Orchestra news

With concerts and other events, this page contains a summary of recent orchestra news.

Enchanting Success

6 December 2014

Just before Christmas, the orchestra presented Humperdinck’s seasonal family classic, Hansel and Gretel. They were be joined by talented soloists from Birmingham Conservatoire’s Operatic course as well as children’s choir, Warwickshire Young Voices.

Hard work and dedication from everyone in the orchestra produced a very successful concert that was enjoyed by all.

Summer concert

14 June 2014

The orchestra's summer concert was held and was a great success. The orchestra performed excerpts from Prokoviev's Romeo and Juliet, Vaughan Williams' 3rd symphony and Mars from Holst's Planets suite.

You can read a review of the concert on bachtrack here.

Spring concert photos

8 April 2014

Thanks to the talented Mark Terry, we have some photos of the Spring concert.

The jubliant orchestra I'm sure I used to have a lollipop on the end of this stick... Liang Shan

Spring concert

15 March 2014

The orchestra's first concert since Thomas Payne took up the baton was an enormous success. The programme was:

Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor (Piano: Liang Shan)
Tchaikovsky: 5th Symphony

Clive Peacock from the Leamington Courier wrote a review which can be found on the newspaper's website here but is reproduced here for convenience.

"It just gets better and better! With new conductor, Thomas Payne seeing the results of his efforts, the continued support of leader Edward Boothroyd, new players, innovation and an energised number of long serving players, Leamington Sinfonia’s confidence grows and their performances improve dramatically.

Payne is one of a number of exciting young conductors influencing local orchestras; Richard Laing with Leamington Chamber Orchestra, another. They each bring a sense of excitement and vigour to their work. Payne is worth watching, if only, to marvel at what he can do with his compact frame to encourage the improved output from players.

That improved output was clearly demonstrated in their powerful delivery of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No 5 with notable contributions from Tim Rushby (trumpet), Emma Williams (oboe), David Ferrer (clarinet) and Anton Rosenfeld (horn). Ferrer’s controlled introduction set the standard the horns had to follow; the bassoons, too, maintained that standard in the second movement with the oboes excelling in the third movement valse.

Before the interval a full house at the Kingsley School were treated to an inspired performance by Liang Shan of Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor. Shan arrived in Britain from the China Conservatory, progressed through the Birmingham Conservatory and now studies at the Royal College of Music. Schumann produced some of the best endings to his movements – this concerto being a good example; and his starts can be pretty striking too as Shan showed us in the exhilarating opening movement. Very soon the sheer joy of watching Shan’s hands float across the keyboard became mesmerising; Payne supported him enthusiastically, the winds as well.

The innovation came from the first public performance of Ami Oprenova’s The Thracian Horseman. Ami is a product of Sofia’s National Music School and now studies at Birmingham’s Conservatoire with Leamington’s Howard Skempton. Making the best use of a massive percussion section, Ami’s piece builds on a series of themes to yet another attempt to lay claim to the best ending of the night."

New Musical Director

17 June 2013

The orchestra is delighted to announce the appointment of the talented and enthusiastic Thomas Payne as our new Musical Director. Exciting times lie ahead!

Summer concert

15 June 2013

The Leamington Sinfonia's summer concert was held on 15 June 2013. This was an ambitious programme for the orchestra, playing a diverse range of challenging pieces under the baton of three separate conductors. The programme was:

George Butterworth: Banks of Green Willow (Conductor: Edward Boothroyd)
Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony no 9 (Conductor: Thomas Payne)
Vincent D'Indy: Introduction to Fervaal (Conductor: John James)
Cesar Franck: Symphony in D Minor (Conductor: John James)

Leamington Sinfonia in the German press

3 June 2013

Our friends from the Wermelskirchen Symphony Orchestra have been kind enough to send us some cuttings from their local newspapers following their visit to Royal Leamington Spa. Many thanks to Karin Newton for the translations.

Talk of the town: An oak tree for the hosts

Original article here.

In October 2012 last year, the Wermelskirchen Sinfonia invited the Leamington Sinfonia to play jointly in their Music school. Now 55 Members arrived in the English Countryside to be hosted by the Leamington orchestra and play in a joint concert at Kingsley School. The programme presented the first movement of Beethoven's 3rd symphony, some pieces by the spontaneously formed Leamingkirchen Brass and a violin concerto by Saint Saens. After the concert on Saturday, everyone was invited to join in a ceilidh.

The Wermelskirchen members arrived by coach and plane. Detlef came by bike and it took him 5 days (200 km per day). There were organised sightseeing tours in Stratford and Leamington, says Isabel Wieland, Chairman of the orcehstra. Martina Trumpp, the soloist in the Saint Saens violin concerto, came from Stuttgart, felt very comfortable with the orchestra nd has a friendly contact with us, according to Wieland. The Kermelskirchner presented the hosts with a German oak gree, which is a symobl for a basis of good friendship in the future. Isabel Wieland hopes to have another exchange next year.

Logistic sucess by the hosts

Original article here with summary here.

The Wermelskirchen orchestra was very happy with the friendly reception and the musical perspectives in England. When we arrived after having tracelled through the night, everything was well prepared for our welcome. This, of course, was down to Jenny Barrie, who is a professional travel coordinator. She handed out info for local walks along the Hatton locks, shopping in Hatton Village, sightseeing tours in Stratford, Leamington and more. We all enjoyed refreshments with tea, coffee and cakes on arrival in the local cafe. Rehearsals were planned for every evening and a sightseeing tour through Stratford on Friday.

There are stricter rules in England regarding under age youngsters. They must be in the company of adults at all times. One father was not allowed to take his nine year old son into the pub. Allt his added extra complications to the planning of the trip and many hosts had to take in more than one guest. Isabel Wieland spoke of a "logistic" success of the English hosts.

Also on a musical basis the Wermelskirchner were very happy, but wished for a larger audience. Martina Trumpp played the violin concerto weeks before their departure and felt even more at one with the orchestra. She sadly had to leave the coach at Brussels to return to Stuttgart. She played the concerton on Monday for an exam before returning to classes.

After the concert on Saturday, everybody was invited to take part in a ceildh, some kind of Scottish formation dancing. Isabel said that the had a lot of fun and both sides wish to nurture this friendship. It all depends on Jenny Barrie's successor. Two candidates are still competing for the post.

Visitors from Wermelskirchen

12 May 2013

On 9-12 May 2013, we welcomed the visiting Wermelskirchen Symphony Orchestra to Leamington. We had been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to welcome our friends following the orchestra's tour to Wermelskirchen last year. As well as showing our friends the local sights, we found time to perform a concert together on Saturday 11 May. The programme was Mozart: Ouverture to "Entfuehrung aus dem Serail", Saint-Saens: Violin concerto no 3 with the outstanding Martina Trumpp, a one-of-a-kind premiere of the Leamingkirchen Brass, who managed a superb ensemble despite the concert being the first opportunity to have all the members playing together, Beethoven: Symphony no 3 (Eroica) 1st movement and Searle: Der Klassenclown. We then celebrated the successful concert with a great party into the small hours, with a ceilidh provided by Bluenun.

Great thanks go to all those who were involved in the organisation.

Concert poster Rehearsing the Saint-Saens

Handing over the baton

13 March 2013

The orchestra has now closed applications for the post of musical director, and auditions are being held. This web site will be updated with further information at the appropriate juncture.

Jenny's farewell concert

10 March 2013

The orchestra enjoyed playing in today's concert: the last one with Jenny Barrie at the helm. The programme was Rossini's overture to "The Italian Girl in Algiers", Beethoven's "Emperor" Piano Concerto no 5 (soloist: Simon Ballard), Simon Ballard's Serenade and Schumann's 3rd symphony.

Orchestra rehearsal photo, 10 March 2013

The end of an era

24 February 2013

The Leamington Courier published an article about Jenny Barrie, our outgonig conductor. You can read it here.

French Horn