Saturday 28 March 2020

Spring concert

Deddington Church, 7.30pm

Banbury Symphony Orchestra plays in the spring with a varied programme of romantic imagery and story-telling.

Our concert will start with Gustav Holst’s ballet music to The Perfect Fool. Holst originally wrote The Perfect Fool as a one-act comic opera in the early 1920s. He later developed a four-section ballet with music derived from the opera, with individual sections representing the Dances of Spirits of Earth, Water and Fire. The whole suite is a tour de force of evocative musical scoring.

To follow, we have Paul Hindemith’s equally evocative Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Weber. This short four-movement composition takes themes that Weber wrote originally as incidental music for a play on the Turandot legend (which later would be the inspiration for Puccini’s masterful opera). Hindemith’s Metamorphosis is a virtuosic piece which gives the orchestra a full work-out!

After the interval, we welcome back the wonderful Luba Tunnicliffe on viola, to play Berlioz’s Harold in Italy with us. Luba gave an inspirational performance of the Walton Viola Concerto with the orchestra in November 2018 (you can read more about Luba on her website). Berlioz’s ‘symphony with viola’ was inspired by the stories of Childe Harolde by Lord Byron. Harold in Italy was written at the suggestion of the great virtuoso Paganini, who then promptly refused to play it, as the solo part was not virtuosic enough!

Tickets are £10 and 18s and under remain FREE!

The Holst Society

The Holst Society was established in 2017 to commemorate the life and music of the English composer Gustav Holst. The Society’s aim is to bring Holst’s work to a wider audience by promoting and sponsoring performances and recordings of his compositions.

Banbury Symphony Orchestra is pleased to acknowledge the support of the Holst Society towards our performance of Holst’s ‘The Perfect Fool’.

Sunday 17 May 2020

Chamber Orchestra concert

St Peter’s Church, Hook Norton, 3.30pm

This year, Banbury Chamber Orchestra’s annual May concert celebrates music from three masters that together bridge the Classical and Romantic musical periods.

Beethoven’s turbulent Coriolan Overture was written in 1807 for von Collin’s tragedy ‘Coriolan’. The striking chords that open the work lead us immediately into the story of the semi-legendary Roman general, tormented by his decision to lead an army of Rome’s former enemies against his countrymen.

An altogether lighter note is struck in the Sinfonia Concertante for Four Winds and Orchestra, generally – although not definitively  attributed to Mozart. This delightful three-movement work makes full use of the four solo instruments, individually and in entertaining combination. The four soloists are drawn from the orchestra itself (Christine Griggs – Oboe, Jane Cerasale – Clarinet, Helen Newing – French Horn, and Ian McCubbin – Bassoon).

After a short interval we will conclude the concert with Schubert’s charming Symphony No 6, written in late 1817. The symphony’s nickname (the ‘Little C Major’) distinguishes it from Schubert’s later Ninth Symphony (the so-called ‘Great C Major’), with the Sixth Symphony being of smaller ‘classical’ proportions.

Tickets are £10 for adults. Tickets for 18s and under remain FREE, as are our concert programmes!

Saturday 4 July 2020

Last Night of the Proms

St Mary’s Church, Banbury, 7.30pm

The Banbury Symphony Orchestra has a very special ‘Last Night of the Proms’ concert lined up for 4 July in St. Mary’s Church Banbury.

Top of the bill, the orchestra will play the Concierto de Aranjuez, the tuneful and popular masterpiece for guitar and orchestra by the Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo. To play the Rodrigo with us will be the internationally-renowned Australian guitarist Craig Ogden, who lives locally in Oxfordshire. Craig has been described as ‘A worthy successor to Julian Bream’ by BBC Music Magazine, and in 2004 he was the youngest ever instrumentalist to receive a Fellowship Award from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. This performance is not to be missed!

We match the flavour of the Rodrigo with Emmanuel Chabrier’s most famous work España, a bright and breezy evocation of the Spanish ‘jota’ dance. Moving much further east, we’re also in celebratory mood with Shostakovich’s Festive Overture, written to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. Altogether quieter and more reflective will be Delius’ evocative Summer Evening, a rarely heard orchestral piece written in the 1890s.

And if that wasn’t enough, we will round off the evening with the staple fare of the ‘Last Night’ Proms concert, performing the Fantasia on British Sea Songs by Henry Wood, Elgar’s Pomp & Circumstance March No 1, and Parry’s Jerusalem. Bring your best singing voice!

Tickets are £10 for adults. Tickets for 18s and under remain FREE, as are our concert programmes!