Travel and Culture

Canadian Pianist Louis Lortie Tours with the NZSO

Canadian pianist Louis Lortie returns to New Zealand after 25 years to perform with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra this September. Lortie will be joined by Israeli conductor Asher Fisch in Wellington, Auckland, Dunedin and Christchurch for the Transfiguration tour which will feature works by Rachmaninov, Richard Strauss and Wagner.



The London Times has identified Lortie as possessing a “combination of total spontaneity and meditated ripeness that only great pianists have”. New Zealand will be treated to four performances nationwide.

In demand internationally, Lortie has performed with the Shanghai Symphony, AWASO/Perth, Adelaide Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, New York Philharmonic and for the annual Liszt Festival in Raiding, Hungary.

Pianist-Louis-Lortie-grandparents-nz

Pianist Louis Lortie

Lortie also has more than 45 recordings under the Chandos label including a set with the complete Beethoven sonata’s and the complete Liszt “Annees de Pelerinage”, which was named one of the ten best recordings of 2012 by the New Yorker Magazine. Lortie is also the Master in Residence at The Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel of Brussels.

Hailed by The New York Times as “mesmerising” and by The Seattle Times as “brilliant”, Lortie will perform Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2. The concerto is the basis for the songs Full Moon and Empty Arms performed by Frank Sinatra and Bob Dylan, and Eric Carmen’s top 10 hit All By Myself.

Last performing with the NZSO in 1994, Lortie has more than 45 recordings under the Chandos label including a set with the complete Beethoven sonata’s and the complete Liszt “Annees de Pelerinage”, which was named one of the ten best recordings of 2012 by the New Yorker Magazine. Lortie is also the Master in Residence at The Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel of Brussels.

Britain’s The Telegraph described one of the pianist’s recent performances as so powerful: “Lortie threw caution to the winds, summoning reserves of sheer power that made the walls shake.”

“When I play with an orchestra, we’re getting to speak, as much as possible, a common language,” says Lortie. “For me, it’s fascinating to see the conductor convey that to the musicians.”

Conductor Asher Fisch

Mastreo Fisch began his conducting career as Daniel Barenboim’s assistant and kappellmeister at the Berlin Staatsoper before building upon his versatile repertoire at the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Berlin Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra among others.

Transfiguration is the NZSO debut for Maestro Fisch where he will conduct Richard Strauss’ Tod und Verklärung (Death and Transfiguration), an impassioned tone poem of a dying artist’s reflection on life.

“I see our job as inspirers,” says Maestro Fisch about being a conductor. “We have to inspire our musicians to give the best that they have.”



RACHMANINOV Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18
RICHARD STRAUSS Tod und Verklärung, Op. 24 (Death and Transfiguration)
WAGNER Overture to Tannhäuser, WWV 70
ASHER FISCH Conductor
LOUIS LORTIE Piano

WELLINGTON | Michael Fowler Centre|Friday 6 September| 6.30pm
AUCKLAND | Town Hall| Saturday 7 September| 7.30pm
DUNEDIN | Town Hall|Friday 13 September| 6.30pm
CHRISTCHURCH | Town Hall| Saturday 14 September| 7.30pm


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