Classical music meets contemporary Cuba Street culture

Immerse yourself in a weekend musical experience like no other at the Delightfully Offbeat Classical on Cuba festival. Celebrating the intersection of classical music and contemporary Cuba Street culture, this extraordinary event offers a unique twist on the classical music genre. Pushing artistic boundaries and redefining the traditional concert hall experience, Classical on Cuba invites you to explore classical music in popular bars, restaurants, and art galleries, bringing it closer to you – the people.
Prepare to be dazzled as Wellington’s brightest players take the stage, showcasing their exceptional talent and revealing that classical music is hotter than ever.
Classical on Cuba was born out of the challenges of the Covid lockdown in 2020, when Creative Capital Arts Trust and Orchestra Wellington joined forces with passionate musicians to support the Cuba Street businesses affected by the cancelled CubaDupa festival. The successful partnership led to the festival’s triumphant return in 2021, 2022 and 2023. Stay tuned for next year…

Opening the doors for a new audience for classical music

The 2023 festival’s expert curator is Elliot Vaughan, composer, performer, and artist based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara, having returned to Kiwi shores to complete his MMus after fifteen years in Vancouver. His output includes exploratory concert music, composed theatre, pop songs, performance art, and contributions to collaborative projects.

This fresh approach and vision for opening the doors for a new audience for classical music resulted in a programme that featured a widely diverse and playful line up with shows spanning Bach to Bridgerton. Classical on Cuba forges new paths, with classical players coming together with hip hop artists, jazz musicians, taonga pūoro powerhouses, opera divas, drag performers, theatre actors and contemporary dancers to make one exciting lineup of acts to choose from on a classical crawl through the weekend.

From new commissioned concerts to special musical events for kids, Classical on Cuba has something for everyone.

Classical on Cuba is nurtured under the umbrella of Wellington’s Creative Capital Arts Trust, a non-profit organisation looking out for the arts and artists alike, masterminding the likes of CubaDupa and NZ Fringe Festival. Creative Capital Arts Trust works in artistic partnership with Orchestra Wellington for Classical on Cuba.