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Sample some Scandinavian delight as Danish maestro Thomas Søndergård, returns to take the NZSO on tour.

Although Beethoven was familiar with Shakespeare’s tragedy Corialanus, this solemn concert overture is thought to be inspired by Austrian writer Heinrich Joseph von Collin’s drama Coriolan.

Schumann’s Piano Concerto premiered in 1845 with his wife Clara Schumann as soloist. This is not a showy virtuoso concerto, rather a strong musical partnership between soloist and orchestra. Soloist Denis Kozhukhin, winner of First Prize in the 2010 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, aged just 23, joins the NZSO to perform this popular piano concerto.

Finnish composer Jean Sibelius' Sixth and Seventh symphonies are well known for depicting the rugged Scandinavian landscape. Sibelius said his Sixth Symphony “always reminds me of the scent of the first snow.” English composer Benjamin Britten was less kind, saying “he must have been drunk when he wrote it.” Sibelius’ Seventh Symphony is in just one movement and is considered by some as one of the most original and remarkable pieces he composed. It was also one of the last.

Manfred Overture, written in 1848, is based on Manfred, the Gothic dramatic poem by Lord Byron. You’ll hear the despair and passion of Byron’s supernatural poem in the music.

Mozart’s 1783 Linz Symphony was composed while Mozart and his wife were on a stopover in the Austrian town of Linz. On Mozart’s arrival, a local Count announced a concert and as he had no work ready to perform, he set about writing the entire four-movement masterpiece in just four days.