On 24th November 2018, Tonbridge Philharmonic Society will perform Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem in the beautiful Chapel of St. Augustine at Tonbridge School. Tonbridge Philharmonic’s Choir and Orchestra will be joined by the award-winning Tonbridge Grammar School Motet Choir, alongside soloists Sofia Troncoso, Bradley Smith and Tristan Hambleton. Conducting the combined forces of over 200 musicians for this memorable occasion will be Matthew Willis, in his final concert as Music Director of Tonbridge Philharmonic Society after four inspirational years at the helm.

War Requiem was commissioned for the consecration of the new Coventry Cathedral in 1962, and alongside the traditional Latin Mass for the Dead, Britten chose to set nine poems by Wilfred Owen, who died on 4th November 1918, just one week before the Armistice. The concert on 24th November will begin at 7.30pm with a pre-concert talk by the co-producer of the Britten Centenary Edition on Decca Classics, Barry Holden, followed by readings of selected Wilfred Owen poems by members of the choir.

Tonbridge Philharmonic Society’s performance of Britten’s War Requiem will be a special occasion for the local community, as well as for the musicians and the audience. We will be involving young people not only as part of the choir, but also from the cadet groups in the area representing the Army, Royal Navy and British Air Force. There will also be an installation of white poppies called ‘Requiem for Peace’ made by local children at workshops hosted during November by Tonbridge Creates. The concert will end with a retiring collection for the Royal British Legion.

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