Message From Thomas Carroll
Welcome to our summer season.
It is amazing to think that we are now two-thirds of the way through our Beethoven Cycle – only three symphonies remain! But, as always with Beethoven, whether in the first or the last symphony, every note is perfectly and beautifully written, inspired and bril- liant. On 25 April we play his first symphony, on 29 June his seventh and on 11 July, his final symphony, the ninth. Do join us as we complete this incredible journey.
Our concert on 25 April marks a very special event in the Orpheus calendar; the recording of our first ever CD, with the pianist Emmanuel Despax. We begin the concert at Cadogan Hall with Beethoven’s first symphony, before launching into the first of three piano concertos for the evening. We are excited that our composer-in-residence, Stephen Goss, has a world premiere that evening – his new piano concerto, inspired by the evocation of time and place. The concerto was specially commissioned by SW Mitchell Capital for Emmanuel Despax. After the interval we perform two jewels from the romantic virtuoso piano concerto repertoire: Franck’s Symphonic Variations for piano and orchestra and the Piano Concerto No2 by Saint-Saëns. If you enjoy piano concertos, then this evening is not to be missed!
On 28 May we return to St George’s Church, Hanover Square, for a special evening of works to celebrate the music of Britten and Korth. This year marks the centenary of Benjamin Britten’s birth and our programme features his popular song cycle Les Illuminations as well as the Serenade for tenor, horn and strings. We are thrilled to continue our collaboration with Nicholas Korth and wel- come other members of the BBC Symphony Orchestra for what promises to be a wonderful evening.
Our annual visit to Radley Farm takes place on 29 June when we will perform works by Vaughan Williams, Elgar, Handel and Beethoven. Suzie Thorn makes a welcome return as our soloist for the evening, playing the Vaughan Williams Oboe Concerto, and we warmly welcome Steffan Morris for his conducting debut with Orpheus. Radley is one of our favourite annual events and we greatly look forward to returning this year.
We finish our Beethoven Cycle on 11 July at Cadogan Hall when we perform another world premiere by our composer-in-residence, together with the ninth symphony by Beethoven, The Choral. This is one of our biggest challenges to date! The world premiere consists of a triple concerto for cello, piano and saxophone by Stephen Goss. It will be a fusion of many different styles and is at present a work in progress. We all eagerly await its arrival! Beethoven’s ninth symphony is one of the most famous pieces in the classical repertoire, having become a musical symbol of interna- tional world peace. Its iconic magnitude has influenced composers ever since its conception and to perform it is an extremely exciting end to a wonderful journey through some of the greatest music ever written.