Conductor James Judd
Piano Michael Houstoun
Maria Grenfell Stealing Tutunui
Vaughan Williams Symphony No.5
Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.3
The much-loved NZ pianist Michael Houstoun delayed his retirement in 2020 but he will be, in his words, ‘folding up the tent’ in December 2021. It’s bittersweet news, but there could be no more fitting way for Giordano Bellincampi and the APO to farewell him than with Rachmaninov’s Third Concerto — a mighty concerto for a mighty musician.
Maria Grenfell’s tone poem recounts the Māori legend about a chief, his pet whale, and a duplicitous priest. Vaughan Williams’ serene Fifth Symphony was first heard during the Blitz. Though the audience was small in number, the music was spiritual refreshment at a time of strife.