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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

  • Keith Guyan

    Picture of Keith GuyanKeith spent most of his life as a self-employed freelance graphic designer after graduating with a degree in fine arts. Over several further years of study he obtained professional qualifications in advertising, marketing and tertiary teaching, enjoying being a tutor for fifteen years introducing graphic design to young students, then seven years as a part-time senior lecturer in graphic design at AUT University. He has been a self-taught church organist from the age of thirteen, and since 2002 he has been the Parish Elder, Administrator and Organist in the large multicultural Onehunga Co-operating Parish. His love of singing, church and organ music was nurtured from an early age in a musical family. Since 1980 he has sung Bass in Auckland Choral, conducted by Ray Wilson, Peter Watts, Professor Uwe Grodd and many other inspiring and talented musicians. To quote from Hallelujahs & History  “...for bass Keith Guyan, Auckland Choral has everything: thrilling repertoire, inspiring conductor, friendly and caring singers, satisfying discipline, high musical standards and the privilege of performing some of the masterpieces of choral writing”.

     
  • Rachel Harrison

    Picture of Rachel HarrisonI am originally from the UK where I studied music. After a few years in London working in Orchestral Management the call of the sea became strong and I spent the next few years yachting. During my time in the Pacific I ended up sailing to New Zealand where I decided to step ashore and have called New Zealand home for just over 9 years. 

    During my time at sea I missed my music, but my clarinet playing days were long gone. I decided I would give singing a try, even though I was a little nervous of my abilities, so I approached Auckland Choral. As soon as I attended my first rehearsal I realised this is what I had been missing and have been a member of Auckland Choral ever since. Auckland Choral became a family to me, and I passionately supported it by being on the Management Committee for several years until May 2016, including Convener of the Music Committee. I love my Wednesday night rehearsals and being able to perform magical works in fabulous venues with friends!

     
  • Katherine Hong

    Picture of Katherine HongHi, I am Katherine Hong - Alto 1, joined Auckland Choral in the early 2016.  I am crazy about 18th and 19th century classical music and dreamt one day I could sing "Messiah" in a symphonic choir.  And now not only I sing "Messiah" but also have lots of  opportunities to sing other beautiful and heavenly music which I never dreamt that dream.  No single rehearsal I want to miss.

    I have one son and one furry kid.  I spend most of my time with my furry kid and enjoy watching ballet and will never get bored.

     
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