The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra has cancelled a tour of main centres, so that it can record music for the second Hobbit movie.
The orchestra, via its website, has apologised to those who bought tickets to the Heights of Passion tour that was scheduled to start in Wellington on September 20.
It was then scheduled to go to Christchurch, Hamilton, and Auckland.
Full refunds have been offered to those who have already bought tickets.
Instead, the orchestra will be recording the score for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Sir Peter Jackson's second instalment in the Hobbit trilogy.
It will be recorded in the Wellington Town Hall, starting next month.
Composer Howard Shore, whose music for The Lord of the Rings trilogy won three Academy Awards and four Grammy awards, has scored the soundtrack.
His music for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - mostly recorded overseas, including a contribution from the London Philharmonic Orchestra - made the top-10 charts in the United States.
NZSO chief executive Christopher Blake said the orchestra had experience in recording film soundtracks.
"Recording film soundtracks requires particular focus and efficiency - our musicians have to play to the highest levels and often under significant time pressures.
"It's a demanding process to be part of and we know our players will do a fantastic job."
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is due to be released in December.
The orchestra is performing its Magnificent Mozart programme in Blenheim tonight as part of a South Island tour.
- The Marlborough Express