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We welcome enquires from players; if you’d like to join the orchestra, please contact us to check availability of places – we’d love to hear from you.​


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About Us  

Resonance Ensemble was formed in February 2012 by players and, more than 10 years on, is firmly established as an integral part of the musical landscape of Christchurch and beyond.  Recognised as a high-quality, innovative and flexible orchestral ensemble, Resonance provides opportunities for musicians and audiences to experience both popular and novel repertoire beyond the more standard fare offered by Christchurch’s only fully professional orchestra.  Programmes range from music for chamber orchestra, works for larger ensemble, and New Zealand compositions, including new commissions.

The orchestra, conducted by Tony Ryan, rehearses weekly, presenting three or four concerts per year, and works primarily with Christchurch-based conductors and soloists.  Previous conductors have included Helen Renaud, Anthony Ferner and Mark Hodgkinson.

Dates for 2024 are: 24 March, 30 June, 22 September and 21 November, so diary them now. We look forward to presenting wonderful and innovative programmes for our growing and appreciative audience. 


Thanks for your support.

Spirit of the Land

Sunday 24 March at The Piano

Sibelius’s glorious Symphony No. 3 is not only one of the Finnish composer’s finest, but also one of his most heartfelt and personal works. Completed in 1907 when Finland was still struggling for independence from Russian control, Sibelius filled it with the heart and soul of his homeland. Anyone who loves Finlandia or Valse Triste will adore this symphony. All three movements are filled with Sibelius’s most lyrical and expressive inspiration.

Thirty years earlier, the Czech composer Smetana also wrote music that expresses his deep connection with his homeland. His cycle of six symphonic poems Ma Vlast (‘My Fatherland’) is filled with the spirit of Bohemia’s folksongs and dances. Our concert features two movements from Smetana’s masterpiece. The second poem, Vltava (‘The Moldau’), describes the great river’s journey through the Czech countryside, from its source, through peasant farmlands, mythological legends, treacherous rapids and its great span through the city of Prague. The third movement tells the story of the female warrior Šárka, a central figure in ancient Czech legend. After being betrayed by the princely knight Ctirad, Šárka ties herself to a tree as bait in order to deceive Ctirad into believing that she has been captured by the rebelling women. Once released, Šárka gives him and his men drugged mead and while they sleep, she sounds a hunting horn as a signal to the other women. The end of the poem describes the slaughter of the sleeping men by the warrior maidens.

We open this concert with the overture to Carl Maria von Weber’s last opera, Oberon, which was first performed in London in 1826. This short overture remains one of Weber’s most popular and colourful works, and the opera’s story about spirits and magic are brought vividly to life by Weber’s lively music.

So – colour, spectacle and richly soul-stirring expression are vibrantly on display in Spirit of the Land. Another enterprising and enticing Resonance Ensemble programme that’s not to be missed.

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Next concert

Conductor: Tony Ryan

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Tony Ryan is well-known to Christchurch audiences as a conductor, composer, educator and reviewer. He has been engaged as a conductor and composer for many organisations including Canterbury Opera, Court Theatre, the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and the Christchurch Youth Orchestra. As a teacher he led the performing arts at Linwood College for more than thirty years before spending several years working in Kenya and Singapore.

In addition to Resonance Ensemble, Tony is the conductor of the Christchurch School of Music Sinfonia and the Christchurch Schools’ Music Festival Orchestra.  His compositions have frequently been performed and broadcast in New Zealand and abroad, most recently by Resonance Ensemble, the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, the Canterbury Philharmonia, and orchestras from the Christchurch School of Music. In 2022, his HAKA! (II) was premiered by the Christchurch Schools’ Music Festival Orchestra for whom it was written and in November 2023 his HAKA! III - Matariki was premiered by the same orchestra.

Tony also writes on matters of musical interest – check out his website here.

Leader: Cornelia Didenco 


Cornelia was born in Moldova, one of the ex-Soviet Union republics and is a graduate of the Moldavian State Conservatorium. She has more than 30 years’ experience teaching and for most of that time has also played in symphony orchestras in both Moldova and New Zealand. During her time in the Moldavian Symphony Orchestra she performed at the Sala Verdi in La Scala, and at other prestigious venues in Italy, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, and Romania.


After emigrating to New Zealand, she joined the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and has also appeared as a soloist and in chamber groups, and as the leader of Resonance Ensemble. Since joining the CSO she has toured with them to Japan and has performed with celebrities such as Diana Krall, Cliff Richard, George Benson, Serj Tankian, and Andrea Bocelli.

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