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Concert – 11 December 2022

We are delighted to welcome back our old friend, Donald Maurice, as our guest conductor, for a concert that includes Beethoven’s sublime seventh symphony, shorter pieces by Bartók and Mahler, and soloist Zoe Li playing George Gao’s Mongolian Fantasy.

Donald Maurice MNZM is Emeritus Professor at Te Kōkī, the New Zealand School of Music. He has performed for over four decades as soloist (viola, viola d’amore), chamber musician and conductor, and has premiered many works. He has presented at twenty International Viola Congresses. He has conducted the WCO many times, including a period as Principal Conductor in the 1980s. The orchestra has also had the pleasure of Donald playing as soloist on at least three occasions.

Zoe Li is a soloist and teacher of the erhu — the Chinese violin with only two strings. She completes her Master of Musical Arts degree this year at Te Kōkī, the New Zealand School of Music. Zoe has worked with many quartets, ensembles and orchestras across the world, including the Beijing string ensemble, the NZ ECPF quartet, and the Singapore folk orchestra. Zoe started to learn erhu when she was six. At 15, she began private lessons with Sun Huang, one of the best erhu players in China. In the same year she gained her Grade 10 exam for CMCA (Chinese Music Cultural Arts). In 2005 she competed in the Beijing String Music competition and was awarded the silver award for second place. In 2008, she was invited to play the erhu during the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games. In 2019, she received “Rising Star” award in the Final Round of the Melbourne International Shaoqin Erhu Competition. Alongside playing traditional Chinese folk music, Zoe has a love for blues and jazz.

George Gao is a contemporary composer and erhu performer. He has written five capriccios for erhu, which are widely acknowledged as contemporary classics for the erhu and are frequently used as set pieces in international competitions. Zoe will perform Capriccio No. 2 — Mongolian Fantasy — composed in the early years of the 21st century.

Tickets can be bought in advance through eventfinda (commission charges apply) or on the door.