Preview: Rising star conducts NZ Symphony Orchestra

New Zealand Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular’s New Zealand Symphony Orchestra is to tour next month.

James Feddeck, described as one of the fastest rising American conductors of the decade, will lead the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in its five-city Schumann & Barber concert tour from June 15.

American conductor James Feddeck

Feddeck is in demand as one of the most versatile American conductors aged under 40, including concerts with the Chicago Symphony, Manchester’s The Halle, the Toronto Symphony, and Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. He’s also worked with singer-songwriter Randy Newman.

“We’re honoured to have James Feddeck conduct the NZSO for the first time and New Zealanders will understand why he’s in demand all over the world,”  said NZSO chief executive Christopher Blake in a press release.

The tour also features acclaimed German cellist Daniel Muller-Schott in a programme that includes Samuel Barber’s popular Adagio for Strings.

Muller-Schott returns to New Zealand to play Robert Schumann’s Cello Concerto.

Winner of the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians when he was 15, Muller-Schott has gone from strength to strength since his celebrated concerts with the NZSO in 2013. Among the highlights have been his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic and performances in Japan of a cello concerto written for Müller-Schott by music legend Sir Andre Previn.

“I feel the cello is somehow my instrument, my voice. It should be a part of you,” Muller-Schott said when he last played with the NZSO.

Adagio for Strings, a 20th century classical work, was played at the funerals of US President John F Kennedy and Diana, Princess of Wales, and after the September 11 attacks, it is instantly recognisable from its use in film and television.

The programme also features Barber’s ambitious Symphony No. 1, which fuses the four traditional movements of a symphony into a single movement. It was a hit when it premiered in Rome in the same year he wrote Adagio for Strings.

The concerts will open with Johannes Brahms’ intoxicating Tragic Overture. Brahms, a close friend of Schumann, wrote the overture while he was being lauded throughout Europe for his first two symphonies.

Ben Foster conducted the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra playing composer Murray Gold’s Doctor Who music in Wellington in 2014 and Auckland in 2015. Fifth Doctor Peter Davison emceed as Daleks, Cybermen and other Doctor Who monsters roamed the crowd.


Schumann & Barber



BRAHMS Tragic Overture

SCHUMANN Cello Concerto in A minor

BARBER Adagio for Strings

BARBER Symphony No. 1


Dates and Venues

HAMILTON | Claudelands Arena| Thursday 15 June| 7.30pm

AUCKLAND | Town Hall| Friday 16 June| 7.30pm

WELLINGTON | Michael Fowler Centre| Saturday 17 June| 7.30pm

BLENHEIM | ASB Theatre| Tuesday 20 June| 7pm

CHRISTCHURCH | Isaac Theatre Royal| Wednesday 21 June| 7pm





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