Top musician picked for special cultural visit

Former Nelsonian, Professor Donald Maurice, has been invited to represent New Zealand at a special concert in Poland as part of the celebrations of 40 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Prof Maurice was born in Nelson, and returned during 1980-83 to become the last principal and first director of the Nelson School of Music.

The Warsaw concert, to be held at the Polish Music Publishing House on September 15, will feature music and musicians from both countries.

Prof Maurice will perform Allegro tempestuoso from Anthony Ritchie's Viola Concerto, and Douglas Lilburn's Salutes to Seven Poets for viola, piano and narrator.

He will be accompanied by Polish pianist Urszula Szyrynska and joined by fellow violist Marcin Murawski to perform the Allegro from Anton Wranitzky's Concerto for Two Violas, and Henryk Wieniawski's Two Caprices for Two Violas.

The concert is one of several events being supported by the ministries of culture and heritage and foreign affairs and trade.

Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Chris Finlayson said the significant anniversary was a chance to build on already strong cultural links with Poland. The concert is part of a range of events planned to mark the anniversary, including a visit to Poland by the New Zealand Trio.

"Donald Maurice has long experience as a musical ambassador, having presented local works and other significant repertoire in Germany, England, Iceland, Canada, the US and Australia," Mr Finlayson said.

The Nelson Mail