Bournville String Orchestra

Bournville String Orchestra, The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston Park Road, Edgbaston Saturday September 3rd 2011 19:30

For its seventh yearly charity concert – and again under the baton of local cellist Alpesh Chauhan (former Principal Cellist of the CBSO Youth Orchestra and currently studying at Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music) – the Bournville String Orchestra are once again offering a varied and challenging programme.

Comprising around forty mainly current and former local university music students (Grade 7 or above), the ensemble assembles annually under the auspices of Birmingham music teacher Lucy Akehurst, not only for the sheer joy of performance but also to raise money for both Christian Aid and Save the Children. This year’s show, the product of a week of intensive rehearsals, is staged at the renowned Barber Institute of Fine Arts at the University of Birmingham and the programme comprises the following works:

Copland – Quiet City (10’)
Elgar – Introduction and Allegro (15’)
JS Bach – Violin Concerto in E Major (20’)
Tchaikovsky – Souvenir de Florence (35’)

Aaron Copland’s Quiet City, penned in 1939, showcases the Cor Anglais  (or English Horn) of Imogen Coe and depicts a city at night and some of its inhabitants. Eric Brookes plays the trumpet, which essentially acts as narrator of the composers’ unfolding story. Local lad Edward Elgar conducted the premiere of Introduction and Allegro at the Queen’s Hall, London in 1905. Complex and learned, it includes what Elgar described as “a devil of a fugue”. Bach’s Violin Concerto is one of the most famous such concertos ever written and features a solo from BSO Leader Christian Halstead. The evening’s concluding work, Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence, is a sextet that starts explosively and ends breathlessly. The intervening thirty minutes aren’t short of drama, unrest and joy either!

Alpesh Chauhan began conducting five years ago at the age of 16 and made his public debut with the BSO conducting Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings. His mentor is Michael Seal, Associate Conductor of the CBSO. Like Chauhan, Imogen Coe has been studying at the Royal Northern College of Music, while freelancer Christian Halstead has performed with the London Mozart Players and the London Festival Orchestra. Eric Brookes will be performing with the CBSO Youth Orchestra in 2012.

Tickets (£10/£7.50p, including a glass of wine or juice during the intermission) will be available on the door.