Tuesday 28 August 2012

A View from the Audience

As our 20th Birthday season approaches we've been asking audience members their thoughts on Britten Sinfonia and what event has been a highlight for them. Roger Rowe, a regular audience member in Norwich picked out one of his highlights;

Britten Sinfonia entered an already-rich Norwich music scene some 10 years ago like a breath of fresh air. During the course of that time I must have attended most of their evening  and lunchtime concerts and I cannot recall ever coming away without feeling that I have experienced something very special. To my mind this has been for two reasons. Firstly the players are of the very highest calibre and although a sizable band they play with the sensibility of chamber musicians always listening to each other, giving a wonderful feeling of  making music for the first time. Secondly their programming is always fresh and original, often juxtaposing works which on paper look odd bed-fellows but which always work in performance - and presenting newly commissioned works in a context which makes them relevant. This is particularly true of the imaginative lunchtime chamber series which have featured many new pieces alongside established favourites.

The highlights over the years? - well there have been so many, but I remember vividly their collaborations with international visiting artists especially Pekka  Kuusisto, Alina Ibragimova and Angela Hewitt – and then, most recently of all, there was an unforgettable performance by Mark Padmore of a newly commissioned song cycle The End by Jonathan Dove.   

Britten Sinfonia are popular visitors to Norwich. I congratulate them on their 20th anniversary season and look forward to their visits here for many more years to come. 

Roger Rowe MBE

We will be celebrating  our 20th anniversary in Norwich on Tuesday 23 October with a special birthday concert at Norwich Theatre Royal - you can find out more details here. the orchestra will also be performing special birthday concerts in Cambridge and in London.

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