In Association with The New Zealand Herald

Gemma New Conductor
Hilary Hahn Violin 

John Rimmer Lahar
Violin Concerto No.1
Shostakovich Symphony No. 5

This winter, join us in welcoming back Hilary Hahn, an artist who can only be described as a bonafide superstar. Since her debut with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at just age 11, Hahn has done nothing but amaze audiences with the “beguiling intimacy and expressive candour” of her violin playing (The Strad). Last appearing with the NZSO in 2010 for their European tour, she has since recorded seven more albums, won her third Grammy, and been appointed the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Artist-in-Residence for 2021-23.

As part of the Immerse 2022 concert festival, Hahn performs three great violin works over three days. First up is Prokofiev’s first violin concerto, composed in 1917 and praised by contemporary violinist Joseph Szigeti for “its mixture of fairy-tale naïveté and daring savagery.” This masterpiece – sometimes dreamy, sometimes devilish – is paired with the work of another great Russian, Dmitri Shostakovich. His Fifth Symphony is one of his most popular, and, typically, one of his most ironic. Stalinist officials saw it as a great valorisation of Mother Russia, but its audiences heard a heart-rending expression of the suffering Russian soul, buckling under the growing pressure of the Soviet regime.

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