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- Saturday 3rd November 2018 − 7.30pm West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge
ADÈS: Powder Her Face Suite
TCHAIKOVSKY: Rococo Variations − Soloist: Richard Harwood (Cello)
RIMSKY KORSAKOV: Scheherazade − Soloist: Steve Bingham (Violin)
Free pre-concert talk at 6.45pm: Timothy Redmond introduces the music of Thomas Adès.
Thomas Adès’s first opera, Powder Her Face, has become one of the greatest success stories in British operatic history. This new suite, premiered by Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic in 2017, and here receiving its second-ever UK performance by the Cambridge Philharmonic, weaves themes from the opera into a glittering, virtuosic, single movement. Its multifarious musical influences, from tango to Mussorgsky and from Stravinsky to Strauss, shine through.
Richard Harwood, principal cello of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, joins the Cambridge Phil for Tchaikovsky’s ever-popular Rococo Variations.
We finish with Scheherazade, Rimsky Korsakov’s exhilarating and evocative musical setting of the Middle Eastern folk tales, One Thousand and One Nights, with Steve Bingham, in his last concert as leader of the orchestra, as violin soloist.
“One of the finest performances I’ve heard.” − The Independent on Richard Harwood
Related link: Poster (JPEG 130 kB)
- Saturday 8th December 2018 − 7.30pm West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge
- Bernstein on Broadway
BERNSTEIN: Music from On The Town: Three Dance Episodes
BERNSTEIN: West Side Story (choral suite)
BERNSTEIN: Wonderful Town (concert performance)
2018 has seen the whole world celebrate the extraordinary talents of Leonard Bernstein, one of the most gifted musicians who ever lived. Between 1942 and 1957 he wrote three wildly successful Broadway shows, all of which are infused with the energy and excitement of the city they portray: New York. The orchestra sets the scene with several toe-tapping numbers from On the Town before the chorus takes centre stage for twenty minutes of unforgettable music from West Side Story.
Wonderful Town tells the all-singing, all-dancing story of Eileen and Ruth, two sisters straight off the bus from Ohio who’ve come to New York to seek their fame and fortune as a writer and actress. But will they make it? Find out as we follow their trials and tribulations – and in the process meet a whole array of crazy characters from 1930s Greenwich Village. With a brilliant cast, led by star of stage and screen Rebekah Hinds, this rare concert performance of Bernstein’s Tony- award-winning musical is not to be missed.
“I was blown away by the sheer energy of the piece, the spontaneity, the incredible swing” − Sir Mark Elder on Wonderful Town
- Saturday 26th January 2019 − 2pm and 4pm West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge
- The mouse who jumped, for Wolf and Orchestra
Family concert suitable for age 5+ − come dressed as a Carnival Creature!
Presenter: Matthew Sharp
It’s Creature Carnival Day! A once-a-year festival of music and dance when frogs don’t eat flies and cats don’t eat mice and – as for wolves – well, we’ll just have to see!
So, come all creatures, young and old, who aren’t scared of wolves (or only a little). Join us for this musical adventure for adults and children, an epic journey to the very top of the Misty Mountain, following in the footsteps of The mouse who jumped. It’s a tale of courage and kindness that will speak to your heart and have you holding your breath. It’s a tale we can all be a part of!
Brought to you by award-winning composer Stephen Deazley, BAFTA-nominated writer Martin Riley and ‘extraordinary cellist, virile baritone and compelling actor’ Matthew Sharp (Daily Telegraph).
“I'd like to thank you wholeheartedly for yet another FANTASTIC + WONDERFUL family concert this afternoon! Just wish it could go on for longer!!” − Audience Member
- Saturday 16th March 2019 − 7.30pm West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge
- HAYDN: The Seasons
Soloists: Rebecca Bottone (Soprano), James Way (Tenor), Milan Siljanov (Bass)
The years Haydn spent in London in the 1790s were incredibly profitable, both musically and financially. Entertained by royalty and acclaimed by the public and press alike, Haydn ended up writing some 250 works during his stay and professed it the happiest time of his life.
It was a grand performance in Westminster Abbey marking Handel’s centenary that inspired Haydn to write his own oratorios – first The Creation (1799), and, almost immediately afterwards, The Seasons (1801). With a lifetime of experience to draw on it’s perhaps no wonder that Haydn’s invention was at its peak in The Seasons, with masterful orchestration, ingenious word-setting and even a quote from his own Surprise symphony. But the care he lavished on the piece took its toll on his health and it turned out to be his last major work.
A trio of outstanding young singers join the Cambridge Philharmonic for this performance, which features a new English translation by the conductor Paul McCreesh.
“Cambridge Philharmonic’s performances ... were outstanding throughout” − Cambridge News
- Saturday 18th May 2019 − 7.30pm West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge
- Schreker, Shostakovich, Strauss
SCHREKER: Prelude to a Drama
SHOSTAKOVICH: Piano Concerto No 2 − Soloist: Martin James Bartlett
STRAUSS: Ein Heldenleben − Soloist: Paula Muldoon (Violin)
Free pre-concert talk at 6.45pm with Timothy Redmond
Franz Schreker was one of the most successful opera composers of the early twentieth century, until his music was banned as ‘degenerate’ by the Third Reich. Today his lush, romantic scores are enjoying a deserved revival and the sumptuous Prelude to a Drama is a perfect introduction to his unique sound world.
Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life) was the last of Strauss’s great tone poems, written when he was at the height of his powers. As well as featuring an absolutely vast orchestra it contains one of the greatest violin solos in all the repertoire and so is the perfect piece to introduce Paula Muldoon, newly-appointed leader of the Cambridge Philharmonic.
At the centre of the programme is the work Shostakovich wrote for his son Maxim’s 19th birthday. Played by 2014 BBC Young Musician of the Year Martin James Bartlett, it’s a sparkling tour-de- force for orchestra and soloist alike, and is undoubtedly one of the composer’s sunniest and most life-affirming scores.
“Martin James Bartlett’s playing was thrilling.” − The Times
- Sunday 19th May 2019 − 5.30pm West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge
- PETER ASH: The Pelicantata (Story by Roald Dahl, adapted by Donald Sturrock)
Narrator: Top secret special guest!
The Duke of Hampshire has a problem: he just can’t seem to keep the 667 windows of his mansion clean!
Fortunately, Roald Dahl’s trio of enterprising characters have the answer! The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me has been brought to life in inimitable musical fashion by Dahl’s biographer, Donald Sturrock, and the brilliantly imaginative composer Peter Ash.
Join the Cambridge Phil and a very special guest for an hour of musical fun – and, if you like, come to the concert dressed as your favourite Roald Dahl character!
- Saturday 6th July 2019 − 7.30pm Saffron Hall
- VERDI: Requiem
Soloists: Anush Hovhannisyan (Soprano), Victoria Simmonds (Mezzo-soprano), Peter Auty (Tenor), Martin Snell (Bass)
With the Saffron Walden Choral Society
Verdi’s monumental Requiem started out in 1868 as a memorial to another master of Italian opera, Rossini. However, that particular project (which involved thirteen different composers) quickly fell by the wayside, and the Libera Me that Verdi had written was set aside. Five years later, in 1873, the great Italian poet and novelist Alessandro Manzoni died. Verdi, who had long admired the writer, was deeply affected and felt moved to compose a requiem in his memory. Starting with a remodelling of the movement originally planned for Rossini, Verdi composed what would turn out to be one of the greatest choral works in all history.
Verdi drew unashamedly on all the power of his theatrical experience to create a piece described by one commentator as “opera in church vestments”. From the hushed opening to the dramatic bass drum blows and blazing trumpets of the Dies Irae, this promises to be a thrilling Philharmonic debut at Saffron Hall.
“The choir and orchestra gave their very best in a performance of outstanding fervour, intensity and technical command’ ” − Cambridge News
Box Office DetailsTickets are usually available 6 weeks before each concert.
- Cambridge Live Tickets
- 2 Wheeler Street, Cambridge, CB2 3QB
Tel: 01223 357851 or Email
(Please state clearly which venue you are booking tickets for. This box office may charge a booking fee.)
- Saffron Hall
- Saffron Hall, Saffron Walden, CB11 4UH
Tel: 0845 548 7650