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Published on July 21st, 2019 | by The Town Crier


Royal Tunbridge Wells Symphony Orchestra lines up another exciting season of concerts

Royal Tunbridge Wells Symphony Orchestra (RTWSO) showcased a fantastic season of concerts in 2018/19 including an Armistice themed concert in November and culminated with a crowd-pleasing film music based concert – Hooray for Hollywood. As with previous seasons the Orchestra was thrilled to welcome world famous soloists: pianists Freddy Kempf and Aleksandar Djermanović; clarinetist Katherine Lacy; and violinist Nicola Benedetti, who returned for a sell-out performance in December.

RTWSO have another exciting season of concerts for the 2019/20 season which begins earlier than previous years on the 29th September with a Slavic themed concert. It opens with Antonín Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances and Howard Shelley performs Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto, one of the most well known and enduringly popular of all romantic concertos. Howard has enjoyed a distinguished career since his highly acclaimed London debut in 1971, performing regularly with renowned orchestras at major venues around the world.

The November concert welcomes Bassonist Amy Harman who performs Weber’s virtuosic Bassoon Concerto. This is complemented by a suite of music from Tchaikovsky’s ever-popular ballet Swan Lake. Amy, a Professor at the Royal Academy of Music, is a passionate advocate for the bassoon, and is much sought after as a soloist, chamber musician, teacher and communicator, regularly featuring on BBC Radio 3.

Following a break for Christmas the season returns in February with an Opera Gala (a popular addition to the season) with performances from Susanna Gaspar, Cátia Moreso, Jung Soo Yun, and Richard Morrison.The programme will be entirely new and include a selection of the best known operas by Verdi, Puccini, Mozart, Bizet, Rossini and others.

Martin James Bartlett returns in March to perform Maurice Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major, a thrilling and lively work written in the 1920s. The Orchestra is also performing the ballet suite from the Appalachian Spring made for the concert hall and the concert ends with Brahms’s memorable Fourth Symphony. Since winning the BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2014 Martin has performed with orchestras including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Tokyo Symphony Orchestra.

The penultimate concert welcomes back violinist Thomas Gould who is performing the Violin Concerto by the American composer Samuel Barber, probably the most well-known modern string concerto. To complement this will be performances of Bizet’s Jeux d’enfants (Children’s Games), Massenet’s gentle Méditation (an interlude for violin and orchestra from his opera Thaïs) and Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony (the Pastoral). Thomas has forged an unusually varied career that encompasses directing, leading, playing concertos, chamber and new music, and also working in jazz and other non-classical genres.

In May the final concert sees the performance of two great symphonies by Viennese composers. Mozart’s Symphony No 40 is unquestionably one of his greatest works. Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony, perhaps the best known of his symphonies, is a monumental work full of contrasts which features four Wagner tubas (like large horns) in addition to the normal orchestral brass section, adding weight to the symphony’s great climaxes.

All concerts take place on a Sunday afternoon at 3pm at the Assembly Hall Theatre in Tunbridge Wells. More information and tickets are available via the Orchestra website www.rtwso.org and tickets can also be purchased from the Assembly Hall Box Office.

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