14. March 2008: Auckland Choral appointments Uwe Grodd as new Musical Director
|In February 2007 Peter Watts, the current Musical Director
of the Auckland Choral Society, announced his intention to resign after 20
years at the helm. Peter gave the Society notice that his last performance
with the organization would be in April 2008, at the first concert of the
new subscription series. Reluctantly, the Executive accepted Peter's
resignation and embarked on the lengthy and daunting task of finding a new
The request for applications was posted, and a significant number of qualified musicians from as far afield as Denmark, South Africa, South America and the USA, as well as several from within New Zealand, indicated interest in the position. After a lengthy period of assessment by the selection panel, the Society is delighted to announce that it has appointed Uwe Grodd.
As well as his many other musical talents, Uwe has significant experience in both orchestral and choral symphonic conducting. He is an Associate Professor of Conducting and Flute at the University of Auckland's School of Music. In his role as Musical Director of the University Orchestra (1989 - 2004), he combined Campus Cantoris and the University Singers who performed numerous works from the great choral tradition, culminating in a performance of Beethoven's Choral Fantasy, with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, in the closing concert of the International Music Festival of which Uwe was Artistic Director for five years.
Uwe Grodd records for Naxos Records, both as a conductor and as a flautist, and in 2004 received a Gramophone Editor's Choice distinction for his world premier recording of Hummel's Missa Solemnis, with Tower Voices New Zealand and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
The press was unanimous:
‘ Grodd inspires vigorous playing and singing from his forces. ’ (Gramophone)
‘ Celebratory movements have a fine, ringing impetus, while Uwe Grodd shapes the more reflective sections with real tenderness. ‘ (Daily Telegraph)
‘ Uwe Grodd coaxes a magnificent, spirited performance from his Antipodean forces. ’ (The Independent)
In 2004 and 2005 he combined five choirs with the State Philharmonic Orchestra, Halle, for the final concerts of the HÄNDEL FESTIVAL in Germany.
Uwe Grodd enjoys the role of Musical Director of the Manukau City Symphony Orchestra, a position he has held since its inception in 1994. In 2005, the Orchestra celebrated the opening of their new concert hall in Manukau City - The Genesis Energy Theatre. In a ceremony led by New Zealand's Prime Minister, Helen Clark, Uwe combined five choirs with the MCSO in a special project named "The Genesis".
An avid supporter of contemporary music of all genres, Uwe has given many first performances including, in 2002, conducting the premier season of the multi-media opera Galileo, with music by John Rimmer and libretto by Witi Ihimaera.
Uwe's reputation as an inspiring teacher is well documented by his students' international performances and prizes. His editions of music by Vanhal, Beethoven and Ries, published by Artaria Editions, are increasingly in demand.
In 1999 with Uwe conducting, Auckland Choral performed Beethoven's Missa Solemnis to a full Town Hall and very positive feedback. The choir is very pleased to welcome Uwe and looks forward to an exciting future with him.