Entertainment

 ‘Bad boy’ of the Organ to Perform with the NZSO

Written by Anna Randall

Performing with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra for the first time in March comes Grammy Award winning American organist Cameron Carpenter on the NZSO Maverick’s Tour. Praised by the Los Angeles Times as “a phenomenal virtuoso and presenting a ‘bad boy’ rock star presence, Carpenter is attracting new audiences to the organ.

“When I play the organ, I don’t much think about critics, purists, other organists. I mostly think about people like my father, who couldn’t have told the difference between music by Leonard Bernstein or JS Bach. I try to play in a way which is understandable,” he says.

Cameron Carpenter

Topping the Billboard Classical Charts in 2016 with his album All You Need is Bach, Carpenter will perform on the restored Rieger organ in the Christchurch Town Hall and on the century-old “Norma” organ in the Dunedin Town Hall.

Carpenter performed JS Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in 2019, The Los Angeles Times called “the most transformative and convincingly individual musicians” of his generation and South Island audiences will be treated to this work in Carpenter’s performance alongside French composer Francis Poulenc’s Organ Concerto.

“The organ is a complicated instrument which contains the entire spectrum of hearing, from the threshold of audibility to extreme power, and everything in between,” Carpenter says.

The tour will also welcome the return of Alexander Shelley who last lead the orchestra in 2017 and will also celebrate the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth with a performance of Fifth Symphony.

Christchurch Town Hall – Friday 20 March – ticketek.co.nz
Dunedin Town Hall – Saturday 21 March – ticketmaster.co.nz

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