This Saturday the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 60th birthday with a concert featuring violinist Natalia Lomeiko, who's been a regular soloist with the CSO since she was seventeen.
Natalia’s parents immigrated to New Zealand 22 years ago to join the orchestra; her mother, another Natalia, is also a violinist and her father Yuri plays double bass.
RNZ Concert will broadcast this first concert for 2018 live from Wigram on Saturday night. It features a new work by Christchurch born composer John Young and Natalia Lomeiko playing Bruch's violin concerto. Chief conductor Benjamin Northey will be on the podium for the Eroica concert with Beethoven's Third Symphony in the second half.
On this visit Natalia also teams up with pianist Kirsten Robertson to give recitals in Wanaka on Sunday and in Christchurch next week. It'll be her first time playing in the new venue The Piano.
It's also a rare opportunity for four generations of her family to be together: her mother, her grandmother, Natalia and her daughter Anya. Natalia lives in London with her husband, also called Yuri, and three old Anya. Mum will babysit on Saturday while Natalia performs the concerto with the CSO, with Dad playing in the orchestra.
Natalia says it’s wonderful to see Christchurch moving ahead and people returning to live there since the devastation of the February 22nd 2011 earthquake . She and her husband were supposed to be in the Cathedral rehearsing for a chamber music concert at the time of the devastating quake but fortunately Yuri hadn’t finished his lunch.
She says this time in her adopted home town is a period she will thoroughly enjoy, especially as it is in summer and she needs the vitamin D.