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APO to share light and dark of music at free community concerts 

Communities in Central, West and South Auckland can enjoy a free orchestral music experience with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (APO) Connecting Community Classics concert series.

This year’s concert series, titled Light & Dark, will explore the way that composers illustrate themes of ‘light’ and ‘dark’ in music. Concertgoers will be able to experience a full orchestra in action playing works by some of the world’s most famous composers, including Mozart, Mendelssohn and Wagner, all introduced and explained by beloved children’s television presenter Suzy Cato.

“APO Community Classics is a free orchestral music concert designed for the communities of Auckland to enable as many people across the city to enjoy a taste of the emotive power of orchestral music.

“This year the orchestra will be playing works that reflect music’s ‘light’ and ‘dark’, from Prokofiev’s whimsical portrayal of a sleigh ride in Lieutenant Kijé to the contrasting brooding menace of Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries, demonstrating the ability of music to conjure scenes of ceaseless joy and awesome triumph,” says APO Connecting Director Thomas Hamill.

Audiences at these concerts will be the first to hear a new composition by APO’s 2019 Te Arapūoru Community Commission composer Dr Charles Royal, Rā te rongo kino (Sad news is heard), composed in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack on 15 March 2019.

“Like so many others, I was hurt by what took place and have felt a deep need to respond in some way. I have composed a piece of music that expresses, in my way, this depth of feeling about March 15 – sadness, hurt, shame and anger,” explains Dr Royal. “Rā te rongo kino is both a takuate, a song of mourning, and a tiwha, a call to action. We must mourn our dead, give grief its due and heal. And then we need to respond in the best way possible and with love.”

Dr Royal will join the APO on stage to present the piece and introduce it with a formal karakia, with kapa haka group Hawaiki TŪ joining the orchestra for the performance.

Community Classics: Light & Dark
Free concerts

Auckland Town Hall, Auckland Central – 3pm, Saturday 29 Jun

The Trusts Arena, Henderson – 3pm, Saturday 27 July

Vodafone Events Centre, Manukau – 3pm, Saturday 19 October




Tickets to individual concerts can be booked through Ticketmaster.


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