Celebrating Matariki – Whakanuia Matariki reflects the universal fascination with stars and planets, including the phenomenon of Matariki which signals the Māori New Year, a time for renewal and celebration in Aotearoa New Zealand. The concert is part of the Puaka Matariki Festival in Ōtepoti Dunedin. It opens with Aotearoa New Zealand compositions including Ko te tātai whetū (the world’s first taonga pūoro concerto), and the world première of New Mountain by Dunedinite Maddy Parkins-Craig. These are followed by Holst’s massive The Planets in which each movement is named after a planet of the solar system. Holst exploits the full palette of orchestral colour to suggest each planet’s supposed astrological characters.
New Zealand conductor Marc Taddei will be marshalling the large forces for this concert. Two soloists new to the DSO are singer/composer Ariana Tikao whose compelling waiata/songs explore her Kāi Tahu identity, and Alistair Fraser, a widely respected player, composer, and researcher of ngā taonga pūoro (the art of Maori musical instruments). (Both artists appear with the kind permission of Chamber Music NZ and the Dunedin Arts Festival.) Returning is Rebecca Ryan, one of New Zealand’s pre-eminent sopranos. Completing the line-up are the women from the DSO’s long-standing performance partner - City Choir Dunedin.
Marc Taddei: Conductor
Ariana Tikao: Vocalist & taonga pūoro
Rebecca Ryan: Soprano
Alistair Fraser: Taonga pūoro
Women of City Choir Dunedin
Gillian Whitehead: Matariki
Maddy Parkins-Craig: New Mountain
Ariana Tikao/Phil Brownlee: Ko te tātai whetū
Charles Royal: Matariki
Ariana Tikao/Leyton Glen
arr. Phil Brownlee: Matariki
Holst: The Planets