• Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home News Archive
News and events from the past.

Tchaikovsky Gala Concert

E-mail Print

Porträt des Komponisten Pjotr I. Tschaikowski (1840-1893) cropped

Tchaikovsky Gala Concert

Sunday 22nd November 2015 at New Hall, Winchester College

Winchester Symphony Orchestra under its conductor Nicholas Wilks is pleased to announce the opening of its 2015-2016 season with this most irresistible of concert programmes, a veritable hors-d'oeuvre to dessert feast of Tchaikovsky masterpieces.

Under the guidance of his mentor Balakirev, the young Tchaikovsky re-wrote the Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture three times; even then Balakirev thought he had rushed it. Audiences have no such reservations however. Tchaikovsky's characterisations of Friar Tuck, the warring Montague and Capulet families, and the searing and ultimately doomed young love of the hero and heroine, are clearly recognisable and exquisitely portrayed in masterful orchestration which effectively both delight and pull at the heart-strings.

Tchaikovsky always held Mozart and Haydn in deep regard, and his desire to do them homage was soon realized in the Variations on a Rococo Theme for Solo Cello and Orchestra, the writing of which was considerably aided by the famous cellist of the time, Wilhelm Fitzenhagen, who presented the first performance. The enchanting theme, an immaculate tune of perfect symmetry and poise, is joyfully tossed between soloist and orchestra, each variation appended with a more characterful and sometimes extended coda.

Our soloist for this concert is the Winchester-born cellist Hannah Innes, a young musician with many awards and prizes, including the Rose Roitman Award from the Royal Academy of Music and the Harry Isaacs Piano Trio, Douglas Cameron and Montefiore prizes.

The Sixth Symphony (Pathétique) is surrounded by myth and legend, mostly detrimental to Tchaikovsky's character, however ultimately scholars have concluded that it was neither the expression of a death-wish nor a succumbing to depression; rather, Tchaikovsky reveals that he knew with this symphony he had finally reached the apex of confidence in his own work. Hear in the climax of the First Movement a premonition of the remorseless descending scales in the last; hear the five-in-a-bar hobbling waltz of the Second yet float free defying all rhythmic regulation; hear the teasing march in the Third lead to a hollow climax which virtually tricks you into clapping uproariously where the end is not yet in sight, and hear the devastating lament of the Fourth, fractured among the strings and culminating in low throbbing heartbeats in the double basses which at last expire. We have here a composer at the height of his powers. How tragic that Tchaikovsky was to die of cholera just a few days after the first performance.

Book now

You may buy tickets from our online box office at any time, or use our telephone box office: 0333 666 3366 which is available Monday to Friday 9am - 7pm and Saturday 9am - 5pm.
Please note there is an additional £1.50 charge for the telephone box office. We do not charge a fee for the online box office.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 October 2015 14:46

Sunday 22nd March 2015

E-mail Print

Igor Stravinsky

Next concert: Sunday 22nd March 2015, New Hall, Winchester College

Stravinsky: 1919 Concert Suite for Orchestra no. 2, "The Firebird"

1. Introduction—The Firebird and its dance—The Firebird's variation;
2. The Princesses Khorovod (Rondo, round dance);
3. Infernal dance of King Kashchei;
4. Berceuse (Lullaby);
5. Finale.

Passionately opposed to the socialist realism movements spearheaded by Tolstoy, the impresario Diaghilev led a counter-movement of artistic activity attracted principally towards Western art, with the fruits of intense activity resulting in the sensational seasons of his Ballets Russes. The young Stravinsky, having already broken away from the Rimsky-Korsakov mould and the recognisable influence of Brahms and Glazunov in his earlier works, was seen by Diaghilev to be perfectly ready to join this artistic group and break new ground with his proposed ballet, The Firebird. Stravinsky did not disappoint, the first performance turning him into an instant celebrity. From this triumph Stravinsky drew two further orchestral suites, the second of which will be presented in this concert by The Winchester Symphony Orchestra. Opening with a nocturnal picture of Kashkei’s enchanted garden, the Firebird dances with trill, flourish and tremolo around the captured princesses until finally casting the wicked King to sleep with her mesmerising lullaby, thus releasing the beautiful princesses from the monstrous spell to deliverance with dazzling brass fanfares.

Brahms: Symphony no. 1 in C minor, op. 68

I. Un poco sostenuto – Allegro
II. Andante sostenuto
III. Un poco allegretto e grazioso
IV. Adagio – Piu andante – Allegro non troppo, ma con brio

By contrast, Brahms tells no story and dances no ballet, never departs from the strict four movement structure, does not name his symphonies nor incorporate a sung text; considered to be more conservative than his predecessor Beethoven, yet his stern rigour in theme development is ever dependable and displays consummate mastery of his craft. He was over forty years old before he even embarked on symphonic writing and the Winchester Symphony Orchestra will open the concert with Brahms’ first foray into this ‘classical’ world. His vigorous and individual scoring marks him out as a composer who does not try to impress with novelty, yet who satisfies with melodic and rhythmic invention as challenging as it is deceptive.

Buy tickets

Last Updated on Sunday, 19 April 2015 22:04

Next Concert - 23 November 2014

E-mail Print

Our next concert will take place on Sunday 23rd November 2014. Robyn Allegra Parton

Stylish, attractive, great beauty of tone,” - these are just a sample of the many critiques praising our Autumn Concert soloist Robyn Allegra Parton. This talented soprano will present the nostalgic and delicate Samuel Barber work Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Winchester Symphony Orchestra directed by their conductor Nicholas Wilks. With reduced instrumentation this beautiful impressionist setting of passages by the poet James Agee transport us back to his childhood search for identity and reassurance among familiar faces.

Winchester Symphony Orchestra contrasts this with Mahler’s colossal Symphony no. 5, where augmented orchestral forces take us from a revolutionary opening Funeral March through to a sparkling and virtuosic Rondo Finale. No vocal influence here, however the famous Adagietto is said to be Mahler’s ‘love letter’ to his wife Alma, where he once wrote to her ‘How much I love you, my Sun. I cannot tell you with words. I can only lament to you my longing and love.

Note: New Hall is closed for refurbishment. This concert will take place in Thornden Hall.

Book now

You may buy tickets from our online box office at any time, or use our telephone box office: 0333 666 3366 which is available Monday to Friday 9am - 7pm and Saturday 9am - 5pm.
Please note there is an additional £1.50 charge for the telephone box office. We do not charge a fee for the online box office.

Last Updated on Friday, 05 December 2014 18:33

Young Soloist Competition


Jenny Whitby with the trophyLast night the Winchester Symphony Orchestra accompanied three fantastic young soloists: Jenny Whitby on flute, Matthew Crisp on violin and Mike Huang on 'cello. They all played wonderfully and the judges’ decision was not easy. In the end Jenny won with her performance of the Nielsen Flute Concerto.

sponsored by Bargate Homes
We were grateful to our main sponsor, Bargate Homes, for providing the trophy and to the other sponsors of the event for providing prizes for the soloists.

We are hopeful this will become an annual event. If you would like to sponsor or take part in next year’s competition please contact the orchestra through the website. For all those who missed out by not making it to the concert, here is a clip of the soloists rehearsing with us as shown on ITV news on Friday 9th May.

We look forward to welcoming you back for the Winchester Symphony Orchestra concert on 23rd November 2014 when we will be playing Mahler's 5th Symphony.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video


Last Updated on Monday, 09 November 2015 04:17

Young Soloist Competition

E-mail Print

Young Soloist Competition





SATURDAY 10th MAY 2014, 7.30pm

The final of the first Winchester Young Soloist Competition will take place on Saturday 10th May 2014 at St. Swithun’s Performing Arts Centre at 7.30pm.

The competition is open to all young people of school age in the Winchester area.

The heats took place in February 2014, and three competitors have been selected to play in the Final.

The finalists are:

Jenny Whitby:  Nielsen Flute Concerto

Michael Huang:  Elgar Cello Concerto

Matthew Crisp:  Bruch Violin Concerto Book now

The finalists will be accompanied by the Winchester Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Nicholas Wilks.

The competition will be judged by a panel of 3 judges, including Howard Ionascu, Director of the Junior Royal Academy of Music, who will award the prizes at the end of the evening.

We hope that this will become an annual event.

For further information please contact the WSO chair, Lucy Kinton.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 22:31
  • «
  •  Start 
  •  Prev 
  •  1 
  •  2 
  •  3 
  •  4 
  •  5 
  •  6 
  •  Next 
  •  End 
  • »

Page 1 of 6

Members' Area



Want to be notified of orchestra events? Join our list.