Performing Great Music • Encouraging Young Talent • Supporting Local Charities

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 – ¡Viva España!

Saturday 14th May, 7.30pm, G Live


Spain – the evocative sounds of hand clapping rhythms on hot Seville nights to a Flamenco guitar, of passionate lovers and jealous rages, of gypsy singers and fierce flouncing dancers. All this and more conjured by Guildford Symphony Orchestra in our Spanish themed programme, making a brilliant finale to its season of concerts.

Darrell Davison celebrates his 25th year as musical director with a programme tailor-made to showcase the range, confidence and eclecticism of our players, particularly our fabulous woodwind and horn soloists. The exuberant festivities of Chabrier’s Espana and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Cappriccio Espanol contrast with the gypsy pyrotechnics of Bizet’s Carmen, and with the shimmering impressionism of Debussy’s Iberia and Falla’s Nights in the Garden of Spain.

Young pianist Mishka Rushdie Momen, renowned for the depth of her musical communication, joins us for Falla’s ferociously difficult work – a concerto in all but name – whose sound-scape transports the listener to the Alhambra on a sultry Mediterranean evening.


Viva Espana Concert in GLive 2016

A star rises over the Aegean… and five stars for the GSO!

Jamal Aliyev won thunderous applause and a 5-star review for his performance of the Shostakovich Cello Concerto No 1 in our Charterhouse concert on the 20th March. A Sunday evening, the first signs of spring, and an over-crowded week for musical events in Guildford led to a slightly thinner audience than we hoped for, but they nonetheless gave Jamal a rapturous ovation for a performance that held nothing back. Prof Forbes, reviewing for the Surrey Advertiser gave the concert the maximum five stars, commenting:

The young cellist Jamal Aliyev, born in Azerbaijan, is already an international star. His rendering of Shostakovich’s famous First Cello Concerto was a delight, with every detail lovingly attended. Technical demands and expressive communication were never in doubt.

The orchestra has been lucky enough to work with several superstars in the making over recent years, and Jamal is surely another addition to what is becoming a distinguished list of alumni. The orchestra won praise, too, for a performance of Brahms’ First Symphony described as “… memorable and authoritative”, and for the imaginative programming of Nielsen’s Helios Overture.

Wendy Ratcliffe, stalwart GSO cellist and committee member over many years, spoke movingly of her personal experience of the support given by the Fountain Centre, our designated charity for the concert, which inspired the audience to part with a fantastic £640 in the retiring collection.


The New Mighty Five…?

Our all-female UCYAC 2016 line-up, with conductor Darrell and Mary Lloyd-Jones, our fantastic president!

Our all-female UCYAC 2016 line-up, with conductor Darrell and Mary Lloyd-Jones, our fantastic president!

The best audience in several years piled into the wonderful new auditorium in St Catherine’s School in Bramley on February 21st, for what hopefully will be the first of many Una Clark Young Artists’ Concerts held there. Audience feedback about the new venue was overwhelmingly positive, with the excellent raked seats providing what one attendee described as the “…best view of the orchestra we’d ever had”, and the lovely acoustic had listeners, players and conductors alike purring. The soloists were extremely strong, standing out even though the standard has been especially high in recent years, and were given an appreciative review by the ever-generous Shelagh Godwin of the Surrey Advertiser:

… Lithuanian-born Silvja Scerbaviciute is no mean flautist! A conclusion easily reached after a performance of Poulenc’s remarkable Flute Sonata, upgraded by Lennox Berkeley into a concerto. This was a faultless performance and one of much passion in the central slow movement, and technical skill in a piece that coves a wide range. The orchestra accompanied superbly and the single orchestral flautist employed in this piece was especially good.

The full programme was

Brahms – Violin Concerto (Finale)  Laure Chan – violin

Albinoni – Oboe Concerto in D Minor  Nicola Hands – oboe

Poulenc – Sonata for Flute  Silvija Scerbaviciute – flute

Sarasate – Carmen Fantasy  Kamila Bydklowska – violin

Grieg – Piano Concerto (2nd and 3rd Movements)  Sophia Dee – Piano

It’s Magic – Over 600 Bewitched!

Our 2015 Family Concert lived up to its magical billing, attracting its largest audience in a generation. An audience of well over 600 children, parents, wizards and muggles packed out the Guildford Spectrum Arena in a mesmerising show by narrator David Leonard and our own Chief Mugwump, Darrell “Dumbledore” Davison.


David Leonard captivates a young audience in our 2015 Family Concert

David Leonard captivates a young audience in our 2015 Family Concert

2015-2016 Season

FAMILY CONCERT – IT’S MAGIC!Sunday 4th October at 3.30 pm, Guildford Spectrum   magice100
Wizard’s Fire DanceHolst
Cinderella’s WaltzDaniels
The Magic ToyshopRossini
Harry PotterWilliams
Sorcerer’s ApprenticeDukas
Merlin’s Magic CastleRichards
Baba Yaga (+ Great Gate of Kiev)Mussorgsky
David Leonard – Narrator BOX OFFICE
‘EMPEROR’Saturday 21st November at 7.30 pm, GLive   Beethoven's famous Piano Concerto No 5 in E flat, "The Emperor"
Piano Concerto no 5Beethoven
Symphony no. 1Walton
Peter Foggitt – Solo Piano BOX OFFICE
YOUNG ARTISTS’ CONCERTSunday 21st February at 3.30pm, Guildford County School
Outstanding young soloists from the Guildford area perform concerto movements with the orchestra and are awarded the prestigious Jellinek prize.
NORTHERN LIGHTSSunday 20th March at 7,30 pm, Great Hall, Charterhouse School  Northern Lights Concert at Charterhouse
Helios OvertureNielsen
Cello Concerto no. 1Shostakovich
Symphony no. 1Brahms
Jamal Aliyev – Solo Cello BOX OFFICE
VIVA ESPANA!Saturday 14th May at 7.30 pm, GLive Viva Espana Concert in GLive 2016
La Procesion del RocioTurina
Nights in the Gardens of SpainFalla
Carmen Suite no. 1Bizet
Pavane pour une Infante DéfunteRavel
Cappriccio EspagnoleRimsky-Korsakov
Iberia (1 & 3) – ImagesDebussy
Mishka Rushdie Momen – Solo Piano BOX OFFICE

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