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Support Auckland Choral

The fallout from COVID-19 has hit the arts sector particularly heavily, with concerts worldwide cancelled: artists, groups and venues left without any certainty as to their future. For the first time since the influenza epidemic of 1918 (which caused the cancellation of our Elijah & Messiah concerts) we too were forced to cancel our last concert, Haydn’s The Seasons - at significant financial cost.

Now, more than ever, we are seeking donations, gifts in kind, sponsorships and bequests to ensure Auckland Choral can continue its day-to-day operations and performances in the future.

If you or your company would like to support us, please consider donating or becoming a sponsor. Contact Carey McDonald on admin@aucklandchoral.com for more information

Picture of Uwe Grodd, Auckland Choral Music director, with a conductor's batonUwe Grodd enjoys an international reputation as a conductor. He has won a number of significant awards including First Prize at the Cannes Classical Awards 2000 and two Gramophone Editor’s Choice in the UK. He has performed in Handel Festivals and conducted a season of Handel’s recently re-discovered opera Imeneo in Germany. Besides helping to promote little-known but important composers of the past, he is strongly committed to the music of our own time.

A graduate of Mainz University, Germany, Uwe studied with teachers of international repute. A strong musical influence during his study was choral specialist Helmut Rilling during several summer courses at the Bach Akademie in Uwe’s hometown of Stuttgart. He attributes his major musical growth to the guidance of two of Europe’s finest musicians, Robert Aitken and Maestro Celibidache.

Uwe gained worldwide attention when he won First Prize at the Cannes Classical Awards 2000 for Best 18th Century Orchestral Recording with his CD of Vanhal Symphonies on which he conducted Hungary’s Nicolaus EsterházySinfonia. Two recordings of music by J N Hummel, one featuring the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, earned him Gramophone magazine’s Editor’s Choice. He has had an exclusive recording contract with the Naxos label since 1997.

Uwe Grodd’s ambition to conduct and record the Complete Works for piano and orchestra of Beethoven’s longstanding friend and student Ferdinand Ries (1784-1838) began in 2003. November 2012 marked the international launch of the fifth and final volume with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and pianist Christopher Hinterhuber on the Naxos label. The first four volumes feature the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Sweden’s Gävle Symphony, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, UK  and include a remarkable set of variations for piano and orchestra of Rule Britannia. Uwe agrees with FANFARE USA Magazine which wrote: ‘Thus, slowly, Ries is finally occupying the place in music history that is rightly his.’ He believes these recordings will transform people’s understanding of a composer who still lives in the shadow of Beethoven’s genius.

Performance highlights in recent years include the final concerts of the 53rd and the 54th Händel Festival in Halle, Germany. This prestigious event – a televised open-air concert – involves a combined choir of 280 and the Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Halle. In his first year, Uwe conducted the gala opening night of the Händel Festival Halle with Le Choeur des Musiciens du Louvre from Grenoble, a number of frontline soloists and the Halle Opera Orchestra performing on original instruments. This was followed in 2003 and 2004 with a sell-out, highly successful season in the Halle Opera House of Händel’s recently rediscovered opera Imeneo. Uwe Grodd was awarded the Badge of Honor by the Mayor of Halle – Handel’s birth town –  for his services to the Handel Festival and the City of Halle.

Uwe made his Mexican debut in March 2004 with the Mexico City Philharmonic, conducting Beethoven’s First Symphony, Liszt’s Mazeppa and Dvorak’s Czech Suite. He returned in June that year to conduct Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony, and another eight concerts featuring Beethoven’s and Schubert’s Fifth Symphonies and Richard Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben.

In 1993 Uwe was appointed Music Director of the Manukau Symphony Orchestra, and between 1998 and 2002 acted as Artistic Director of the International Music Festival New Zealand. He was invited to become Music Director of the Auckland Choral Society, New Zealand’s longest-established symphonic choir, in July 2008. Uwe Grodd is an Emeritus Professor at The University of Auckland’s School of Music.

 

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Auckland Choral 100th Hallelujahs Documentary

Watch the full documentary of about Auckland Choral's 100th consecutive performance of Handel's Messiah: 

 

Who we are: Get to know some of our choir members

  • Nicola Burton

    Picture of Nicola BurtonHi, I’m Nicola – Alto 2. I joined the choir 6 years ago and absolutely love it! For me, it is the perfect blend of people, community, fabulous music, the opportunity to perform, feeling uplifted every single rehearsal and a good dose of challenge (it’s tough getting all the pronunciations right, and actually learning the music!)
    I have been involved with the Management Committee and the Marketing committee for the choir since I joined. It’s amazing just how much hard work and dedication goes into the running of the choir and ensuring our performances are of the highest musical standard – it’s a privilege to be part of it.
    When not in choir I am a busy working mum with two teenage children and a great husband! We have a real love of the outdoors. I always have some sort of crazy goal involving a marathon or sea swim or adventure race and we love exploring NZ walking tracks – what a great country we live in. Ah yes – I love a decent Pinot Noir too!

     
  • David Hamilton

    Picture of David HamiltonDavid Hamilton has been singing with the choir since 1982, and is currently President of Auckland Choral. He is a music educator, composition tutor, choral conductor and adjudicator. He has been Deputy Music Director of Auckland Choral (1996-2011) and Composer-in-Residence with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (1999). In 2013 he was guest composer at the national choral event Sing Aotearoa, and in 2015 composer-in-residence at the NZ Singing School. He has won a number of international composer competitions (Italy, USA, UK, and Israel) and in 2014 “Wairua” for solo harp took 1st place in the NZ Harp Society’s competition. In 2016 “American Triptych” took 1st place in a competition for the Stockton Chorale (USA). In 2017 “Are We There Yet?” took 1st place in the Australia and NZ Viola Society composer’s competition, and “Cling to Me” was placed third in the 4th Komos Choral Composition Competition (Bologna, Italy). The choir has commissioned a number of works from him, most recently “Erebus” (2015), and in 2019 will perform “Homecoming – Te Hokinga Mai”. His choral music is widely performed, especially by school and community choirs, and is published in the UK, USA, and Finland. His website is: www.dbhmusic.co.nz

     
  • Neil Hawkes

    Picture of Neil Hawkes in a flying armchairHi, I’m Neil Hawkes - I have been singing for a while: Tewkesbury Abbey choir from the ages of 5 to 30yrs, then a variety of English choirs before coming to NZ. When I arrived in Auckland I sang with the Choral Society, then with the Anglican Cathedral Choir and the Graduate Choir, before being stopped by a heart condition (since fixed 100%).

    Other hobbies include gyrocopters - see photo of the flying armchair…

    I am an engineer, currently studying for a PhD at Auckland Uni in mechanical engineering (carbon-neutral power generation).

     
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