NZSO celebrates Tui success

The NZSO was a winner at Kiwi music’s most dazzling event of the year! Last night’s 2012 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards was a star-studded extravaganza, featuring hot-hot-hot homegrown artists like Kimbra, Six60 and The Black Seeds competing for honours.

The NZSOwere thrilled to appear in all three of the recordings nominated for Best Classical Album, each produced by Wayne Laird and released on Atoll Records. The nominees included Eve de Castro Robinson’s “Releasing the Angel” and “A Bugle Will Do” by composer Anthony Ritchie. But the Tui went to “Angel at Ahipara” by composer Christopher Blake.

The album features the NZSO string section under conductor Kenneth Young, and is a compilation of works for string orchestra inspired by a Robin Morrison photo essay.

Christopher – who assumed the role ofNZSO Chief Executive earlier this year – says he was “absolutely delighted” by the win, with the album “a wonderful end to a long, artistic journey”.

“I was completely taken by surprise, to be honest,” he told us this morning. “I’ve been with that music for a long time. It’s a very large work, composed in chunks over six or seven years.”

Christopher credits Atoll Records producer Wayne Laird and the NZSO string section with bringing something special to the recording.

“New Zealandcomposers writing forNew Zealandperformers is a very special thing…there’s something different and indefinable about the all-NewZealandcombination of the composers and the performers that are all part of the same community, experiencing the same things. It’s there in the recording. It couldn’t be made like that anywhere else in the world.”

The NZSO strings played wonderfully well, Christopher says. “If you add in a New Zealand music producer to that, like Wayne, who has been an orchestra performer and is an extremely good musician in his own right…you get a pretty unstoppable combination.”

Christopher says the fact that all the Best Classical nominees were Kiwi composers affirms the quality of the work being done in New Zealand classical music right now.

And so how did he celebrate? “I had a nice big glass nice of wine last night with Kimbra and all the other award winners! It was a great evening…a joyful evening, in lots of ways.”

Congratulations to Christopher and all of last night’s Tui winners! Here’s to next year!

ENDS