Message From Thomas Carroll

Welcome to our spring season!

We continue our musical journey around the world with three of the most beautiful and captivating cities and areas; Vienna, Bohemia and Paris. I have spent much time in all three so it is a joy to explore their great musical heritage. I studied in Vienna and would often marvel at the way the city lives and breathes music with so many streets named after famous composers. It is a true city of classical music, if there ever was one, and the great composers for our first concert – Strauss, Mozart and Brahms – are a testament to its rich heritage of musical treasures. It will be a joy to open the season with Strauss’s Fledermaus Overture. I am delighted to welcome David Dolan to Orpheus and very much look forward to his Mozart concerto; it’s an honour to have a musician of his calibre playing with us. Brahms’s Fourth Symphony is a masterpiece that I’m very much looking forward to bringing to you – it was the composer’s own favourite of his orchestral works and is a fitting way to finish our first musical city this season.

Bohemia has always been a source of vivid imagination for me as a place filled with magical things. I often visited Prague while in Vienna. The forests of the Czech Republic have surely influenced its composers and Dvorak’s Cello Concerto is no exception. Dvorak wrote the piece while in America, but one can feel the nostalgia in the second movement, with all the “woody” opening chords in the winds; you can almost smell the fresh forests. It is a masterpiece of the cello repertoire and makes a fantastic partner to Mahler’s first symphony, which has its roots firmly in folk music with a flavour so distinctive of his native Bohemia.

In April we make our first visit to the Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre. We are delighted and privileged to have been approached to collaborate with the Fukushima Youth Sinfonietta, talented young musicians from the area of Japan most severely affected by the tsunami that struck in 2011. In a life-changing project, working with young people through the power of music to overcome such a disaster and to re-build their lives, these students will travel to the UK, and the highlight of their journey is this performance at Queen Elizabeth Hall. We are thrilled to be able to mentor them, supporting their emerging talent, and we are most excited to bring this inspirational project to life for these young Japanese people.

Paris has long been a city that attracted musicians to seek new inspiration and our concert celebrates Mozart and Stravinsky, who moved there, alongside Paris’s own native composers such as Saint-Saëns and Ravel. It is a privilege to be able to feature this treasure-trove of fabulous music: Mozart’s highly successful Paris Symphony, Ravel’s wonderfully coloured choreographic poem LaValse, Saint-Saëns’s Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, full of vivacity and daring writing, and Stravinsky’s ballet Petrushka, full of excitement and the most wonderful Parisian atmosphere.

We are delighted to have just released our debut CD on the Signum Classics label featuring Franck’s Variations Symphoniques and piano concertos by Saint-Saëns and Stephen Goss, performed by Emmanuel Despax. I am very excited to bring such wonderful music to you.

My sincere thanks to all our sponsors, and I warmly welcome you to all our concerts.

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