Born in Chicago, oboist Russel Walder didn’t begin playing the oboe until the age of 10. Excelling in the instrument he was touring by 16 and had his first record deal by 19. Walder continues his international touring as he premieres three new works Unwound which is also the final Shed series for 2019 with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
Walder will be performing alongside the NZSO’s new Principal Conductor in Residence Hamish McKeich and the works will be arranged by local composer John Psathas.
“My music is about peeling back the layers of self-perception. We all have outer masks that get us through the day and my music is a doorway to what’s more authentic,” says Walder.
Walder has a long career which has included a Grammy nomination and working with various diverse groups including Afro-Celt Sound System and Yungchen Lhamo. Walder also turned his hand to acting in the 1999 NZ feature film The Lunatic’s Ball. Walder is looking forward to keeping things local.
“Working with John Psathas and Hamish McKeich and NZSO is an amazing confluence of artists that I have great regard for. My path in music as an oboist and composer is about pushing the edges so far that it becomes the centre of a hybridised new genre.
“I’m excited to share this beautiful and moving evening with Wellington audiences.”
Keeping in the spirit of the season, Unwound will also feature a jazz arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s Christmas-themed The Nutcracker Suite. The Shed Series is indented to appeal to audiences who are new to the NZSO. Hosted in a relaxed setting, audience members are invited to sit or stand and to even grab something to eat or drink during the evening making this a wonderful event to share with the younger generation.
While only in Wellington this year, the concerts have been so well received they will also be performed at the Q Theatre, Auckland in April and September 2020.
Shed 6, Wellington
Saturday 30 November
Tickets available through Ticketmaster