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Associate Profile: Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra

Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (APO) is the resident orchestra of New Zealand’s biggest city, and has achieved iconic status in its 30 year history. The orchestra was formed in 1980 when 19 players from the collapsed Symphonia of Auckland founded a cooperatively-run orchestra. APO is now supported by Creative New Zealand, the ratepayers of Auckland, The Auckland Philharmonia Friends, Guild and Foundation, a board of trustees, donors and a large number of trusts, organisations and companies.

The APO gives over 70 concerts per year and accompanies the NBR New Zealand Opera, Royal New Zealand Ballet, Auckland International Film Festival and international touring artists. It partners the Michael Hill International Violin Competition and Auckland Arts Festival The orchestra is proud of an education program that annually reaches 25,000 students who participate in a range of programs covering hip-hop and rock to contemporary and classical. In 2011 the orchestra will commence an education program based on Venezuela’s El Sistema.

A major supporter of contemporary New Zealand music, composers-in-residence since 1990 have included Ross Harris and Gareth Farr. 2011 will see the premiere of Ross Harris’s Fourth Symphony (APO has commissioned all three of his previous symphonies), and the premiere of New Zeibekiko, a major work by current composer-in-residence, John Psathas. The orchestra’s Music Director is Eckehard Stier. Roy Goodman is Principal Guest Conductor.