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Founded in 1919

The Guildford Symphony Orchestra is the borough’s premier community orchestra, and currently the only local orchestra offering a full, large-scale symphonic repertoire.

Next Concert – Romance and Revolution

Saturday 18th November, 7.30 pm, G Live

Romance and Revolution

The centenary of the Bolshevik Revolution sees a Russian-themed concert spanning the last years of the Tsars and the start of the Soviet era. Always a modernist, Shostakovich’s youthful idealism was given a sore trial as he watched so many of his friends become victims of Stalin’s madness. After a denunciation by the cultural ministry he was forced to reign in his more experimental inclinations, but managed to exploit his supreme gift for musical irony to subvert the dictats of the regime whilst apparently toeing the line. His 5th Symphony, subtitled An Artists’ Response to Just Criticism, may have saved his life after having been officially denounced, and remains – unusually for a 20th Century work – a firm favourite of concert-goers.

Hailing from the turn of the century, Rachmaninov’s first Piano Concerto was a quiet revolution in its own right, and announced the composer as a man of prodigious talent – and prehensile hands. His combination of rich melody and spectacular solo fireworks pioneered a style that became immensely popular, following the piece with a further three concertos and the much-loved Paganini Variations.

The concert opens with Tchaikovsky′s Romeo and Juliet Overture, based on one of his most famous ballets. Trademark unabashed romanticism coupled with unforgettable melody are very much to the fore, with one of the most memorable tunes in the repertoire portraying the star-crossed lovers′ doomed tryst. Elsewhere, some ferocious string-writing paints the warring families squaring off against one another, in music that is every bit as savage as Prokofiev′s equally famous setting written over half a century later.

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2017-2018 Season

The Amazing Magic Carpet

The amazing magic carpet!The GSO’s new season kicks off with the latest in our much-loved series of Family Concerts. Ditch the Quidditch and strap yourselves tight onto the Axminster for a whirlwind musical round-the-world trip. David Leonard (better known as the dastardly Miss Trunchbullfrom the West End production of Roald Dahl’s Matilda) narrates with genie-al aplomb, and maestro Darrell Davison brings his full kit of jokes, japes, and musical waggery. Guaranteed fun for children young and old, and a chance for instrumentalists to kindle their enthusiasm.

FAMILY CONCERT – The Amazing Magic CarpetSunday 1st October at 3.30 pm, St Catherine’s School, Bramley
Scottish DancesArnold
Turkish MarchBeethoven
Javanese Dragon DanceHendry
Toreadors MarchBizet
Arabian DanceTchaikovsky
Argentinian TangoSeiber
RodeoCopland
The Amazing Magic CarpetRichards
Capriccio ItalienTchaikovsky
David Leonard – Narrator BOX OFFICE

Romance and Revolution

Romance and RevolutionThe centenary of the Bolshevik Revolution sees a Russian-themed concert spanning the last years of the Tsars and the start of the Soviet era. Always a modernist, Shostakovich’s youthful idealism was given a sore trial as he watched so many of his friends become victims of Stalin’s madness. After a denunciation by the cultural ministry he was forced to reign in his more experimental inclinations, but managed to exploit his supreme gift for musical irony to subvert the dictats of the regime whilst apparently toeing the line. His 5th Symphony, subtitled An Artists’ Response to Just Criticism, may have saved his life after having been officially denounced, and remains – unusually for a 20th Century work – a firm favourite of concert-goers.

Hailing from the turn of the century, Rachmaninov’s first Piano Concerto was a quiet revolution in its own right, and announced the composer as a man of prodigious talent – and prehensile hands. His combination of rich melody and spectacular solo fireworks pioneered a style that became immensely popular, following the piece with a further three concertos and the much-loved Paganini Variations.

Romance and RevolutionSaturday 18th November at 7.30 pm, GLive
Overture – Romeo and JulietTchaikovsky
 Piano Concerto No. 1Rachmaninov
Symphony No 5Shostakovich
Francisco Vilar – Solo Piano BOX OFFICE
YOUNG ARTISTS’ CONCERTSunday 18th February at 3.30pm, St Catherine’s School
Outstanding young soloists from the Guildford area perform concerto movements with the orchestra and are awarded the prestigious Jellinek prize.
NORTHERN LIGHTSSunday 25th March at 7.00 pm, Great Hall, Charterhouse School
Tragic OvertureBrahms
Peer Gynt SuiteGrieg
Flute ConcertoNielsen
Symphony No. 2Sibelius
Emma Halnan – Solo Flute BOX OFFICE
SUMMER PROMSaturday 19th May at 7.30 pm, GLive
March – Orb and SceptreWalton
Largo and Rejoice GreatlyWalton
A Song Before SunriseDelius
Piano ConcertoIreland
Enigma VariationsElgar
Sea Songs FantasiaWood
Songs From the Last Night of the Proms
Alexandra Stevenson – Soprano
John Paul Ekins – Solo Piano
David Leonard – Narrator BOX OFFICE
BROWSE PREVIOUS CONCERTS

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