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‘1910’ – Firebird. Vector Wellington Orchestra with violinist Feng Ning

19 Aug 2010

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Friday 10 September, Masterton Town Hall, 7.30pm
Saturday 11 September, Wellington Town Hall, 7.30pm

Feng Ning, Violin, with Music Director Marc Taddei

Barber – Adagio for Strings
Stravinsky – Firebird Suite
Elgar – Violin Concerto in B minor Op 61

“An extraordinary powerhouse of a performer with an unforgettably dazzling technique…” Graham Strahle, The Australian, March 2009

“Feng Ning... is blessed with a fantastic technique and a luxuriously rich and flowing tone.” Rod Biss, The Listener, 2008

Vector Wellington Orchestra’s September concerts celebrate the return, by popular demand, of violin virtuoso Feng Ning. Ning has maintained a strong following in New Zealand since winning the Michael Hill International Violin Competition in 2005.

The concerts, called ‘1910’ - Firebird, mark the centenary of Stravinsky’s first great ballet score. Full of startling new colours and a highly physical rhythmic drive, the Firebird took the symphony orchestra in an exciting new direction. For music director Marc Taddei, this concert is a chance to celebrate the genius of a composer he greatly admires.

“Firebird was the work that launched the career of the century’s greatest composer,” Taddei says.

This year is also the centenary of the birth of American composer Samuel Barber. His yearning Adagio perfectly blends traditional romanticism with the new musical language of the 20th century. The work will call forth the orchestra’s richest, darkest sound in a work whose serenity is a perfect foil to the dazzling Firebird.

The programme’s third work, the Elgar Violin Concerto, also premiered in 1910.

As a child in Chengdu, Ning dreamed of following in Paganini’s footsteps. “In middle school, I once bought a CD, and it came with a photo of Paganini's own violin, Cannone,” says Ning. “I thought then, ‘Perhaps one day, will I hold Cannone and hear its sound from my own hands?’”

That dream came true in 2006 when Ning won the prestigious Paganini Violin Concerto. One bonus of the win was the chance to hold – and play – the famous Cannone.

Not that Ning was immediately aware of this. He heard the competition jury, who spoke only Italian, call his name, and went up to receive one of the medals. “So, who won?” he ventured to ask somebody who spoke English. “Why, you did!” he learned.

That humble manner is typical of this seemingly artless young man. But put him on stage and he makes a chameleon-like transformation that leaves critics reaching across the whole spectrum of praise: fiery, passionate, arrogantly assured, insouciant, rakish, yet also lyrical and meltingly poetic.

Vector Wellington Orchestra thanks the Adam Foundation and the Masterton Trust Lands Trust for their invaluable support for these concerts.


Wellington: Tickets from Ticketek
Adult $41 - $56
Student $25 Child $15 Service fee will apply
Tel 0800 842 538 / www.ticketek.co.nz

Masterton: Tickets from Ticketek
Adult $28, Concession $22
Child and Student prices available
Service fees apply.
Tel 0800 842 538 / www.ticketek.co.nz
Ticketek Outlet Vinyl Heaven
5 Jackson Street Masterton.