DSO to celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday in 2020 season


Dunedin Symphony Orchestra (DSO) will celebrate the 250th birthday of one of the most important composers of all time, Ludwig van Beethoven, in its 2020 season.

The orchestra will perform three of Beethoven’s masterpieces in its concerts during the year, and will also present a “Beethoven’s Big Birthday Bash” community concert.

This concert will involve players and singers from Dunedin and surrounding regions performing some of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9Ode to Joy in the final movement.

Heading the DSO’s 2020 artists will be London-based conductor Simon Over, now in his sixth year as the orchestra’s principal guest conductor, who will lead the Symphony No. 9performance.

City Choir Dunedin will be in the spotlight as they perform Ode to Joy

The orchestra will also welcome back several former and current Dunedinites, who have gone on to international careers, including conductor Tecwyn Evans, singers Anna Leese (soprano) and Jonathan Lemalu (bass), and bassoonist Todd Gibson Cornish.

Also making appearances will be celebrated conductors Kenneth Young and Tianyi Lu, and mezzo soprano Kate Webber.

During the concert series, audiences will be introduced to highly-acclaimed international soloists, including pianist John Chen, 2019 Michael Hill International Violin Competition winner Anna Im, Australian violinist Glenn Christensen, and Australian oboeist Thomas Hutchinson.

City Choir Dunedin, which has been a regular performing partner with the DSO since the orchestra’s inception, will be at the fore in the performance of Ode to Joy in Beethoven’s ninth symphony.

This year the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra will also will also celebrate a “significant birthday” of Dunedin composer Prof Anthony Ritchie.

As a new feature, Prof Ritchie will present a series of “Unwrap the Music” talks, introducing the works in concerts during the season.

Family fun will be the focus at the end of October, when the orchestra presents a Halloween-themed concert, entitled “Halloween Spooktacular”.

Along with its public performances, the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra will continue its education projects, community events, and more.

The DSO thanks its core funders (Creative NZ, Dunedin City Council, Otago Community Trust),

sponsors (especially concert sponsors Webb Farry Lawyers and Forsyth Barr), donors, and its treasured audiences for their continuing support over its 54-year history.

Subscriptions to all performances of the 2020 concert series will be on sale from January 31.