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Picture of Uwe Grodd, Auckland Choral Music director, with a conductor's batonUwe Grodd enjoys an international reputation as a conductor. He has won a number of significant awards including First Prize at the Cannes Classical Awards 2000 and two Gramophone Editor’s Choice in the UK. He has performed in Handel Festivals and conducted a season of Handel’s recently re-discovered opera Imeneo in Germany. Besides helping to promote little-known but important composers of the past, he is strongly committed to the music of our own time.

A graduate of Mainz University, Germany, Uwe studied with teachers of international repute. A strong musical influence during his study was choral specialist Helmut Rilling during several summer courses at the Bach Akademie in Uwe’s hometown of Stuttgart. He attributes his major musical growth to the guidance of two of Europe’s finest musicians, Robert Aitken and Maestro Celibidache.

Uwe gained worldwide attention when he won First Prize at the Cannes Classical Awards 2000 for Best 18th Century Orchestral Recording with his CD of Vanhal Symphonies on which he conducted Hungary’s Nicolaus EsterházySinfonia. Two recordings of music by J N Hummel, one featuring the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, earned him Gramophone magazine’s Editor’s Choice. He has had an exclusive recording contract with the Naxos label since 1997.

Uwe Grodd’s ambition to conduct and record the Complete Works for piano and orchestra of Beethoven’s longstanding friend and student Ferdinand Ries (1784-1838) began in 2003. November 2012 marked the international launch of the fifth and final volume with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and pianist Christopher Hinterhuber on the Naxos label. The first four volumes feature the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Sweden’s Gävle Symphony, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, UK  and include a remarkable set of variations for piano and orchestra of Rule Britannia. Uwe agrees with FANFARE USA Magazine which wrote: ‘Thus, slowly, Ries is finally occupying the place in music history that is rightly his.’ He believes these recordings will transform people’s understanding of a composer who still lives in the shadow of Beethoven’s genius.

Performance highlights in recent years include the final concerts of the 53rd and the 54th Händel Festival in Halle, Germany. This prestigious event – a televised open-air concert – involves a combined choir of 280 and the Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Halle. In his first year, Uwe conducted the gala opening night of the Händel Festival Halle with Le Choeur des Musiciens du Louvre from Grenoble, a number of frontline soloists and the Halle Opera Orchestra performing on original instruments. This was followed in 2003 and 2004 with a sell-out, highly successful season in the Halle Opera House of Händel’s recently rediscovered opera Imeneo. Uwe Grodd was awarded the Badge of Honor by the Mayor of Halle – Handel’s birth town –  for his services to the Handel Festival and the City of Halle.

Uwe made his Mexican debut in March 2004 with the Mexico City Philharmonic, conducting Beethoven’s First Symphony, Liszt’s Mazeppa and Dvorak’s Czech Suite. He returned in June that year to conduct Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony, and another eight concerts featuring Beethoven’s and Schubert’s Fifth Symphonies and Richard Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben.

In 1993 Uwe was appointed Music Director of the Manukau Symphony Orchestra, and between 1998 and 2002 acted as Artistic Director of the International Music Festival New Zealand. He was invited to become Music Director of the Auckland Choral Society, New Zealand’s longest-established symphonic choir, in July 2008. Uwe Grodd is an Emeritus Professor at The University of Auckland’s School of Music.

 

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Auckland Choral 100th Hallelujahs Documentary

Watch the full documentary of about Auckland Choral's 100th consecutive performance of Handel's Messiah: 

 

Who we are: Get to know some of our choir members

  • Garnet Tregonning

    Picture of Garnet TregonningGarnet has a long involvement with Auckland Choral after his first introduction to singing in Lead Roles in Gilbert and Sullivan Operettas at Kings High School in Dunedin,followed by being a member of Capping Sextet at Otago University with Sir William Southgate in the 1960s.

    First joined the Choir under Ray Wilson in 1968-71 as a Junior Doctor before travelling Overseas for Orthopaedic Training in Canada and the UK.Rejoined under Bill Power 1976-1986 then again in the mid 1990s up to the present time-so have been a member on and off over some 47 years.Was a committee member for 5 years and continue to be inspired by the opportunity to be a member of the Choir which I believe continues to improve and I believe is currently performing at its highest level over the past 40 years –no doubt due to the superb direction of Uwe and the support of Elizabeth and the wonderful Vocal Coaches.

    Currently working full-time as a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Middlemore Hospital. 

     
  • Lisa Er

    Picture of Lisa ErLisa has been in the choir since 1974 with the exception of a couple of years when she was busy with small children.
    Born in the UK Lisa emigrated with her parents to New Zealand at the age of 16. Already politically active Lisa has continued to have a passionate interest in peace, politics, ethics and philosophy, as well as a deep love of music.
    A primary school teacher for 14 years, Lisa then created the business Lisa's Hummus, which she sold a few years ago. Now Lisa is immersed in creating political solutions via The Awareness Party, and  will continue singing in the choir as long as she is able!

     
  • Nicola Burton

    Picture of Nicola BurtonHi, I’m Nicola – Alto 2. I joined the choir 6 years ago and absolutely love it! For me, it is the perfect blend of people, community, fabulous music, the opportunity to perform, feeling uplifted every single rehearsal and a good dose of challenge (it’s tough getting all the pronunciations right, and actually learning the music!)
    I have been involved with the Management Committee and the Marketing committee for the choir since I joined. It’s amazing just how much hard work and dedication goes into the running of the choir and ensuring our performances are of the highest musical standard – it’s a privilege to be part of it.
    When not in choir I am a busy working mum with two teenage children and a great husband! We have a real love of the outdoors. I always have some sort of crazy goal involving a marathon or sea swim or adventure race and we love exploring NZ walking tracks – what a great country we live in. Ah yes – I love a decent Pinot Noir too!

     
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