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A woman’s place… is in the concert hall


The pioneering spirit of the suffrage movement will be celebrated in a programme of music and inspiring messages from various wahine toa in A Woman’s Place, presented by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (APO), in association with Auckland Museum.

New Zealand musician Tiny Ruins will perform with the APO and headlines the evening’s all-female programme of music, which also includes a performance of her brand new single ‘Olympic Girls’. Conducted by one of the most promising female conductors today, New Zealander Tianyi Lu, the APO and guest soloists Amalia Hall (violin) and Modi Deng (piano) will also perform thought-provoking works by historic and contemporary female composers, including Clara Schumann, Ethel Smyth, and New Zealand composers Gillian Whitehead, Salina Fisher and Claire Cowan.

This special event at Auckland Town Hall takes place on Thursday 29 November, the day after the 125th anniversary of when New Zealand women voted for the first time. It is part of the Ministry for Women’s Suffrage 125 commemorations being held around the country throughout 2018.

A Woman’s Place is also supported by RNZ, and will be hosted by RNZ Concert presenter Clarissa Dunn. The evening’s programme also features contributions from prominent New Zealand women, including Dame Rosanne Meo, Selina Tusitala Marsh, Georgina Beyer and Dr Siouxsie Wiles, among others. Helen Clark will send a special pre-recorded message to the Town Hall audience.

Throughout the evening, powerful archival footage and images from Auckland Museum’s ‘Are We There Yet?’ exhibition will be projected in the concert hall, curated by Auckland Museum’s exhibition team together with Creature visual effects studio. Head of Exhibitions, Victoria Travers says “It has been wonderful to collaborate with the APO to bring together our collection with the wahine toa involved in this performance. It’s an exciting experience in celebration of Suffrage 125.”

APO Chief Executive Barbara Glaser says she hopes the event will bring people closer to the story of women’s suffrage, and highlight some of the powerful stories and contributions of women who have shaped history. “This is a very special event for us, and a time for both celebration and reflection,” Glaser says. “We hope it will inspire people and contribute to the dialogue about equality in Aotearoa,” she adds.

A Woman’s Place

In association with Auckland Museum and supported by RNZ

7:30pm, Thursday 29 November
Auckland Town Hall

Conductor - Tianyi Lu
Guest artists - Tiny Ruins, Modi Deng (piano), Amalia Hall (violin)

Music programme

Ethel Smyth The Boatswain’s Mate: Overture

Often described as a feminist opera, Smyth’s The Boatswain’s Mate features a wily female lead who outwits her unwanted suitor. The overture quotes her famous ‘The March of the Women’ which became associated with the suffragette movement in Britain.

Clara Schumann Piano Concerto

Piano soloist: Modi Deng

Considered one of the most distinguished pianists of the Romantic era, Clara Schumann exerted her influence over a 61-year concert career, changing the format and repertoire of the piano recital and the tastes of the listening public.

Gillian Whitehead Tūmanako: Journey through an Unknown Landscape

Piano soloist: Modi Deng

A solo piano work written by New Zealand composer Dame Gillian Whitehead. Tūmanako translates as hope.

Tiny Ruins (Hollie Fullbrook)

‘Olympic Girls’
‘Me at the Museum, You in the Winter Gardens’
‘She’ll Be Coming Round’ orch. Claire Cowan

Tiny Ruins is a band based in Auckland, New Zealand, conceived in 2009 by one of New Zealand’s foremost songwriters, Hollie Fullbrook. Traversing early influences of folk and blues, Tiny Ruins’ sound draws on ethereal and grungy soundscapes alike.

Claire Cowan Stark: Violin Concerto (first movement only)

Violin soloist: Amalia Hall

New Zealand Composer Claire Cowan’s Stark concerto captures the life of one of New Zealand’s more interesting figures, the dancer Freda Stark.

Salina Fisher Rainphase

In 2016 Salina Fisher became the youngest ever winner of the SOUNZ Contemporary Award, New Zealand's premier composition prize, for her work Rainphase written as the 2015 National Youth Orchestra Composer-in-Residence. She is currently based in New York where she is pursuing a master’s degree in composition at the Manhattan School of Music.

Jennifer Higdon City Scape: Skyline

Jennifer Higdon is one of the most performed living American composers working today. Skyline is the first movement in her piece City Scape. Higdon wanted to express the city’s profile through the steel buildings and monuments that represent her hometown of Atlanta’s signature skyline.

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