Looking back at the highlights of 2017, there are so many to choose from….
The year kicked off with our February concert of beautiful Romantic music conducted by Chris Stark, best-known as the Conductor and Co-Artistic Director of the award winning Multi-Story Orchestra. The programme included a stirring performance of Brahms 3rd Symphony and a wonderful rendition of Bruch’s Kol Nidrei by the exciting young cellist, Matthew Strover.
Early in 2017, thanks to the generous support of the Ernest Read Trust, we were delighted to be able to appoint our new String Principals. These appointments have helped the orchestra to continue to build and strengthen our excellent string sections and ERSO has benefited hugely from working with Deputy Leader Jaga Klimaszewska, Principal Cello Barbara Mohorko, Principal 2nd Violin Tom Rowan-Young and Bass Mentor Jan Zahourek
In March, we held a Family Concert at the lovely church of St Mary’s at Primrose Hill. The concert was expertly conducted and presented by Tim Redmond and themed around types of movement. We “swam” with the swans from Swan Lake, “flew” with the bicycle in the ET Theme and went on a journey on a steam train in Honegger’s Pacific 231. Talented young musicians from the Camden School for Girls joined ERSO to expertly perform Mambo from West Side Story and Adams’s Short Ride in a Fast Machine and the cheers from the audience showed how proud their families were!
May brought a wonderful Nordic themed concert with Tom Hammond. The rafters of St John’s Church at Waterloo rang out with the stirring 5th Symphony by Sibelius. The concert opened with the chance to hear the relatively rarely performed Overture and Dance of the Cockerels from Nielsen’s opera Maskerade. The first half ended with a polished performance of the Grieg Piano Concerto by the exciting, award-winning young soloist Dinara Klinton who is kindly supported by Making Music’s Philip & Dorothy Green Award for Young Concert Artists scheme.
In the summer we launched two exciting competitions under the auspices of our newly created ERSO Talent Programme, which links all of our work with emerging professional musicians. In its first exciting year the ERSO Talent Programme will focus on emerging soloists through the ERSO Soloist of the Year 2018 competition and emerging conductors in our Behind the Baton project in May 2018.
We had two amazing mornings of auditions for the ERSO Soloist of the Year and were totally blown away by the level of talent and variety of wonderful performances. We were completely spoilt for choice! However, we finally picked our four finalists, who will compete in the Final on January 21st to win the chance to perform their chosen concerto with ERSO, conducted by the eminent Peter Stark.
In October we put on a fabulous concert of Romantic music under the baton of Sam Burstin, which was a truly special event.
Our wonderful soloist Ana Sinkovec gave an amazing rendition of the Rachmaninov’s 3rd Piano Concerto and the emotional performance of Tchaikovsky’s Pathetique Symphony left the audience spellbound.
Our final concerts in November were two hugely enjoyable afternoons of music in Camden and Kew, working with children from the Camden Music Service’s Camden Training Orchestra and also with children from Kings House School in Richmond. Our fabulous presenter Tim Keasley guided us through fairy-tale lands and outer space, with a short visit to Brazil to help find a rather spirited missing cow…… The children who performed with ERSO sat within the orchestra throughout the concerts and they certainty enjoyed themselves – when asked “Are there any ways we can improve the concert experience?”, one simply replied “NO!”. Parents in the audience also had a great time, enjoying the interactive elements of the concerts and saying that it was “A wonderful idea to inspire the young performers – fantastic!”
ERSO were under the expert baton of Chris Stark, who worked with us to deliver some really beautiful moments of Ravel, Ives and Milhaud.
All of that and so much more – we simply can’t wait for 2018!!!!