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Newbury Symphony Orchestra goes live again with Sibelius, Debussy and Prokoviev

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Next Saturday, November 20, at St Nicolas' Church, Newbury Symphony Orchestra is performing its first concert for two years with a programme including works by Sibelius, Debussy and Prokoviev.

Through the pandemic, when the orchestra couldn't have live rehearsals or perform concerts, the members of the orchestra took part in online rehearsals and also held lectures by the conductor Jonathan Williams, on works they were planning to play in future.

Orchestra chairman David Cooper says: "The pandemic not only stopped live rehearsals and concerts but threatened to undermine the unity of all kinds of group activities across the globe. We worked hard throughout to keep the spirit on the NSO alive and it has paid off. We have come back for this concert with a strong line up of outstanding players excited to be performing once again in Newbury."

Mathilde Milwidsky
Mathilde Milwidsky

In keeping with its mission to promote young virtuoso soloists, the orchestra have invited Mathilde Milwidsky to play the Prokoviev Violin Concerto No 1 at this month's concert. Born in London in 1994, violinist Milwidsky has been praised by The Strad (2017) for her "perfect intonation and beautiful shaping and colouring, comprehensively nailing each new stylistic and emotional universe as she went."

She has performed as a soloist at venues in the UK such as the Royal Festival Hall, the Wigmore Hall and the Royal Albert Hall as well as across Europe. She has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 ‘In Tune’, BBC Radio 4, Radio Swiss Classic, Yle Radio Suomi (Finnish National Radio) and Hessischer Rundfunk.

Mathilde's studies began at the Royal College of Music Junior Department where she was a Tsukanov Scholar taught by Viktoria Grigoreva and David Takeno. She then studied at the Royal Academy of Music as a full scholarship student under György Pauk, graduating in July 2017 with First Class Honours and the Regency Award for notable achievement, the Louise Child Memorial Prize for highest-achieving graduate and the Marjorie Heyward Fund for the highest violin mark of the year. She is currently studying under Professor Mi-kyung Lee at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater, in Munich.

The NSO will also play the Sibelius Symphony No 2 and Debussy’s Prélude à L’Après Midi D’Un Faun.

The concert starts at 7.30pm. Tickets are £12 (£2 for under 18s). Tickets are available from Hogan Music and Philip Brown Violins, and on the door. They can also be bought online from the NSO website – www.newburysymphonyorchestra.org

The Newbury Symphony Orchestra is one of the oldest non-professional orchestras in England and is now in its 142nd season. The orchestra comprises 60 to 70 amateur musicians of all ages and draws its members from four counties. The resident professional conductor is Dr Jonathan Williams and the leader is Wendy Clark.

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