A grand concert to remember the Somme offensive

Hastings Philharmonic Choir is delighted to announce that it will join together with its namesake, the Hastings Philharmonic Orchestra, in a grand concert at the White Rock Theatre to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Somme Offensive.

Thursday, 3rd November 2016, 10:45 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 12:11 am

The Hastings choir performed Beethoven’s 9th already four times in the 1930s at the White Rock under Julius Harrison and again to a record audience (1278) under Sir Malcolm Sargent at the 1953 Coronation Beethoven-Dvorak Festival.

Today’s music director of both choir and orchestra, Marcio da Silva, has the ambitious goal of rekindling the spirit of excellence in classical music that prevailed pre-war and right up to the 1950s.

This brought glory to the White Rock Pavilion (now Theatre) in its early days.

In those days Hastings was squarely on the national map as a premier venue for classical music.

This will be the first of a whole new 2017 season of classical music for the Hastings Philharmonic which is intended to enhance Hastings’ reputation for excellence in music.

Together with Beethoven’s entire 9th (Choral) Symphony performed with the full professional orchestra, the concert will include a specially commissioned choral piece by a remarkable young composer, Philip O’Meara.

The piece is called No Man and uses the fine words of great writers, Victor Hugo, W B Yeats, John Donne and the book of Psalms to depict the stupidity of war and the virtues of friendship and cooperation.

No Man is an Island is an appropriate sentiment in this year when Britain’s relationship with continental Europe is being reset to acknowledge the Referendum result.

Marcio da Silva’s new name for his orchestra, formerly known as Ensemble OrQuesta, reflects his growing commitment and enthusiasm for living and working in Hastings.

He strives towards ever improving standards in classical music.

The orchestra has been acknowledged as superb in its recent orchestral, choral and operatic productions and attested by ‘people in the know’.

This last year in Hastings saw productions of the Brahms Requiem, Sibelius’ Violin Concerto, Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, Faure Requiem and more. Marcio da Silva and his wife, Aysen Ulucan who are both renowned soloist singers also produced recitals together.

Aysen is a brilliant virtuoso violinist, who has played in concerts with Maxim Vengerov. Next year’s ‘season’ of classical music in Hastings produced by Marcio will span 2017 with 10 concerts of the usual outstanding quality. Season tickets for the entire year will be on sale at £130.

Marcio’s musical acumen, zeal and charisma attracts great talent and loyalty from his orchestra and soloists which, at this coming concert, will be a cast of international virtuosi - names to watch!

New Zealander soprano Claire Egan, Italian mezzosoprano Alessandra Fasolo, Portuguese tenor Leonel Pinheiro, and British baritone Matthew Sprange.

This Beethoven concert will be a memorable event and a waymarker for a whole new world of music in Hastings. Be there at the beginning!

Tickets £20, £10 and £5 (under 16) - booking fee may apply - from White Rock Theatre box office (01424 462288) and online at whiterocktheatre.org.uk

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