Peter Back previews Sun 5 March concert

The outstanding international concert violinist Chloë Hanslip makes a welcome return to Brighton on Sunday afternoon as the guest of the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra in a performance of Erich Korngold’s Violin Concerto in D.  Korngold’s lush Romantic style found its true métier in the movies with a series of swashbuckling scores for Warner Brothers, highlighted by the Oscar-winning The Adventures of Robin Hood in 1938.  His style of music had become an anachronism in the concert hall but cinema going audiences lapped it up.  His short-lived but triumphant return to the concert hall was heralded by the Violin Concerto, premièred by Jascha Heifetz in 1947.  The work’s opulent romanticism overflows with melodies and lyrical episodes from his many movie scores; a work, as Korngold himself put it, was intended more “for a Caruso than a Paganini”.

Chloë Hanslip, still only 30 years old, has had a distinguished career since making her Proms debut in 2002, with many award-winning recordings and acclaimed performances along the way. While developing a passion for contemporary repertoire in recent years, she has brought depth and understanding to the classics of the Romantic period since her recording of the Bruch concertos in 2002, recognised by an award at the Classical BRITS the following year.

The concert opens with Enescu’s Romanian Rhapsody, full of vibrant colours and gypsy energy.  It is most fitting, therefore, that the orchestra will be conducted on Sunday by Cristian Mandeal, among the most important Romanian conductors of his generation.  The concert concludes with Elgar’s magisterial First Symphony, a work that the composer said expressed his ‘massive hope in the future’ – a hope that continues to resound through this mighty work.

Peter Back


Chloe Hanslip (2) (427x640)

Peter Back will be interviewing Chloë Hanslip at 1.45pm prior to the concert, on stage in Brighton Dome Concert Hall. Tickets for this Pre Concert Interview are £3.75 available from Brighton Dome Ticket Office (01273) 709709


Feb 24, 2017

Elgar’s Symphony No.1 – Sun 5 March

Our concert on Sun 5 March closes with Sir Edward Elgar’s Symphony No.1 which was written in 1908 and dedicated to the Austrian conductor Hans Richter, receiving its first performance in Manchester. It was immediately a huge success and by the end of the year had been performed over a hundred times worldwide, which was unprecedented for a symphony. It remains a standard of the classical repertoire, still performed regularly today.
Elgar’s publisher A J Jaeger (Nimrod of the Enigma Variations) called the second movement “one of the very greatest slow movements since Beethoven” whilst the third movement is widely considered to be the most perfect and lyrical of all Elgar’s output.
Brighton Philharmonic cellist Matthew Forbes is particularly looking forward to playing Elgar’s First Symphony, which he adores. He says:
“It’s a rollercoaster work-out for the strings, but worth every moment. It’s a piece that makes me proud to be British.”
Feb 21, 2017

Enescu’s Romanian Rhapsody No.1 – Sun 5 March

Here is a link to a YouTube video of Cristian Mandeal conducting Enescu’s Romanian Rhapsody No.1 played by the Romanian National Symphony Orchestra.

This piece is the focus of the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra’s education programme this season and will be played in our concert at 2.45pm on Sun 5 March (conducted by Cristian Mandeal himself, a renowned Enescu expert and fellow Romanian). Children from local schools will attend our morning rehearsal at Brighton Dome as the culmination of a series of workshops in primary schools across the city.

The piece begins with an improvisatory section in which the main theme is announced by solo clarinet, joined by other solos woodwinds, before being taken up by the orchestra, imitating the sound of a cobza – a plucked folk instrument. Enescu then sets out a succession of increasingly festive scenes from rural life, culminating in the ciocirlia: a Romanian technique imitating bird song, and a brilliant exuberant coda.

Our concert on Sun 5 March opens with the Romanian Rhapsody and then we are joined by the British virtuoso violinist Chloë Hanslip to perform Korngold’s Violin Concerto. (Korngold was an American composer best known for his Hollywood movie scores, including The Adventures of Robin Hood, for which he won an Oscar in 1938). The concert concludes with the ever-popular Elgar’s Symphony No.1.

The whole concert lasts about 2 hours with a 20 minute interval. Tickets range from £12-£37 with a 50% discount available for students and under 18s.

We also offer discounted car parking at NCP Church Street – just £6 between 1-6pm.


Feb 17, 2017

Korngold’s Violin Concerto – Sun 5 March

Erich Wolfgang Korngold was a Moravian American who is perhaps best known as a prolific Hollywood film composer – his swashbuckling score for The Adventures of Robin Hood in 1938 won him an Oscar. He had been a child prodigy in Europe with Puccini saying of him “He has so much talent that he could easily give us half and still have enough left for himself.” After hearing a cantata written by the 10 year old, Mahler declared him “a genius”.

Korngold wrote his Violin Concerto in the late 1940’s, and dedicated it to Alma Mahler. It was first performed to huge public acclaim by Jascha Heifetz who revelled in its virtuosic beautiful themes. Critics at the time were less enthusiastic, with one dubbing it “more corn, less gold” but the work overflows with highlights from his movie scores, particularly in the finale where you can hear the themes from The Prince and the Pauper and The Sea Hawk.

The Brighton Phil’s Leader John Bradbury calls the piece “every violinist’s delight” and Nicola Benedetti who has recorded it says: “As a violinist you are asked to sing the piece, so Korngold hit the nail on the head when he said it was written more for a Caruso than a Paganini”

The Brighton Phil will be joined by virtuoso violinist Chloë Hanslip who will perform the work on Sun 5 March at Brighton Dome – see:

In the meantime here is a YouTube video of a performance by Hilary Hahn with the Deutsche Symphonie Orchester, conducted by Kent Nagano:

Feb 15, 2017

Chloë Hanslip – violin (Sun 5 March)

Chloë Hanslip​ is a British classical violinist who was born in Guildford in 1987, and has been playing the violin since she was two. At the age of four she performed solo at the Purcell Room. When she was five she performed for Yehudi Menuhin and subsequently, at his invitation, studied with Natasha Boyarskaya at the Yehudi Menuhin School. By ten she had played in major concert halls throughout Europe and North America, including Carnegie Hall in New York City and the Royal Albert Hall in London. Chloë studied for ten years with the Russian pedagogue Zakhar Bron and has also worked with Christian Tetzlaff, Robert Masters, Ida Haendel, Salvatore Accardo, and Gerhard Schulz.

She plays a Guarneri del Gesu 1737 violin.

We are delighted that Chloë will be joining the Brighton Philharmonic​ on Sun 5 March at Brighton Dome to play the Korngold Violin Concerto in a programme that also includes Elgar’s Symphony No.1 and Enescu’s Romanian Rhapsody No.1.

Tickets priced £12-£37 are available from Brighton Dome​ Ticket Office in person, by telephone (01273) 709709 or online at:

You can read more about Chloë on her website at:

Feb 13, 2017

Reviews of Sun 5 February concert

Here are some of the reviews of our latest concert at Brighton Dome:


Chris Francis reviewed for The Argus saying: “Carroll gave a consummate performance of Haydn’s truly majestic Cello Concerto No 1 and sandwiched in between Mozart’s Symphony No 29 and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No 4 ( the Italian) it made for a truly wonderful afternoon’s entertainment.”


Joe Fuller of The Latest wrote that “Mozart and Haydn can sometimes sound a little staid in the concert hall, but this performance brought real blood, vigour and freshness to the pieces.”  Of the conductor/soloist he said: “Thomas Carroll’s cello work was superb, with a fun sense of fidgety excitability about him.”

Read his review in full at:


Susan Elkin writing for Lark Reviews said of our guest conductor and soloist: “multi-talented Carroll conducting from his cello appeared to smile from the sheer joy of the music almost continually. He achieved a fine rapport with the orchestra and his cello sound was lushly mellow especially in the beautiful Adagio and the well controlled Allegro Molto finale.”

She felt that Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony was “a happy ending to a sunny concert”  and that “Almost all the playing in this very pleasant concert was sensitive and well balanced.”

Read her review in full at:

Feb 07, 2017

Peter Back previews the BPO’s next concert – Sun 5 February

“The Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra brings the light, colour and vibrancy of the Mediterranean to the Dome on Sunday afternoon with a performance of Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony.  Written in a sunny room on the Piazza di Spagna in Rome, and completed in Naples, the work is a hymn of praise to the warm south, celebrating Goethe’s ‘land where the lemon-trees bloom’.  Such sun-drenched music makes for a perfect antidote to winter blues.  Still in his early twenties, Mendelssohn conducted the first performance in London in 1833.  Rarely satisfied with his first thoughts, he carried on tinkering with the piece until the day he died, fourteen years later.

Youthful joie de vivre also radiates from the teenage Mozart’s Symphony No. 29, one of the few from his early Salzburg years to have entered the regular repertoire of major symphony orchestras.  On becoming a freelance composer in Vienna at the age of twenty-five, the canny composer delved into the already large body of works he had composed years earlier, carefully obliterating the original dates on the autograph scores.  The volume containing this symphony was sold at Sotheby’s in 1987 for a record price of nearly four million pounds, a record price for any collection of music sold at auction.

The orchestra will be conducted by Thomas Carroll, rapidly establishing himself in this role alongside that as one the country’s leading cellists. In fact, he will appear both as soloist and conductor on Sunday in a performance of Haydn’s First Cello Concerto, a work in which lyricism, humour and virtuosity are evenly balanced.”







Peter Back

Jan 30, 2017

BPO inspires student musicians


The BPO were delighted to welcome 22 members of the University of Sussex Symphony Orchestra (USSO) to its concert on Sun 9 October. Those who attended, including conductor Professor Ed Hughes (Head of the Music Department at Sussex) were rehearsing Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No.5 in preparation for their concert on Sun 11 December (in the newly refurbished Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts) and were keen to get some pointers from the BPO’s performance.

They will join us again on Sun 5 March to hear the BPO perform Elgar’s Symphony No.1 (amongst other works), a work they started rehearsing before settling on the Tchaikovsky.

Jan 29, 2017
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