Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Orchestra has 50 years to celebrate

Orchestra has 50 years to celebrate

HENLEY Symphony Orchestra will this month embark on its 50th anniversary season with a concert featuring the music of Dvorak, Franz von Suppé and Tchaikovsky.

Conducted by the orchestra’s music director Ian Brown, the Concert Hall in Blagrave Street, Reading, is the venue for the 4pm concert on Sunday, November 17.

An HSO spokesman said: “Celebrating our 50th anniversary is an amazing achievement for an orchestra started by a group of Henley parents sharing an idea while their children took part in music lessons.

“From the first concert held in a borrowed marquee in Shiplake, HSO has gone from strength to strength and, under the guidance of Ian Brown, is now one of the country’s most established amateur orchestras.

“It attracts some 60 players from across the Thames Valley and promotes an annual series of four concerts featuring internationally acclaimed artists.

“HSO has also given performances in Henley’s twin towns of Falaise and Leichlingen, at the Bled International Music Festival in Slovenia and on the floating stage at the Henley Festival.”

Opening this month’s concert — and the anniversary celebrations — with a fanfare is a rendition of the Light Cavalry Overture by Franz von Suppé.

The orchestra will then be joined by soloist Adrian Brendel for Dvorak’s expressive Cello Concerto.

The HSO spokesman said: “This was composed while Dvorak was working in New York and imbued with a sense of longing for his native Czech homeland.”

Rounding off proceedings in dramatic fashion is Tchaikovsky’s powerful but melodic Fourth Symphony.

Written at a time of personal turmoil, it is punctuated by a repeated “fate theme” heard in the opening fanfare and again in the surging conclusion.

Welcoming the prospect of playing alongside Adrian Brendel, the spokesman added: “Creative innovation and musical versatility rank high among the list of attributes of this London-born cellist.

“Raised in the great central European tradition of music-making, he has forged strong and enduring partnerships with many fine artists, appearing with them at the world’s most prestigious festivals and concert halls.

“Adrian’s musical passions also encompass jazz and world music, influencing his decision to join the Nash Ensemble in 2014.

“His first cello teacher was William Pleeth. He later participated in masterclasses with Kurtág, Ferenc Rados, members of the Alban Berg Quartet and with his father, the world-renowned pianist Alfred Brendel.

“As a concerto soloist, Adrian has appeared with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and many orchestras in Germany and Eastern Europe. A critically acclaimed recording of Beethoven’s cello sonatas with his father is available on the Philips label.”

Tickets are £18, £15 and £10, with a 50 per cent discount for students and under-16s. A further discount is available for group bookings, with one in eight going free, and on the £15 and £10 tickets one child goes free with each paying adult.

For more information and to book, call 01235 859210 or visit www.henley
symphonyorchestra.co.uk

Alternatively, visit www.readingarts.com

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