The Christchurch Town Hall’s splendidly restored Rieger pipe organ will resound again in joyous celebration at two free concerts on Wednesday, March 6.
This will be the first time the organ has been heard since the Christchurch earthquakes, brought back to life under the fingers and feet of this city’s renowned concert organist Martin Setchell.
Acknowledged as New Zealand’s mostly widely travelled concert organist, Martin believes in promoting entertaining music to a wide audience.
Over the last 20 years, he has regularly performed in Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia and Asia. This year, he is scheduled to play concerts in Singapore, Australia, Germany and the Bergen international music festival in Norway, as well as throughout New Zealand.
At the Town Hall, Martin will introduce and play a programme of music in his own inimitable style, including a brilliant new work, appropriately entitled Celebration, which was specially written for this occasion by the popular Norwegian composer Mons Leidvin Takle.
The iconic pipe organ was first installed in the Town Hall’s Douglas Lilburn auditorium in May 1997 by Rieger of Austria. The organ has been silent since early 2011, when the devastating earthquake struck. Twelve new ranks of pipes were being installed at that time.
This will be the first time the organ will be heard with its new pipes and stops, which will be highlighted in Martin’s choice of music.
The free concerts will be officially opened by The Mayor of Christchurch, Lianne Dalziel. Doors open 40 minutes before each of the two concerts, which begin at 1.10pm and 6pm. There will be no bookings, so just turn up early to get a good seat.