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After making the big shift before Christmas, Dunedin Symphony Orchestra is settling into the newly renovated Hanover Hall while gearing up for a busy 2017 season.
The orchestra launched its 2017 Concert Series late last week, revealing an impressive cohort of international guests, top-flight New Zealand performers, and a second tribute to the Dunedin Sound songs and singers in Tally Ho 2.
DSO general manager Philippa Harris said the move to Hanover Hall, at the corner of Great King and Hanover Sts, had gone smoothly.
The Auckland-based owners of the building, DSO players Cally McWha (violin) and Lloyd Williams (double bass), had been “incredibly generous” to the orchestra by providing it with a new home, she said.
The renovation of the former church had included replacing part of the roof, renewing and painting the plaster ceiling, repairing the stained-glass windows, installing acoustic tiles, adding a small kitchen, and laying carpet and vinyl.
The work would cost roughly $310,000, which the orchestra had fundraised for, and was within budget so far, Ms Harris said.
“We had a phenomenal response from the community for our fundraising, from trusts and individual donors.”
Fortunately, earthquake strengthening had not been required, as the building had been certified at 80% of the earthquake code.
With a seating capacity of about 250, good acoustics, accessibility and a central location, Hanover Hall was already attracting a lot of interest from community groups as a potential venue, Ms Harris said.
“It will mainly be a rehearsal space for the orchestra, but we will also hire it out as a performance space. And from the response we have had so far, demand will be high,” she said.
The orchestra planned to work with a variety of international and New Zealand guests in 2017, some for the first time, Ms Harris said.
In its International Series, it would work with Russian violinist Ilya Gringolts in May, presenting a programme of Sibelius and Prokofiev conducted by Marc Taddei. And in August, world-renowned Chinese cellist Li-Wei Qin would perform in a programme of Dvorak and Brahms under the baton of principal
guest conductor Simon Over.
Over will return in September to conduct the orchestra, soloists and City Choir Dunedin in a performance of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade and Brahms’ Requiem.
The Matinee Series will begin in late April with a Basically Baroque concert conducted by Daniel Kossov and featuring solo oboist Robert Orr. The orchestra’s own principal flautist, Luca Manghi, will feature in Italian Inspirations in July, conducted by Richard Davis.
The orchestra would also perform with City Choir Dunedin in its presentation of Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man – A Mass for Peace on April 1, and Handel’s Messiah in December.