The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra is to stage two special Beethoven and Bach concerts in Wellington and will livestream each performance.

Both concerts will be livestreamed and free to view at

Pastoral on July 8 will showcase two of Beethoven's greatest works – the Emperor Piano Concerto featuring legendary pianist Diedre Irons – and the composer's celebration of nature, the Sixth Symphony Pastoral.

The orchestra will be led by NZSO principal conductor in residence Hamish McKeich.


On July 22 the NZSO perform Johann Sebastian Bach's baroque masterpiece Goldberg Variations.

The orchestra toured Goldberg Variations to critical acclaim earlier, and this will be its first performance in Wellington.

Long considered one of New Zealand's most distinguished musicians, Canadian-born Diedre Irons has performed with the NZSO numerous times since 1976.

In 2017 it included special concerts with three NZSO principals, which critics hailed as "a night of extraordinary music-making".

Goldberg Variations will be directed by NZSO concertmaster Vesa-Matti Leppanen and features acclaimed New Zealand pianist Stephen De Pledge on fortepiano.

Bach's masterpiece was first written for harpsichord.

The 30 variations include arrangements for string instruments by Russian violinist Dmitry Sitkovetsky and arrangements for other instruments by German conductor Heribert Breuer.

"The different instruments will add a huge amount of colour to the variations, making an already exquisite work even more mesmerising for audiences," says Leppanen.


Tickets to Pastoral will be at a special price of $30 or $20, and for Goldberg Variations $20 or $15 from