Thrilled former student to conduct

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University of Otago music lecturer, conductor and composer Peter Adams is thrilled that former student Tecwyn Evans will conduct the world premiere of his work Huriawa during tomorrow’s Dunedin Symphony Orchestra concert.

The piece will be performed in celebration of Matariki in the orchestra’s “Tecwyn, Terence and Tom – Celebrating Matariki” concert at the Dunedin Town Hall.

The concert continues the DSO’s focus on highlighting its connections with the talented staff and alumni of the University of Otago in its 150th year.

As such, it features Evans and Adams, along with pianists Terence Dennis and Tom McGrath performing Poulenc’s extraordinary Concerto for Two Pianos.

Adams’ piece, which has the full title Huriawa: prelude and variations for orchestra, was inspired by time spent at the Ngai Tahu pa site in Karitane, renowned for its cliffs, blowholes and turbulent water.

“I have tried to capture that sense of movement, turbulence and calm, along with using some filmic language,” Adams said.

And, after many years of working with brass, woodwind and percussion instruments, he has ensured those sections of the orchestra have opportunities to shine.

Huriawa has been awaiting the right time for its premiere, and Adams is pleased it will feature in tomorrow’s concert.

“I’m thrilled that Tecwyn will be conducting the piece. He is a wonderful example of the talented new generation and is a safe pair of hands,” Adams said.

Because of other commitments, Adams hasn’t been able to attend rehearsals of Huriawa, so he is looking forward to “sitting back and enjoying the music”.

Alongside his own work, Adams is also delighted that Friday’s concert will feature the “rare treat” of Poulenc’s Concerto for Two Pianos, along with Brahms’ Symphony No 3.

“Because of the need to arrange two matching pianos for the Poulenc concerto, it is a difficult piece to stage, so it will very good to hear it played by Terence and Tom.

“It is a charming, witty and quirky piece, not meant to be taken too seriously, and it will give them a chance to show their virtuosity.”

Brahms’ Symphony No 3, with its lyricism and lovely melodic passages, would round out the celebratory nature of the concert nicely, he said.