Acclaimed Scottish pianist Steven Osborne will perform in Tauranga next month with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

The Mātauranga concert will also feature the world premiere of a new work by New Zealand composer Michael Norris.

Osborne, hailed as "one of the UK's most gifted pianists", will perform Beethoven's boundary-pushing Piano Concerto No 4.

"There's an incredible thing with Beethoven, this ability to not go through the motions but to fundamentally create something each time," Osborne said.

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The pianist last played with the NZSO in 2009, when he was praised by critics for his performances of Mozart and Shostakovich.

"Osborne may cut a slight, modest figure, but he can deliver thunderbolts," the New Zealand Herald said.

Michael Norris' new work, Mātauranga (Rerenga), is inspired by Captain James Cook's first encounters with Māori in 1769.

It was commissioned as part of the NZSO's Landfall Series to mark the 250th anniversary of the encounters this year.

Norris' evocative piece will include the sounds of taonga puoro, (traditional Māori instruments) and live electronics to represent indigenous flora and fauna, as well as mātauranga – Māori knowledge and wisdom.

Carlos Kalmar. Photo / Nancy Horowitz
Carlos Kalmar. Photo / Nancy Horowitz

The Mātauranga tour will be the NZSO debut of Grammy-nominated Uruguayan conductor Carlos Kalmar.

Kalmar has conducted many of the world's leading orchestras and is music director of the Oregon Symphony Orchestra.

He was nominated for Grammy Awards in 2012 and 2015.

"I dedicate myself with all my energy and talent to the great language of music. The important thing is to find the kernels of deepest truth in one's art form and commit oneself to conveying those truths," Kalmar said.

Mātauranga will also feature Felix Mendelssohn's famous The Hebrides Overture, inspired by a visit to Fingal's Cave on the Scottish island of Staffa, and Mozart's inventive Symphony No 38.

Nicknamed the Prague Symphony, for where it premiered, Mozart's Symphony No 38 is one of his most adventurous works, written during an intense period of creativity for the prolific composer.

• Tickets to Mātauranga at Tauranga's Baycourt Addison Theatre are available via ticketek.co.nz