Gemma New Conductor
Ariana Tikao Taonga Pūoro
Mere Boynton Kaikaranga
Gareth Farr Ngā Hihi O Matariki (World Premiere)
The appearance of the Matariki constellation (known in Western astronomy as the Pleiades or Seven Sisters) traditionally signalled to Māori that it was time to plant crops. As such, Matariki refers to both the constellation and to the beginning of a new year in the Māori calendar and symbolises new beginnings and humanity’s hopes for the future. The title comes from the proverb ‘Kua haehae ngā hihi o Matariki’ (The rays of Matariki are spread) - spoken when Matariki is seen in the night sky, and it's rays carry a message of hope and togetherness.
Farr is well known for his sensational pulse-quickening works. Ngā Hihi O Matariki is a significant new work of symphonic proportions. In Gareth’s words: "This work celebrates Matariki as an event embracing New Zealand’s past and present, and a time to think about where we are going as a nation. I am fascinated by the fact that this constellation has such importance in many cultures around the world, and that it links us all together in the recognition of a celestial event of uniqueness and beauty."
Matariki is part of the NZSO Festival season. It can be included as part of an add on to your Podium Series subscription or purchased as part of a Festival package. Full details and casual tickets for Festival packages will be available in early 2021.