Grand Lifestyle

The NZSO unleashes Frankenstein!!

Making his New Zealand Symphony Orchestra debut this October, celebrated Austrian composer and conductor HK Gruber performs his hit Frankenstein!! Based on children’s rhymes written by fellow Austrian, poet HC Artmann Frankenstein!! References scientist Victor Frankenstein, James Bond and Gold finger.

Maestro Gruber is from an incredibly talented family with ancestor Franz Xaver Gruber having written famous Christmas carol Silent Night will be performing as chansonnier during Frankenstein!! With an array of toy instruments used in the performance by NZSO players including a toy piano, toy trumpet, kazoos and whistles and sirens, Maestro Gruber will half-sing and half-speak in a style influenced by nearby German cabaret.

Hakan Hardenberger conductor and trumpettist
Photo: Marco Borggreve

Joining Maestro Gruber and the NZSO is one of the best trumpeters in the world, Sweden’s Håkan Hardenberger. Maestro Gruber is delighted to share the concert with Hardenberger. “Håkan Hardenberger is the most interesting trumpet player in the world,” he says.

The virtuoso will perform the work Aerial, which Gruber wrote for the trumpeter, and also conduct the NZSO during Frankenstein!!, while Gruber is chansonnier.

First performed over 40 years ago in 1978, Frankenstein!! Turned Maestro Gruber in to a sought-after composer seeing him collaborate with many top musicians and orchestras the world over. Ten years ago Maestro Gruber estimated Frankenstein!! Had been performed over 1000 times. “But I never grow tired of it, because it’s always a different experience,” he says.


Toy instrumetns will feature across the performance including the concerts opening work Kindersinfonie: Toy Symphony, which was written in the late 1700s. Stravinsky’s Circus Polka: For a Young Elephant, which was originally written for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will also feature.

Both HK Gruber and Håkan Hardenberger, who are known as highly entertaining speakers, will feature at a special free NZSO In Conversation event in Association with Waitoa Social Club at its Wellington brewery on 9 October. Hosted by NZSO Section Principal Trombones David Bremner, this will be an extended conversation-style interview with Gruber and Hardenberger on their exceptional careers and passion for music in a relaxed setting which will include music by NZSO players. No booking is required.

HK GRUBER Conductor & Chansonnier
HÅKAN HARDENBERGER Trumpet & Conductor

WELLINGTON | Michael Fowler Centre|Thursday 10 October| 7.30pm
AUCKLAND | Town Hall| Friday 11 October| 7.30pm
Tickets available through

In Conversation
HK GRUBER Conductor & Chansonnier
HÅKAN HARDENBERGER Trumpet & Conductor
DAVID BREMNER Host & NZSO Section Principal Trombones

WELLINGTON | Waitoa Social Club 32 Waitoa Rd Hataitai | Wednesday 9 October| 7pm
No booking required

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.