ESO: Music For Everyone



October 7-10, 2015
An Elgar Pilgrimage

Hereford | Malvern | Birmingham

Wednesday, 7 October

7:30 PM
Hereford Cathedral
5 College Cloisters, Cathedral Close, Hereford HR1 2NG

English String Orchestra
Academia Musica
Three Choirs Voices
Ralph Vaughan Williams- Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis
Philip Sawyers- Songs of Loss and Regret (world premiere)
April Fredrick, soprano
Elgar- Introduction and Allegro for Strings
Elgar/Fraser- Sea Pictures (world premiere of new version for choir and strings)

TICKETS- Available now from the Hereford Courtyard Theatre Box Office
Academia Musica Choir

Elgar’s brilliant Introduction and Allegro was written as a showpiece for the newly-formed London Symphony Orchestra and supplements the string orchestra with a quartet of string soloists, as does Donald Fraser’s powerful transcription of Elgar’s Sea Pictures. Elgar’s most beloved British song cycle is here coupled with a  haunting new work by Philip Sawyers, premiered by the charismatic young soprano, April Fredrick. Vaughan Williams added a second string orchestra to Elgar’s forces for hisFantasia, written for the Three Choirs Festival, in order to use the Cathedral’s vast spaces to create a sense of timeless mystery.

Pre-Concert Talk at 6:30 PM
Philip Sawyers
on the poetry of Songs of Loss and Regret
Donald Fraser on the re-imagining of Sea Pictures, and the string writing in Introduction and Allegro
Kenneth Woods on how Elgar found music in the poetry of Sea Pictures


Thursday, 8 October

7:45 PM
Malvern Theatres
Grange Road, Malvern, Worcestershire, WR14 3HB.

English Symphony Orchestra
Elgar- Overture “Froissart” opus 19
Brahms- Symphony no. 3 in F major, opus 90
Elgar- Violin Concerto, opus 61
Alexander Sitkovetsky- violin

TICKETS- On Sale Now from Malvern Theatres BOX OFFICE: 01684 892 277


Brahms’s Third Symphony was one of Elgar’s favourite works and the subject of one of his most important lectures at the University of Birmingham. The Third is Brahms’s most personal and confessional orchestral work, full of ciphers and mottos, as is Elgar’s magisterial yet confessional Violin Concerto, performed by the young virtuoso Alexander Sitkovetsky, who studied the work with Elgar’s protégé, Yehudi Menuhin.

Pre-concert talk at 6:30
Kenneth Woods, Donald Fraser and Alexander Sitkovetsky
on Elgar, Boult and Menuhin
Kenneth woods and Donald Fraser on Elgar and Brahms’s use of codes, secret messages and mottos, and the Elgar-Brahms connection


Friday, 9 October

7:30 PM

Elgar Concert Hall, University of Birmingham
Brahms- Piano Quartet in G minor, opus 25
Elgar- Piano Quintet  in A minor, opus 85
Alexander Sitkovetsky and Tamsin Waley-Cohen, violins
Louise Lansdown- viola
Matthew Sharp- cello
Clare Hammond- piano

TICKETS- £20, £15,£10

Town Hall/Symphony Hall 0121 345 0600


An evening of chamber music with some Britain’s most dynamic instrumentalists. Brahms’s epic Piano Quartet in G minor was famously orchestrated by Arnold Schoenberg, who called it “Brahms’s Fifth Symphony.” It is heard here alongside Elgar’s last chamber work, the mysterious and powerful Piano Quintet in advance of the premiere of Donald Fraser’s new orchestration of the work on 10 October.

Pre-concert talk at 6:45
Kenneth Woods and Donald Fraser:
Arnold Schoenberg’s orchestration of Brahms’s Piano Quartet in G minor, model or a cautionary tale?

Saturday, 10 October

4:00 PM
Elgar Concert Hall, University of Birmingham

Bach/Elgar: Fantasia and Fugue in C minor, opus 86
Mahler- Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer)
Njabulo Madlala- baritone
Elgar/Fraser- Symphonic Realization of Piano Quintet in A minor, opus 84 (world premiere)

TICKETS-  £20, £15,£10
Town Hall/Symphony Hall 0121 345 0600


From the diary of Lady Alice Elgar: “September 27 1918….Bright and sunny day but keen wind. E. writing wonderful new music – real wood sounds & another lament wh. shd. be in a War Symphony.”

Two works from Elgar’s “Brinkwells” years- the evocative Piano Quintet and Elgar’s bracing transcription of the Bach Fantasia and Fugue bracket’s Mahler’s first great song cycle, the poignant songs of love and betrayal which make up his Songs of a Wayfarer.

Pre- Concert Talk at 3:15
Kenneth Woods and Donald Fraser
on Elgar’s orchestrations of other composers as a model for Fraser’s orchestration of the Piano Quintet

Saturday, 31 October, 2015, 4 PM

Worcester University Arena
A Halloween Family Spooktacular
With the English Scream Orchestra


Bass-baritone Matthew Sharp. ESO artist-in-association

Matthew Sharp- baritone and narrator
Kenneth Woods- Principal Conductor

Mussorgsky- A Night on Bald Mountain
Williams- Harry Potter
Schubert- The Elf King
Woods- The Ugly Duckling
Saint- Saens- Danse Macabre
Kraines- Hansel and Gretel
Mussorgsky- The Flea
Theme from Ghostbusters
Spooky Music Games at 3pm, Concert at 4pm
Tickets £20 (£10 concessions) £50 family ticket
 0844 888 9991

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