The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (APO) heads over the Harbour Bridge in July for the first of two concerts at the Bruce Mason Centre, and among the 72-strong orchestra of musicians looking forward to the change of scenery is Simon Williams, APO horn player and Browns Bay resident.

“The Bruce Mason Centre is a great venue for the North Shore and it’s going to be fantastic having the APO in my neighbourhood,” Simon says. Since emigrating from the UK in 1994, Simon has lived on the Shore; first in Milford and in 1998 he moved to Browns Bay. “I love that I can go home and feel like I’m away from the city. Browns Bay almost feels like a secluded little seaside town,” he says. “I live about a 10-minute walk from the beach, so I’ll often go for walks down there,” he adds.

Both concerts at the Bruce Mason Centre, on 13 July and 12 October, are part of APO’s Bayleys Great Classics series, which features some of the best-loved and best-known works in orchestral music. Simon suggests that concertgoers make a night of it and enjoy the Bruce Mason Centre’s close proximity to some excellent dining establishments. “It’s only a few minutes’ walk to places like the Elephant Wrestler and The Belgian Beer Café; Takapuna’s vibrant dining precinct is a great way to kick off an evening with the APO.”