Hohner Symphony In New Zealand

This program is courtesy of the Dargaville Museum Accordion Gems Display.
The program is shown below in picture format and can for greater detail, be printed at:
Hohner 1955 Tour Program

Hohner Accordion Symphony Tour to New Zealand in 1955.

Excerpt from the History of Accordion in New Zealand by Wallace Liggett.

"In 1955, Auckland, Wellington and some other centres received a visit from the Hohner Accordion Symphony Orchestra. This well disciplined and musically expressive group opened many eyes to yet another dimension of the accordion.

This was the first time that New Zealanders had heard an accordion orchestra perform full score transcriptions of orchestral works. Another first was the use of timpani, amplified bass and cello accordions plus the tasteful use of electronics with acoustic reed accordions, a feature that has rarely been explored as fully even to this day.

This concert tour inspired the formation of a number of accordion groups and orchestras in NZ."

Throughout the History of Accordion in New Zealand book, there are references by prominent accordionists to the major impression the Hohner Accordion Symphony made and how it influenced their accordion career/activities for many years to come.

Without question, the tour to New Zealand by the Hohner Accordon Symphony was a defining moment in the development of the accordion in New Zealand and the development in New Zealand of accordion orchestras that would some 30 plus years later return to Europe.

This the Air New Zealand Accordion Orchestra did, touring the world every two years, and achieving between one and four standing ovations at its concerts in German speaking Europe in 1981, 1986, 1992 and tours in between to North America and the first tour ever to China by an accordion orchestra in 1988.

The Hohner Accordion Symphony with its legendary conductor Rudolf Wurthner and deputy conductor/soloist Karl Perenthaler plus 17 accordionists, had made an enormous impact lasting well beyond their concert lifetimes to the great benefit of accordionists on the other side of the world.

The Hohner company deserves high commendation for their support of this cultural and musical endeavour that was well ahead of its time.

Harley Jones

Below is a scan of the 1955 Hohner Accordion Symphony Program for their tour to New Zealand. Your can download in pdf format the program: Hohner 1955 Tour Program

Excuse the editing marks on the program below. We are not sure why it was marked but possibly this text was used in New Zealand to inform other New Zealand accordionists know about these landmark concerts.

Interesting to see that the orchestra had up to 5 different programs.

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