Peter Thomas

ASO French Horn Concerto Commission

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Support this project and donate towards an exciting  new orchestral work.

On two Sunday afternoons in October the Auckland Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Peter Thomas, will present 'The French Connection' - a programme of French and French-linked works. Topping off these concerts will be the premiere of a brand new Horn Concerto written by NZ composer Alex Taylor for French Horn player Emma Richards.

As a community Orchestra, the ASO relies on the generosity of people like you to keep them going and they ask for your assistance to pay the composer, performer and general help with concert costs. They want you to continue to enjoy these perfomances long into the future.

This particular project was born when director Peter Thomas invited Emma Richards to play a French Horn concerto with the ASO. Emma said she would love to do a concerto with the orchestra but not the usual Mozart or Strauss - it was time for something new and inspiring! Peter then suggested commissioning young composer Alex Taylor to write a new concerto for the horn.

Alex is not only excited about working with Emma and Peter but also about writing for an instrument that has such a limited repertoire but huge writing potential.

As part of the orchestra's 40th Anniversary, they have commissioned four new fanfares this year to feature in each of their concerts - an exciting project that has added to their repertoire. Now they are calling on you, the public, to help get this huge project off the ground. 

We'd love to thank all our donors with their name printed on the score to recognise their generosity.

Thank you for donating! Every little bit helps.

Concerts are October 11th at the Aotea Centre and October 18th at the Bruce Mason Centre, both at 2:30pm.

A little bit about the collaborators:

Emma Richards                                                                                        
After graduating from university in Wellington Emma received a full scholarship to attend the Banff Summer Music School Master Class and Orchestra Programme. She then went on to Toronto to study horn and performance techniques with Joan Watson. In 2009 Emma was delighted to join the ranks of the Auckland Philharmonia's wonderful horn section. Since living in Auckland Emma has also been fortunate to appear as a soloist with the APO, Auckland Chamber Orchestra, Pipers Sinfonia, Manukau Symphony Orchestra and St Matthews Chamber Orchestra. Emma has been lucky to perform with all of New Zealand's professional orchestras and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Most recently Emma won both the Winston Churchill and Auckland Philharmonia Foundation Scholarships to travel to Berlin to get lessons from the Berlin Philharmonic horn section. Emma is passionate about music education. She enjoys teaching privately, at Auckland University and mentoring in schools with ACE Brass Trio. Her goal is to empower young people to find their passion and go for their goals.

Alex Taylor is a composer, poet and multi-instrumentalist based in Auckland. In 2012 he was the youngest recipient to date of the SOUNZ Contemporary Award, New Zealand's most prestigious composition prize. Alex was the New Zealand Young Composer representative at the 2014 Asian Composers League in Tokyo and in 2013 received the CANZ Trust Fund Award. His recent projects include a substantial bassoon concerto commissioned by Ben Hoadley and the Auckland Chamber Orchestra, and a recomposition of Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas in collaboration with Frances Moore's Unstuck Opera company.

Peter Thomas is a New Zealand based conductor and music educator. He is the Music Director and conductor of the Auckland Symphony Orchestra and Head of Music at Epsom Girls Grammar School. Peter has conducted many orchestras, including the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Auckland Youth Orchestra and West Michigan University Orchestra, either during master classes or as a guest conductor. Though his repertoire is broad, he feels a particular affinity with Romantic and 20th century works and is particularly passionate about performing new music.

The Auckland Symphony Orchestra is a community based orchestra that has been serving the concert-goers of Auckland for 40 years. The orchestra provides an opportunity for musicians who have chosen a career outside music to enjoy weekly rehearsals of symphonic music, playing without payment and purely for the pleasure of making good music together. The orchestra also supports local young soloists, giving them the opportunity to perform with a full symphony orchestra, in concert. The orchestra's main philosophy is that music should be fun and enjoyed by players and audiences alike, hence they regularly put on free family concerts, often playing to full capacity.




    Because of all our incredibly generous sponsors we made it to our fundraising target!

    A huge thank you from Peter, Alex, Emma and the Auckland Symphony Orchestra to each and every one of you for backing our project, we literally couldn't have done it without you.

    Don't forget to attend one of the concerts to hear what your contribution has made possible:
    this Sunday October 11th at the Aotea Centre and next Sunday October 18th at the Bruce Mason Centre, both at 2:30pm.


    All donators (unless ananymous) will be recognised with their name printed on the score.

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  • Two days to go!




    We have had an incredibly genorous patron, who wishes to remain anonymous, pledge to match donations towards our project dollar to dollar up to $1000!

    Please spread the word and donate knowing that your donation will be doubled :) thank you to everyone for supporting us. With only 18 days left let's keep the ball rolling! 

  • Things are happening


    Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far - your generosity is hugely appreciated. Keep sharing and spreading the word!

    Alex is adding the final touches to his composition through consultation with Emma and Peter - it is so exciting to see notes on the page and we can't wait to hear it! Emma is busy practising and the orchestra will start their rehearsals soon!

    I've made a very large number of dots this week towards this wonderful project with Emma Richards, Peter Thomas and the Auckland Symphony Orchestra. Please support my dot-making and Emma's horn-tootin'. 

    I've printed it out and am on lock down. I hope my neighbours like horn rips......

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