SunLive Competition

Legendary New Zealand pianist, Diedre Irons (MBE, ONZM), is coming to Tauranga with Opus Orchestra, performing the very piece she made her orchestral debut with when she was just 12 years old.

The sublime ‘Schumann Piano Concerto’ holds a special place in her heart, with her having played it 20 times or more.

She recalls a performance with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, with only 36 hours’ notice, after the conductor fired a choir and needed a replacement item. “I love that sort of pressure, especially when it involves a work which is so much a part of me,” says Diedre.

So how does a stellar international performance career spanning a remarkable 60 years influence the performance of a piece? “When you've carried a piece through life, you have the familiarity and freedom to let the music unfold as it naturally wants to, not imposing any 'personal' interpretation but rather being a facilitator, a conduit”, says Diedre.

Diedre will perform as part of Opus Orchestra’s concert ‘Legends of Leipzig’, under the baton of Maestro Peter Walls. The show will celebrate three illustrious composers with strong links to the German city entrenched in musical legend. Mendelssohn’s ‘The Hebrides Overture’ vividly paints the grandeur of Fingal’s Cave and the might of the Atlantic Ocean. ‘Schumann’s Piano Concerto’ in A minor will showcase Irons’ trademark poise, creativity and incredible attention to detail. Brahms’ masterly ‘Serenade No. 1’ completes the beautiful programme. 

Opus Orchestra and Diedre Irons will be performing at Baycourt Community and Arts Centre on Saturday, July 1 at 5pm.

School-age children can attend for free and door sales will be available on the night. For further ticketing information visit


The Weekend Sun has one double pass to the Opus Orchestra performance for one lucky reader who can tell us how old Diedre Irons was when she made her orchestral debut.

Competition Results

Congratulations to Sheena Jones! We will be in touch with you shortly.