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Igor Stravinsky

Television (Full Length) – 1961

Russian composer Igor Stravinsky visited Aotearoa in 1961 for a series of performances with New Zealand's National Orchestra. This co-production between the NFU and the NZ Broadcasting Service shows Stravinsky at the Wellington Town Hall, guiding the orchestra through the finale of his work, The Firebird Suite. Stravinsky has his own particular style of conducting: no baton, and emphatic hand and arm movements. The applause is rapturous. Stravinsky appears delighted with the occasion; the orchestra (later renamed the NZ Symphony Orchestra) shower him with flowers. 

I still vividly remember his somewhat stooped figure making his way on to the rostrum, then spreading his arms out so that from the stalls he resembled an eagle in flight ... not only did he conduct without a score or a baton, but for most of the time his hands were clenched. Even now the memory of it still gives me goosebumps!
– Radio New Zealand listener Barbara remembers Igor Stravinsky's unique style as a conductor, RNZ website, 6 March 2017