The nights are drawing in and the children are back at school, but whilst for some this heralds the onset of the winter months, the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra and its regular audience are looking forward to their new season of Sunday afternoon concerts at Brighton Dome.
An array of world-class musicians, including Melvyn Tan, Howard Shelley & Michael Collins, join the orchestra to perform popular works by Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Schubert, Rachmaninov, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, as well as less well-known gems by Arutunian, Ravel and Malcolm Arnold. Pre-Concert Interviews with these guest soloists take place at 1.45pm before each concert (apart from New Year’s Eve) giving you a fascinating insight into the life and career of a professional musician.
The season opens on Sunday 8th October with Conductor Laureate Barry Wordsworth at the helm, joined by exciting young Romanian pianist Alexandra Dariescu (recently named as one of 30 pianists under 30 destined for a spectacular career by International Piano Magazine) playing Tchaikovsky’s popular Piano Concerto No.1. The programme also includes Brahms’ intensely lyrical Symphony No.3 and Schumann’s dramatic overture to his opera Genoveva.
Particular highlights include a very special Remembrance Sunday concert (12 November) which opens with Bach’s Toccata & Fugue, orchestrated by the great American conductor Leopold Stokowski and familiar to many from the opening sequence of Disney’s Fantasia where Mickey Mouse shakes hands with The Conductor, Stokowski. Then comes Benjamin Britten’s emotional and technically demanding Violin Concerto, heavily influenced by the escalation of hostilities in Europe when it was written in 1939, and performed by British violinist Matthew Trusler. This is followed by George Butterworth’s evocative A Shropshire Lad, based on poems by AE Housman. This sumptuous orchestral rhapsody conjures up the rural idyll of Edwardian England that was to change forever in the First World War, where Butterworth was to lose his life in the trenches. The concert closes with Vaughan Williams’ craggy and powerful Symphony No.4, written in 1935 as the storm clouds of war gathered over Europe.
As part of the city’s festive celebrations the orchestra presents its traditional New Year’s Eve Viennese Gala with a plethora of foot-tapping marches, polkas and waltzes from the prolific Strauss family and lots of sparkly top notes from guest soprano Rebecca Bottone, returning for a second year by popular demand.
Highlights later in the season include Melvyn Tan playing Ravel’s jazz-infused Piano Concerto (3 December), Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto – a Classic FM favourite that has been used in the soundtracks of films such as The King’s Speech and Out of Africa (28 January), Howard Shelley playing Mendelssohn’s melodious Piano Concerto (11 February), and Arutunian’s fabulous showpiece Trumpet Concerto (4 March). Our season closes with Saint-Saëns’ delightful Carnival of the Animals for which the orchestra are joined by the virtuosic piano duo Worbey & Farrell, last seen in Brighton in the Fringe in 2014.
On the morning of the final concert (25 March) we will be holding our popular free Open Rehearsal for children, with a run through of Carnival of the Animals and extracts from Delibes’ comic ballet Coppélia Suite (arranged by our very own Barry Wordsworth).
Tickets are available from Brighton Dome Ticket Office (01273) 709709 or www.brightondome.org and range from £12-£38. Students and under 18s enjoy a 50% discount, as does anyone receiving Jobseekers Allowance, Pension Credit or Income Support, whilst children can attend for just £1 as part of a Family Ticket. Tickets for the Pre-Concert Interviews are £3.75.
Discounted parking is available for all BPO concerts at just £6 for up to five hours (from 1pm-6pm) in NCP Church Street Car Park, just a couple of minutes’ walk from Brighton Dome.
For full details of the whole season see: www.brightonphil.org.uk