Jazz It Up: Kempf Plays Gershwin

by • December 1, 2012 • Home Page, Home Page Slider, ReviewsComments Off46

“I got rhythm. I got music. I got my man – who could ask for anything more?” The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra can! That’s why they are bringing over inspired British pianist Freddy Kempf to perform the works of American musical legend George Gershwin.

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO) is always looking for new ways to push the envelope and bring us Kiwis the best musical programmes. This time, they’re doing it with Freddy Kempf Plays Gershwin, a musical feast that is sure to delight.

George Gershwin (1898-1937), whose sexuality is still debated to this day, wrote the music for some of the best-known pieces in the American musical lexicon. Freddy Kempf will play three Gershwin piano concertos and then be joined by the NZSO for Gershwin’s An American in Paris, as well as other jazzy classics by Leonard Bernstein and Dmitri Shostakovich.

Speaking of classics, the NZSO is one of the world’s oldest national symphony orchestras, with 90 full-time players. As if the music alone wasn’t enough, we just learned that the NZSO is a proud Corporate Member of Rainbow Wellington. Musically amazing and queer positive; that’s what we like to see in a national ensemble!

Kempf joined the NZSO two years ago and is excited to be on the stage with the orchestra again. He is even more excited by the challenge that Gershwin’s pieces hold.

“Gershwin was the first person to truly bring music to the masses,” he says. “His music appeals to anybody, whether they are classically trained or whether they’ve never ever heard classical music before. I hope all the listeners will feel touched, moved, excited and happy from the wonderful music he wrote.”

Gershwin’s legacy is undeniable and his music undeniably catchy. Go to one of these concerts and we’re sure you’ll be humming these tunes long into the New Year.

| Erin Fae  

NZSO: Freddy Kempf Plays Gershwin is at Wellington’s Michael Fowler Centre on Friday 07 December and at the Town Hall in Auckland on 08 December. Tickets at www.nzso.co.nz.

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