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Concert Programme for the 2014-2015 season

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Saturday 18th October 2014 − 6.00pm Palmerston Room, St John’s College, Cambridge
Choral Concert
VIVALDI: Magnificat
VIVALDI: The Four Seasons: Autumn
Soloists: Harriet Eyley (Soprano), Alys Roberts (Soprano), Anna Harvey (Mezzo-soprano)

The season begins with music by one of history’s most prolific composers, Baroque master Antonio Vivaldi. His Gloria is sunny, uplifting and exuberant – little wonder that it's among his best-loved works.

But without doubt, his most popular work was written not for voices, but for strings. As music director of a girls’ school in Venice, Vivaldi was required to write two concertos every month. Of the 500 he composed, the group entitled The Four Seasons is certainly the best known. Popular throughout Europe during the composer’s own lifetime, today they are among classical music’s most instantly recognisable works.

Related links: Poster (PDF 159 kB); Programme (PDF 1 MB); Review
Saturday 8th November 2014 − 7.30pm West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge
SHOSTAKOVICH: Festive Overture
RACHMANINOV: Piano Concerto No. 2 − Soloist: Ji Liu
BARTÓK: Concerto for Orchestra

We are delighted to welcome Classic FM recording artist and young piano sensation, Ji Liu. His debut album went straight to No. 1 in the classical charts and he performs at the Wigmore Hall and the Royal Albert Hall before joining us to perform in one of the most sumptuous, romantic and well-loved piano concertos ever written.

A concerto of a different kind completes the programme. Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra is a spectacular showcase for the Cambridge Philharmonic: virtuosic, nostalgic and witty in equal measure – and with one of the most exciting finales in all the orchestral repertoire.

“A young pianist with a rare sense of inborn musicality... Ji Liu has a technique to match any virtuoso.” Pianist Magazine

Related links: Poster (PDF 170 kB); Programme (PDF 737 kB)
Saturday 20th December 2014 − 7.30pm West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge
BIZET: Carmen (Concert performance)
Soloists: Sarah Castle (Carmen), Nicholas Ransley (Don José), Simon Thorpe (Escamillo), Prudence Sanders (Michaëla), John Molloy (Zuniga), Kristy Swift (Frasquita), Christina Haldane (Mercédès), Leandros Taliotis (Dancaïro/Moralès), Ted Schmitz (Remendado)

‘Love is a rebellious bird’, sings Carmen in the Habañera as she tempts Don José away from his childhood sweetheart Michaëla, whilst also attracting the amorous attentions of matador Escamillo…

Expect an evening of love, jealousy, passion and sensuality starring Sarah Castle (Royal Opera House, Covent Garden) in the title role and the exciting young tenor Nicholas Ransley (Scottish Opera) as Don José

“Mezzo Sarah Castle is, in a word, luminous. It is rare to encounter this role sung with such unfussy beauty and acted with touching believability.” Union-Tribune, San Diego

Related links: Poster (PDF 108 kB); Programme (PDF 724 kB); Review; Local Secrets Review
Saturday 24th January 2015 − 2pm and 4pm West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge
Family Concert
TV and film favourites including music from Star Wars, Frozen, Thunderbirds and Dr Who!

From the very earliest silent film to the very latest TV blockbuster, music has always been an essential part of the movies. Come and hear some of your favourite TV and film themes played live by the Cambridge Phil – and discover how music can bring a film to life. This concert will appeal to all ages and promises to sell out quickly – so make sure you book early!

“John Williams has given movies a musical language that can be spoken and understood in every country on this planet… Without question, he has been the single most significant contributor to my success as a filmmaker.” Steven Spielberg

Related link: Programme (PDF 268 kB)
Saturday 14th March 2015 − 7.30pm West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge
Cambridge Firsts
Pre-concert talk at 6.45pm: conductor Timothy Redmond in conversation with some of tonight’s composers: free to ticket holders.
JONATHAN DOVE: A Song of Joys (Cambridge premiere)
PAUL PATTERSON: Spider’s Web (UK premiere)
ELGAR HOWARTH: Dover Beach (World premiere)
JONATHAN DOVE: There was a Child (Cambridge premiere)
Soloists: Elizabeth Scorah (Harp), Linda Richardson (Soprano), Peter Auty (Tenor)
With King’s Junior Voices

Three of Britain’s most celebrated composers are featured in this concert of ‘firsts’. Jonathan Dove is renowned for his vocal music and so this chance to hear his most ambitious concert work to date will appeal to all lovers of choral music. Paul Patterson, who recently succeeded Sir David Willcocks as President of the Cambridge Philharmonic, is one of the most accomplished composers for the harp writing today and Elgar Howarth, who celebrates his 80th birthday in 2015, has had a glittering career as trumpeter, conductor and composer. His beautiful setting of Matthew Arnold’s Dover Beach features the brilliant English tenor Peter Auty.

The concert begins with A Song of Joys – which was given its second-ever performance by the Cambridge Philharmonic in Ely in 2013 – and is known to millions as the theme to the BBC Proms.

There Was a Child is joyous, vibrant, passionate. Easy on the ear as well as uplifting, it deserves to be taken up by orchestras and choral societies on both sides of the Atlantic.” Financial Times

“Peter Auty is on fantastic form.” The Guardian

Related links: Poster (PDF 320 kB); Programme (PDF 816 kB)
Saturday 23rd May 2015 − 7.30pm West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge
MENDELSSOHN: Hebrides Overture
DEBUSSY: Prelude à l’après-midi d’un faune
WAGNER (arr. Henk de Vlieger): The Ring − An Orchestral Adventure

Wagner’s four-opera Ring Cycle (Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung) is one of the most extraordinary works ever conceived. Contained in the four operas is a wealth of orchestral music unrivalled in its power, beauty and sheer brilliance. From Ride of the Valkyries to Siegfried’s Rhine Journey, Wagner’s distinctive sound has inspired countless composers and has influenced the history of music. Woven together by Dutch composer Henk de Vlieger into one mighty work, The Ring: An Orchestral Adventure features the vast orchestra you’d expect – including nine horns, four Wagner tubas, two harps and three anvils!

The concert begins with music from composers who preceded and followed Wagner – Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture is much more than a musical postcard of his trip to Scotland – and Debussy’s hazy, sensual daydream opens in a cloud of Wagner-inspired harmony.

“Imagination creates reality.” Wagner

Related links: Poster (PDF 268 kB); Programme (PDF 1 MB)
Saturday 11th July 2015 − 7.30pm Ely Cathedral
ELGAR: The Dream of Gerontius
Soloists: Yvonne Howard (Mezzo-soprano), Daniel Norman (Tenor), Nicholas Garrett (Bass-baritone)

Along with Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation and Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius is one of the pillars of the British choral tradition. Since its premiere in 1900 it has been rightly celebrated as not only one of Elgar’s greatest works, but arguably the most important choral work written by any English composer.

Setting Cardinal Newman’s poem about a dying man’s last moments on earth and the long journey of his soul towards the judgment of God, Elgar’s Wagner-infused score is a moving and unforgettable masterpiece.

“This is the best of me.” Elgar

Related links: Poster (PDF 486 kB); Programme (PDF 733 kB)