NZ Symphony orchestra to tour timeless classics

NZ Symphony Orchestra. Photo: NZSO

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra celebrates Beethoven’s 250th Anniversary in 2020 with a rare performance of one of the composer’s greatest achievements in Napier, Taupō, Tauranga, Auckland and Wellington in October.

Led by NZSO Principal Conductor in Residence Hamish McKeich, the Orchestra will perform Beethoven’s exhilarating single-movement masterpiece ‘Grosse Fuge’.

The work, originally written for string quartet, was completed just two years before the composer’s death in 1827. At the time it bewildered critics and its complexity continues to challenge musicians. However, it’s now considered a triumph and one of Beethoven’s finest works.

Twentieth Century music great Igor Stravinsky described ‘Grosse Fuge’ as “an absolutely contemporary piece of music that will be contemporary forever.”

The NZSO’s impressive string section will perform the highly regarded orchestration of ‘Grosse Fuge’ by renowned Austrian conductor Felix Weingartner.

The Timeless in Association with Ryman Healthcare concerts will also feature two extraordinary symphonies by two of Beethoven’s biggest influences – the Austrian giants Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Haydn’s Symphony No. 64 ‘Tempora Mutantur’ is considered an exemplar of the Classical symphony from the acknowledged “father of the symphony”.

Mozart’s passionate ‘Symphony No. 40’ is arguably the most popular of all the composer’s symphonies and one of the most recognisable pieces of Classical music ever written. The work’s uplifting opening theme has been used endlessly in films and television shows and is a timeless audience favourite.

“It’s with great pleasure we at the NZSO can deliver these stunning works written around the period of Beethoven and his own masterpiece the ‘Great Fugue’, which, unbelievably, is not often heard in concert halls today,” says Maestro McKeich.

“Being able to tour these works to small and large venues around the country is a privilege and we’re all greatly looking forward to it.”

Tickets for Timeless in Napier, Tauranga and Taupō are available from and in Auckland and Wellington from

The Wellington Timeless concert will also be live-streamed at


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