One of the most talented conductors of his generation will be joined by a top Spanish guitarist for a performance with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in Napier this month.

Britain's Alexander Shelley returns to conduct the NZSO after mesmerising New Zealand audiences three years ago.

The concert, Alexander Shelley Returns in Association with Craggy Range, will be held at Napier's Municipal Theatre on July 27.

"I am so excited to be returning to the NZSO and to New Zealand. I have many fond and rich memories of performing with this exceptional orchestra in many warm, welcoming and fascinating communities across the islands," Shelley says.


Lauded for his achievements as music director of Canada's National Arts Centre Orchestra, chief conductor of the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra and principal associate conductor of London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the 37-year-old's conducting prowess sees him in demand by many of the world's best orchestras.

Shelley will be joined by Spanish guitarist Pablo Sinz Villegas, who has performed in the presence of the Dalai Lama and Spain's royal family.

His many achievements include the world premiere of the first guitar piece written by John Williams, the Oscar-winning Star Wars composer.

With the NZSO, Sinz Villegas will perform Joaquin Rodrigo's intoxicating Concierto de Aranjuez, which has become synonymous with Spanish music.

It has been covered by many artists, including Miles Davis, incorporated into music by Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple and in film soundtracks, including a pivotal moment in the British comedy-drama Brassed Off.

The concert will open with acclaimed New Zealand composer Leonie Holmes' delicate and melodic Frond, from Three Landscapes for Orchestra and conclude with one of Bela Bartk's most popular works, Concerto for Orchestra.

"I look forward to bringing some beautiful music by Bartk, Holmes and Rodrigo to our audiences," says Shelley.

"Thank you for having me back."