Wellington Scoop

NZSO delighted by Town Hall plan; aims for national centre of excellence

nzso in town hall

News from NZSO
The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra is delighted that the Wellington City Council has outlined a comprehensive plan that aims to finance the strengthening of the Town Hall and breathe new life in to the Civic Square area.

NZSO Chief Executive Christopher Blake says: “The NZSO envisages a transformation of the Wellington Town Hall into a major and nationally significant centre of excellence and innovation for education, music, culture and the arts with its world class auditorium at its heart. The Wellington City Council’s Civic Precinct Master Plan would ensure the internationally acclaimed acoustics of the Town Hall auditorium are put to their best use.”

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the Town Hall, once strengthened, could be used as the base for a “National Music Hub”. Currently, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music are talking to Wellington City Council officers about the possibility of a detailed feasibility study of this exciting opportunity. This is to test the viability of such a proposal, analyse space and utilisation requirements and configuration options.

Christopher Blake says: “Under the proposed collaboration the Wellington Town Hall and Municipal Office Building would be permanently secured and protected as a major national heritage asset for the benefit of future generations. It would be a vibrant home for the NZSO and a centre for performance, teaching, research and composition as well as music technology, recording and innovation.

“We believe this national centre for music would significantly advance progress towards Wellington City Council’s vision Wellington Towards 2040: Smart Capital in a unique and tangible way.”

At this stage, both the NZSO and NZSM need to assess the outcome of the feasibility study before progressing the proposal further. Should the study demonstrate that it is worth exploring further, the NZSO and NZSM will work with the Council to consult with stakeholders and the public on their views.