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2016 | 17 Season

Bath Philharmonia

bathphilharmonia 17/18 Season

Dear Friends. Many of us are surrounded by the urban environment; we work in offices, live in built-up towns and cities and yet, we are all magnetically drawn to the nature surrounding us. We may not all aim to walk the Camino de Santiago, or climb Snowdon however we all enjoy moments of connection with local flora and fauna and the countryside on our doorstep. Our 17/18 Season explores an endless curiosity and fascination for our natural environment and the effect it has upon us. Our stellar line up of soloists travel the world performing in some of the world’s best concert halls. Our 17/18 programme of concerts traverses some of the most beautiful geographical features of the world from the serenity of Elgar’s Malvern Hills to Grieg’s Norwegian fjords to Beethoven’s bucolic vision of Vienna. We are reminded of the fragility of our natural world in Howard Blake’s The Bear and can hear man’s struggle to live in harmony both with the seasons and the wild environment of Copland’s Appalachian Spring. Our 17/18 Season concludes with Haydn’s homage to the genesis of nature, The Creation with the Philharmonia Chorus, one of Europe’s leading symphonic choruses. This season, we’ve tried to bring the outside in. Step inside and join us! Jason Thornton Music Director

Saturday 16 September 2017 St Swithin’s Church, Bath 7.30pm Schubert (arr.Mahler), Death & the Maiden (Movt 1)* Mahler (arr. Rhein), Kindertotenlieder Faure, Requiem Soprano Baritone Cantilena Choir Conductors

Gemma Roper Gavin Carr Jason Thornton and Captain Daryl Powell*

Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder is a study in the death of innocence and one of his most seldom performed works. The poignancy of this song-cycle and the chamber music-like textures he employs suggests a level of intimacy that he never explores in his symphonies. Faure’s Requiem on the other hand is a study in human hope. By favouring serenity, joy and liberation over the ‘fear and dread’ often used by other composers in their requiem settings, Faure comforts and crafts music of astonishing beauty. Gavin Carr is a celebrated baritone and conductor with wide experience in both the opera and choral worlds. Gemma Roper is a rising star and about to embark on her studies as choral scholar at The University of Oxford. Bath & North East Somerset’s award winning senior county youth choir, Cantilena attracts a membership of some of the best young singers from the city. Tickets £25/£20/£15/£5 (under 18s) Available at the Bath Box Office 01225 463362,

Thursday 28 September 2017 The Forum, Bath, 7.30pm Elgar, Violin Concerto Elgar, Enigma Variations Violin Conductor

Nicola Benedetti Jason Thornton

Elgar’s music is imbued with the Worcestershire countryside in which he was born. He also brilliantly captures and distils the individual character of his friends, family and community that surrounded him and sometimes provides his music with a hidden insightful narrative to his own secretive personal life. In Engima Variations, Elgar paints a series of playful and insightful miniatures, in addition to the mysterious ‘Enigma’ theme and ‘Nimrod’. His Violin Concerto is purposefully more enigmatic and calculating, alluding to a portrayal of the women who fashioned his private life. After her spellbinding performance of Shostakovich’s First Violin Concerto with Bath Philharmoina last season we welcome back Nicola Benedetti for her debut performance of this ‘Everest’ of the concerto repertoire. This concert is made possible by a generous donation from Mike & Fran Ralli Tickets £35/£30/£25/£5 (under 18s) Available at the Bath Box Office 01225 463362, or by phone and online through Ticketline 08448 889991

Wednesday 8 November 2017 Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon, 7.30pm Sibelius, Valse Triste Grieg, Piano Concerto Beethoven, Symphony No.6 (Pastoral) Piano Conductor

Alexandra Dariescu Jason Thornton

Desperate to escape the stifling city, Beethoven found inspiration in the fields, woods, babbling brooks, bird-song and folk-singing of the local countryside surrounding Vienna. Grieg sought his inspiration in the fjords, forests, mountains and folk-songs of Norway. Both composers produced works of profound lyricism that have become loved by audiences and musicians alike. Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony is perhaps his very first piece of unashamedly literal programmatic music including a thunderstorm, a babbling brook and a peasant’s party. Grieg’s Piano Concerto is packed full of Norwegian folk-songs and probably the most famous opening of any piano concerto, made infamous by Eric Morecambe, Ernie Wise and Andre Previn in the 1970s. Romanian pianist Alexandra Dariescu, recently named as ‘one of 30 pianists under 30 destined for a spectacular career’ (International Piano Magazine), dazzles audiences worldwide with her effortless musicality and captivating stage presence. Tickets £25 (£12.50 under 18s and students) Available from Wiltshire Music Centre 01225 860100

Friday 22 December 2017 The Forum, Bath, 3.30pm Blake, The Bear Blake, The Snowman Bath Philharmonia presents a double bill of The Bear and The Snowman. After the amazing success of The Snowman, Raymond Briggs and Howard Blake were bought back together by Channel 4 to create another seasonal animation. The Bear is the story of Tilly who befriends a Polar Bear and who helps him get back to the North Pole. The Bear combined with The Snowman will make an unmissable combination of orchestral music and animation, and the perfect way to start the Christmas holidays with your family. Tickets £18 / £12 (under 18s)

©Snowman Enterprises Ltd

Available at the Bath Box Office 01225 463362 or by phone and online through Ticketline 08448 889991

Creative Learning Projects Bath Phil’s Creative Learning Team loves making original music with extraordinary people of all ages. We help everyone we work with to create their own unique music in many different styles and then weave it into orchestral textures and forms. We are also passionate about producing music of the highest quality, taking the orchestra and its repertoire as inspiration for the music and performances we create. For more information go to

Wed 18 October 2017, 7pm St Peter’s Church, Bournemouth The Choir of St Peter’s Church, Bournemouth School for Boys Choir and Bournemouth School for Girls Choir In partnership with Wave Arts Education/SoundStorm, this concert explores the history of the Chapel of the Resurrection at St Peter’s Church, Bournemouth built to commemorate the fallen men of the parish from the First World War. Support from the Heritage Lottery Fund has enabled the creation of Stone and Voice, a new composition created by Bath Phil’s Creative Learning Team with Bournemouth School for Boys. This premiere will be partnered by a performance of Faure’s Requiem.

Tuesday 20 March 2018, 7pm King Edward’s School Gala Concert The Guildhall, Bath Bath Philharmonia’s annual partnership with King Edward’s School enables the next generation of orchestral players to experience challenging repertoire, professional rehearsals and masterclasses and a Side by Side gala concert. Tickets Tickets available from King Edward’s School 01225 464313

Friday 9 February 2018 The Forum, Bath, 7.30pm Britten, Variations on a Theme of Purcell (Young Person’s Guide) Britten, Violin Concerto Copland, Appalachian Spring Violin Conductor

Tasmin Little Jason Thornton

Written during the Second World War, Britten’s Violin Concerto combines pathos and hope with extraordinary virtuosic and musical demands on the soloist and orchestra alike. His contribution to the canon of violin concerti is one of the greatest and most profound. The talents of Bath Philharmonia are also showcased in Britten’s virtuosic tour-de-force for orchestra ‘The Young Persons Guide’ performed at this concert without narrator. Passionate that music was for and by the common man, Copland’s style combines folk-song and the sounds of rural America. The ballet music to Appalachian Spring is infused with the music of the people of the Appalachian Mountains including the famous Shaker Hymn ‘Lord of the Dance’. Tasmin Little has firmly established herself as one of today’s leading international violinists. She has performed on every continent in some of the most prestigious venues of the world. Tickets £35/£30/£25/£5 (under 18s) Available at the Bath Box Office 01225 463362 or by phone and online through Ticketline 08448 889991

Thursday 19 April 2018 The Assembly Rooms, Bath, 7.30pm Vaughan Williams, Tallis Fantasia Gavin Bryars, The Green Ray Vaughan Williams, Fantasia on Greensleeves Michael Nyman, Where the Bee Dances Vaughan Williams, Linden Lea Saxophone Conductor

Jess Gillam Jason Thornton

Vaughan Williams’ music is highly evocative of the English countryside, particularly Gloucestershire, where he spent his formative years. His Tallis Fantasia, Fantasia on Greensleeves and the enchanting Linden Lea transport the listener to a Tudor idyll complete with folk-song, church music and the rolling English countryside. The music of Bryars and Nyman, whilst still infused with the sense of the pastoral, is over-laid with sumptuous modern textures and crazy cross-rhythms. The Green Ray is the title of a romantic novel by Jules Verne, set in the West of Scotland, in which a peculiar atmospheric phenomenon plays the key part; a “green ray” is seen at sunset just as the sun touches the horizon. Where the Bee Dances has a double reference in its title: firstly to the circular dances which a foraging bee performs to communicate a food source and secondly to Nyman’s setting of ‘Where the bee sucks’, composed for Peter Greenaway’s film Prospero’s Books and quoted sporadically during this concerto. After her success in BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2016, Jess Gilham’s career to date can only be described as stratospheric including her 2017 BBC Proms debut. Tickets £25/£30/£15/£5 (under 18s) Available at the Bath Box Office 01225 463362

Other events Sunday 29 October 2017 Butterworth Hall, Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, 7.30pm Psycho Live

Friday 25 May 2018 The Forum, Bath, 7.30pm Roper Memorial Concert at The Bath Festival Sheku Kanneh-Mason (BBC Young Musician of the Year 2016) and Catriona Morison (Cardiff Singer of the World 2017) join Bath Philharmonia for a gala evening (programme tbc).

Announcing Summer 2018 – Season Finale Date and Venue tbc Haydn, The Creation Chorus Soloists Conductor

Philharmonia Chorus tbc Jason Thornton

Haydn’s Creation spans the first book of Genesis, from void to light to the six days of creation and finally the Garden of Eden. Containing one extraordinary musical description after another, Haydn’s masterpiece includes the revolutionary ‘Representation of Chaos’, God’s creation of light, weather, birds, bees, worms, fish, whales, cattle and the beautiful dawn over the Garden of Eden. At the end of the 18th century Haydn visited Bath and attended a grand performance of Handel’s Messiah in Bath Abbey. He began writing The Creation – his first oratorio some weeks later. Maybe Haydn’s experiences in Bath gave him some initial inspiration for this work of genius. Bath Philharmonia are delighted to welcome the Philharmonia Chorus to Bath. Founded by Walter Legge in 1957 to record Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Otto Klemperer, the Philharmonia Chorus quickly established itself as one of Europe’s premier choruses working with many of the leading orchestras in Europe and most of the leading conductors including Herbert von Karajan, Andris Nelson and Sir Simon Rattle. Tickets £35/£30/£25/£20/ £5 (under 18s) Available at the Bath Box Office 01225 463362

Widcombe Institute Widcombe Hill Bath BA2 6AA 07525 857720


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Bath philharmonia 17/18 Season  

Bath philharmonia 17/18 Season

Bath philharmonia 17/18 Season  

Bath philharmonia 17/18 Season