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Charismatic clarinettist set to dazzle audiences on NZSO tour

Martin Fröst is rated as one of the best clarinettists in the world today, with an on-stage presence and energy as captivating as any jazz or rock star. The Swedish musician, hailed by The New York Times as “breathtaking” and “a paragon of lyricism” is to perform for the first time with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra from 30 March. Fröst joins the NZSO for its six-city Mozart & Beethoven tour, the second of Music Director Edo de Waart’s 2017 Masterworks concert series.

Fröst will perform Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A major, a piece he says changed how composers treat the clarinet. “I always say that Mozart was really the one who blew life into the instrument. With the second movement of that concerto, he invented the soul of the clarinet.”

Critics love Fröst. The New York Times described him as having “a virtuosity and musicianship unsurpassed by any clarinettist – perhaps any instrumentalist – in my memory”.

The Guardian praised “his extraordinarily pure tone, sinuous phrasing and seamless breathing technique”, while The Times declared: “Until you’ve heard Martin Fröst, you really haven’t heard the clarinet”.

Viewing a single performance by the instrumentalist was enough to convince de Waart that Fröst must play with the NZSO. “He is a marvellous musician and a terrific clarinettist,” says de Waart. “I know that he will bring great musicality and inventiveness to the work.”

De Waart and the NZSO will also bring to life Ludwig van Beethoven’s unforgettable Symphony No. 6 in F major – Pastorale.

Composed and first performed in 1808 the ‘Pastorale’ symphony remains one of the most iconic works in the classical canon. It was immortalised for many in the 20th century by its inclusion in Walt Disney’s Fantasia, where it played among centaurs, cupids and satyrs.

According to Beethoven, “One leaves it to the listener to discover the situations. The whole will be understood even without a description, as it is more feeling than tone-painting”.

The concert will open with American composer John Adams’ minimalist masterpiece Shaker Loops.

Adams, considered one of the world’s most important living composers, turned 70 in February. To celebrate his 70th year, the NZSO, which turned 70 in March, will feature some of Adams’ most significant works throughout 2017.

Maestro de Waart has a lasting friendship and association with Adams.  Shaker Loops was the first work by Adams that de Waart conducted.

NZSO: Mozart & Beethoven
In association with Dimension Data

EDO DE WAART Conductor


JOHN ADAMS Shaker Loops

MOZART Clarinet Concerto in A major, K. 622

BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68, Pastorale

HAMILTON | Claudelands Arena | Thursday 30 March | 7.30pm

AUCKLAND | Town Hall | Friday 31 March| 7.30pm

NAPIER | Municipal Theatre| Saturday 1 April| 7pm

CHRISTCHURCH | Horncastle Arena| Tuesday 4 April| 7pm

DUNEDIN | Town Hall| Wednesday 5 April| 7pm

WELLINGTON | Michael Fowler Centre| Friday 7 April| 6.30pm