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Poles Apart

Music from the opposite ends of the earth




Since its formation in 2004, Nota Bene has rapidly forged a reputation as one of Wellington’s finest choirs.  In this next concert, guest conductor Michael Fulcher  (Director of Music, Wellington Cathedral & Orpheus Choir) will conduct the choir in a programme of music from Russia, Estonia, Scandinavia and New Zealand. 

Works by Tchaikovsky and Grieg are set alongside the evocative harmonies of contemporary northern hemisphere composers such as Arvo Pärt, Jan Sandström and Einojuhani Rautavaara. 


Three generations of New Zealand composers are represented in the works of David Farquhar, David Griffiths and David Childs and the choir will premiere two brand new works by Wellington-based composers Carol Shortis and Andrew Baldwin.


Carol Shortis is currently studying composition at the New Zealand School of Music.  Ursula at Parakakariki is her setting of a poem by Fiona Farrell and takes its name from an old Maori pa site high above the ocean on Banks Peninsula.  Andrew Baldwin is composer-in-residence at Wellington’s Cathedral of St Paul.  His new work Rest draws its inspiration from a highly descriptive text by A.R.D. Fairburn.


In addition to the choral works on the programme, one of New Zealand’s leading concert pianists, Emma Sayers, will perform music by NZ composers as well as Für Alina by Arvo Pärt.


Choir member Patrick Geddes says of the programme: “For me these works conjure up images of the Northern Lights and vast open spaces. The luminous harmonies of the northern hemisphere pieces are beautifully balanced by those inspired by our own New Zealand landscapes.”

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