New Zealand's largest symphonic band will perform in Rotorua and Taupo this week, with two of the country's top performers joining them as special guests.

On Thursday, the Royal New Zealand Air Force Band will play at Rotorua's Civic Theatre, with special guest pianist Diedre Irons, and they will play at the Taupo Amphitheatre on Saturday with special guest Dame Malvina Major.

The Rotorua concert will feature George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue with concert pianist Diedre Irons and conductor Flying Officer Simon Brew.

The RNZAF Band then switches scores to accompany Dame Malvina Major in Taupo on her Farewell Tour.


Mr Brew said the brassy show was packed full of jazz-tinged symphonic masterpieces.

"Rhapsody in Blue is the undoubted centre-piece.

"We want to take the audience to New York in 1924, which was when this magnificent work was premiered with Gershwin on the piano.

"We'll be playing four dances from Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story, the tunes were a hit from their trailblazing debut on Broadway to the Academy Award winning movie," Mr Brew.

Mr Brew has performed at the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall, The Air Force Proms, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and the Auckland Philharmonia.

Ms Irons has made numerous appearances with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and has appeared regularly on Radio New Zealand.

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28 Feb, 2014 10:35am
2 minutes to read