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“Name that film score” − Cambridge Philharmonic Society launches its season of 20th Century classics with some familiar tunes.

The Cambridge Philharmonic Society’s new season promises the best of 20th Century Classics, starting with Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring on Sunday 13th November at West Road Concert Hall.

The Rite of Spring, original French title Le sacre du printemps, was written by Igor Stravinsky in 1913. The premiere provoked a riot and The Rite was largely responsible for Stravinsky’s enduring reputation as a musical revolutionary, pushing the boundaries of musical design. In 1939, Walt Disney chose music from The Rite to include in his classic film Fantasia.

The Society welcomes back acclaimed Mezzo Soprano Heather Shipp as soloist for the second work on the programme for their opening night: Sergei Prokofiev’s film score for Eisenstein’s masterpiece, Alexander Nevsky. Described by the great Russian maestro, Valery Gergiev, as “the best music ever composed for the cinema”, the score has influenced countless movie soundtracks, from Sir William Walton’s Henry V to John Williams’ Jaws.

The Society will also be performing the ever-popular Polovtsian Dances from Alexander Borodin's opera Prince Igor (1890). Borodin left the score unfinished at his death and it was subsequently completed by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Alexander Glazunov. In the twentieth century, the music was re-written again to become the musical Kismet, the hit of which, Stranger in Paradise, is at the heart of the Polovtsian Dances.

Tim Redmond, conductor, said: “I can’t think of a more exciting way to start the season than with this exhilarating mix of 20th Century Classics. At the Phil, we are keen to bring the best of live classical music to as many people as possible. Thanks to the enormous influence of film, the music of Prokofiev and Stravinsky is known to millions of people the world over. However, the sheer excitement and power of hearing 200 performers live on stage cannot be beaten − and we hope you can join us for this thrilling programme.”

Date: Sunday 13th November 2011
Time: 7:30pm
Place: West Road Concert Hall
Conductor: Timothy Redmond
Tickets: £10 £15 £20 (reserved) Online here or from the Corn Exchange Box Office.

Notes for editors

Cambridge Philharmonic, founded in 1887, is one of Britain’s oldest and most distinguished music societies. With a full symphony orchestra and a large chorus, the Cambridge Philharmonic presents an annual concert series in King’s College Chapel, Ely Cathedral and the West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge.

Cambridge Philharmonic works with an enviable roster of soloists, including in recent seasons, instrumentalists such as Natalie Clein, Alison Balsom, Mark Simpson and Martin Roscoe and singers Joan Rodgers, Emma Bell, Roderick Williams and Jacques Imbrailo. This has been a long tradition of the Philharmonic and in previous decades, artists including Philip Langridge, Peter Pears, Philip Jones and Kathleen Ferrier all performed with the society. Principal and guest conductors have included Sir David Willcocks, Stephen Cleobury, Raymond Leppard and Thomas Adès.

Under their current principal conductor and music director, Timothy Redmond, the Cambridge Philharmonic has developed and expanded its repertoire to include annual opera performances, family concerts and a focus on contemporary music. Critically-acclaimed performances of repertoire as diverse as Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, Bernstein’s Candide, Verdi’s La Traviata and Mahler’s Second Symphony have given the Cambridge Philharmonic a profile that extends far beyond its home town.

In addition to its regular performances in the UK, the Cambridge Philharmonic has appeared at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels and Prague’s Rudolfinum Concert Hall. The Cambridge Philharmonic Orchestra reached an even wider audience when they recorded Ryan Teague’s album Coins and Crosses, which has been featured on BBC radio and TV and heard on radio stations worldwide.

For more information please contact Anne Sales at info@cam-phil.org.uk or call Jo Riches at Spirus on 01638 741830.