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A brilliant Brit and a superb Spanish guitarist pack a punch with NZSO

One of the most talented conductors of his generation will be joined by a top Spanish guitarist for concerts with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in July.

Britain’s Alexander Shelley, praised by the Daily Telegraph as “a natural communicator both on and off the podium”, returns to conduct the NZSO after mesmerising New Zealand audiences three years ago.

Alexander Shelley Returns, in Association with Craggy Range, begins in Auckland on 22 July, and includes concerts in Kerikeri, Tauranga, Napier and Wellington.

“I am so excited to be returning to the NZSO and to New Zealand. I have many fond and rich memories of performing with this exceptional orchestra in many warm, welcoming and fascinating communities across the islands,” Shelley says.

Lauded for his achievements as Music Director of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, Chief Conductor of the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra and Principal Associate Conductor of London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the 37-year-old’s conducting prowess sees him in demand by many of the world’s best orchestras.

Shelley will be joined by Spanish guitarist  Pablo Sáinz Villegas, whohas performed in the presence of the Dalai Lama and Spain’s Royal Family. His many achievements include the world premiere of the first guitar piece written by John Williams, the Oscar-winning Star Wars composer.

With the NZSO Sáinz Villegas will perform Joaquín Rodrigo’s intoxicating Concierto de Aranjuez, which has become synonymous with Spanish music. It has been covered by many artists, including Miles Davis, incorporated into music by Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple and in film soundtracks, including a pivotal moment in British comedy-drama Brassed Off.

The concerts will open with acclaimed New Zealand composer Leonie Holmes’ delicate and melodic ‘Frond’, from Three Landscapes for Orchestra and conclude with one of Béla Bartók’s most popular works, Concerto for Orchestra.

“I look forward to bringing some beautiful music by Bartók, Holmes and Rodrigo to our audiences,” says Shelley. “Thank you for having me back.”


Attached images of Alexander Shelley and Pablo Sáinz Villegas, please credit accordingly.

For further information, more images and to arrange interviews, please contact:

Tom Cardy | Publicist

New Zealand Symphony Orchestra | Te Tira Pūoro o Aotearoa
M +64 275 745 294


Alexander Shelley Returns




LEONIE HOLMES ‘Frond’, from Three Landscapes for Orchestra
RODRIGO Concierto de Aranjuez
BARTÓK Concerto for Orchestra 

AUCKLAND | Town Hall| Saturday 22 July| 7.30pm

KERIKERI | The Turner Centre| Sunday 23 July| 6.30pm

TAURANGA | Baycourt Theatre| Wednesday 26 July| 7.30pm

NAPIER | Municipal Theatre| Thursday 27 July| 7pm

WELLINGTON | Michael Fowler Centre| Saturday 29 July| 7.30pm