc. “It’s a great opportunity for parents to spend valuable and interesting cultural time with their children.”
With Baby Pops helping form a new generation of classical music aficionados, and an exciting new season in the offing for those who already have an ear for it, Orchestra Wellington is continuing to push the cultural bar in the capital and beyond.
“We are really content driven,” says Marc. “We really look like we’re having fun on stage because we are, and that’s what it’s all about.”