Before the National Orchestra, several cities had amateur orchestras but there had been only two previous professional symphony orchestras, both of which had hoped to become national orchestras.
The 1906 New Zealand International Exhibition Orchestra had been formed in Christchurch and the National Broadcasting Service String Orchestra was created in December 1939, later forming the nucleus of the 1940 Centennial Symphony Orchestra for the country's centennial celebrations. This too was intended to be retained as a full-time national symphony orchestra but was disbanded due to World War II. The dream was delayed but not forgotten, and after hostilities ended a full time national symphony orchestra was established.
The early concerts were billed as "events of national importance" as they were in a country starved of live professional orchestral music. Today, 50 years later, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra is the country's leading performing arts organisation and is recognised as an orchestra of international standard. Ninety players give more than 100 concerts a year. It is Wellington-based but performs regularly throughout the country.
Product Listing for 50th Anniversary of NZSO
Click on image to enlarge.
|Date of issue:||10 July 1996|
|Designer:||Martin Bailey, Auckland, New Zealand|
|Printer:||Southern Colour Print, New Zealand|
|Stamp size:||50mm x 30mm|
|Sheet size:||20 stamps per sheet|
|Paper type:||Harrison and Sons, red phosphor coated, unwatermarked|
|Period of sale:||These stamps remained on sale until 10 July 1997.|