DSO’s new home delights conductor

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Impressed . . . Conductor Kenneth Young admires the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra's rehearsal space in Hanover Hall. PHOTO: BRENDA HARWOOD

New Zealand conductor Kenneth Young was impressed with the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra’s new home and rehearsal space in Hanover Hall when he arrived in the city on Tuesday.

Making his first visit to Dunedin in several years from his Kapiti Coast home, Young will conduct the orchestra’s two Guitar Extravaganza matinee series concerts this weekend.

Experiencing Hanover Hall for the first time, Young was delighted by its acoustics and was looking forward to this week’s rehearsals and the concerts on Saturday and Sunday.

“Conducting the matinee series concerts is very enjoyable. I think it’s partly that you get to have two goes at the programme,” Young said.

“As a player and a conductor, it can be quite frustrating to work so hard to prepare works for performance, and then it’s all over after one show.

“So this is very nice.”

Also, the format of the matinee concerts, which included a series of complementary shorter works, was also very satisfying, he said.

The centrepiece of the Guitar Extravaganza concerts will be the performance of Rodrigo’s Concierto Andaluz by the Wellington-based New Zealand Guitar Quartet.

The quartet, which comprises John Couch, Jane Curry, Vladimir Gorbach and Owen Moriarty, will make its Dunedin debut in the weekend’s concerts.

Concierto Andaluz is a very typical work from Rodrigo – full of flair and harmonic overtones of Spanish music,” Young said.

“It is a very good vehicle to show just how well four guitars can play together.”

He was also looking forward to conducting the performance of Night Music, by the late Dunedin composer Jack Speirs, Young said.

“It will be a nice way to celebrate the orchestra’s connection with Jack,” he said.The Dunedin Symphony Orchestra’s Guitar Extravaganza matinee series concerts will be held this Saturday, at 5pm, and Sunday, at 3pm, at the King’s and Queen’s Performing Arts Centre in Bay View Rd.