WELCOME TO THE BRIGHTON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
Welcome to the website of the Brighton Philharmonic, Brighton & Hove’s professional orchestra. We hope that it answers all your questions about who we are, what we do and how you can obtain tickets for our concerts.
Following a hugely successful 90th season, in which we saw a six percent growth in audience numbers, we are now enjoying our 91st season which consists of eight orchestral concerts in the Brighton Dome Concert Hall, six of these being conducted by our Conductor Laureate, Barry Wordsworth.
We are also delighted to be performing with the Brighton Festival Chorus in their annual Christmas Concert at Brighton Dome on Saturday 12 December which also features the Brighton Festival Youth Choir, in a celebration of Christmas music, traditional and modern. Our thanks to the BFC for allowing Friends of the Philharmonic the opportunity to purchase discounted tickets for this concert.
For the second year we presented our summer series of chamber music concerts in the Brighton Unitarian Church, a lovely venue for ensemble playing. Our “Brighton Connections” series featured works by local composers alongside familiar works by Haydn and Schubert, and we are delighted at the positive reviews this highly enjoyable series generated. We will be announcing the dates of our 2016 summer season shortly.
The Friends of the Philharmonic are, as always, hugely supportive of the BPO and as a result the orchestra is thriving. We rely on individual donations from our supporters for our programming, which this season will feature old favourites by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Schubert, as well as lesser-known works by Kalinnikov, Bruckner, Bernstein and William Alwyn. Opportunities to sponsor individual musicians or whole concerts help to ensure that we can continue to present interesting and attractive programmes.
We look forward to welcoming you to our 91st concert season where we are sure you will enjoy our exciting programmes, which feature an array of well-known soloists.
Nicolas Chisholm, MBE
Chairman of BHPS
Sunday 6 December concert
He is joined by Martin Owen, one of the leading horn players in Europe, who will perform Richard Strauss’s Horn Concerto No.1.
Martin last performed with the BPO in 2011 when he played Mozart’s Horn Concerto No.4 – under the direction of none other than Stephen Bell.
Richard Strauss’s father was one of the leading horn players of his day. For nearly 50 years he was principal horn of the Munich Court Orchestra, and performed in the premieres of some of Wagner’s greatest operas. Strauss wrote this concerto at the age of just 19 and although it was not dedicated to his father, old Franz Strauss was very pleased with his son’s achievement and played the work frequently in the family circle, although it taxed him to the limits of his technique. The concerto reflects the influence of Schumann and Mendelssohn on the young composer and the three movements flow on from each other without a pause, with the simple hunting horn figure that appears in the opening orchestral section repeated throughout the work.
The concert opens with Dvořák’s Overture: In Nature’s Realm which was part of a trilogy of overtures he wrote depicting Nature, Life and Love in his native Bohemia. In Nature’s Realm is a pastoral idyll, which Dvořák himself said presents “the emotions awakened in a solitary walk through meadows and woods on a quiet summer afternoon, when the shadows grow longer until they lose themselves in the dusk and gradually turn into the early shades of night”. It’s a lovely atmospheric piece with the flutes and oboes calling to mind birdsong.
The concert ends with Bruckner’s Symphony No.4, one of his most popular works, which he nicknamed “The Romantic”. It depicts a bygone era of knights hunting in the forest and life in a medieval city. He worked on the piece for 14 years, constantly revising it and editing it. Peter Back, the BPO’s programme-note writer says that the opening – solo horn calls sounding above quietly shimmering strings – “is one of the most magical beginnings in the entire symphonic repertoire”.
The music is very evocative with the slow second movement conjuring up images of a sombre funeral march, there’s a dramatic ‘hunting’ scene with trumpet fanfares in the Scherzo, then a Viennese waltz. The composer Robert Simpson expressed it perfectly when he said that “a Bruckner symphony is, so to speak, an archaeological dig; the first three movements are like layers removed, revealing the city below, the finale.”
Chance to conduct the Brighton Philharmonic & Brighton Festival Chorus
The Brighton Festival Chorus are running a draw to choose a member of the audience at their annual Christmas Concert at Brighton Dome (Sat 12 December) to come up on stage to conduct the Chorus and the BPO in the “Hallelujah Chorus”.
If you’ve always fancied wielding the conductor’s baton, see the BFC website for further details or click on the link below:
Prince Regent’s cello returns to Royal Pavilion estate
On Sunday 8 November 2015 the exciting young cellist Gemma Rosefield joins the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra in Brighton Dome Concert Hall to perform Tchaikovsky’s “Rococo Variations”.
Gemma plays on a cello made in Naples in 1704 by Alessandro Gagliano which was formerly owned and played by the Prince Regent and housed in the Royal Pavilion. George was considered a “very superior” player of the cello, having studied with the leading cellist of the day, John Crosdill, and the instrument was allegedly given to him as a gift by the King of Spain.
2015/16 Concert Season brochure/flyer
Summer Season 2015
Brighton Connections, our summer series of early evening chamber music concerts, took place on four Sundays over the summer in the Brighton Unitarian Church.
Eight musicians from the orchestra took part in the four concerts, joined by guest pianists Sasha Grynyuk, Jeremy Young & Rachel Fryer. Featuring works by local composers Barry Mills, Peter Copley, Frank Bridge and Howard Blake alongside well-known pieces by Schubert, Haydn and Gordon Jacob, the series was very well received, garnering such reviews as:
“These Summer Concerts provide a most civilized retreat from Brighton’s raucous holiday atmosphere. Those thinking of popping along can be assured of interesting programmes and a friendly welcome from the organisers.” The Argus
“It is rather special when respect for a composer turns into delight, which happened within the first few bars of the Bridge. It was not just the music itself but the obvious enjoyment that the trio had in playing it. Jeremy Young was clearly revelling in the lightness of touch and variety of style.” The Latest
You can read all the reviews in full by clicking on the link below, and also download a copy of the summer season programme.
The 12 page programme from the series is available to DOWNLOAD here.
"The Brighton Philharmonic, Brighton's blue chip orchestra..."Smile SussexSmile Sussex
"Brighton is privileged to have an orchestra of such quality on its doorstep"Mid Sussex TimesMid Sussex Times
"...an orchestra which continues to remind those who attend how lucky they are to have such an established orchestra on their doorstep"The ArgusThe Argus