We thought we’d run a series of articles and ask some key people in the Festival’s organising team what they are most looking forward to as the Festival draws near. Manager, Bob Bickerton, starts off:

“The simple answer is that it’s too hard, it all looks so good and there are so many highlights. Personally I’m looking forward to meeting the many artists and concert goers we have been communicating with over the last year or so.

The Grand Opening Concert has a sumptuous programme and I’m intrigued to hear the chamber version of Mahler’s 4th Symphony on 2nd February. Colin’s Bach suites epic is a must of course and I’m looking forward to hearing him perform the Rachmaninov Cello Sonata with Diedre Irons on Thursday 7th February. I recorded three students performing the Popper Requiem some years ago, so I’m looking forward to hearing that again. Ross Harris’ new string quartet sounds fascinating and I’m looking forward to finishing Waitangi Day with a performance by Whirimako Black and Richard Nunns of traditional moteatea with taonga puoro accompaniment”.