Charity Symphony Orchestra returns to its roots

Under the baton of its Chairman, Craig Lawton, the Charity Symphony Orchestra is to return to its origins when it performs at the Turner Sims Hall, University of Southampton, at 7.30 pm on Saturday 18 May 2019. Craig and several other leading musicians studied at Southampton University, meeting and playing at the Turner Sims concert hall.

The CSO is the leading successful fundraising ensemble of the South Coast of England. Over the years the orchestra has raised many thousands of pounds for worthy causes. This concert will raise money for KIDS, which provides a wide range of support to disabled children, young people and their families. Their forthcoming concert is designed to be filled with fun, romance and excitement.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio Italien is the opening number. Inspired by the Russian composer’s holiday in Italy, this popular piece is full of Mediterranean joy and sparkle.

Seventeen-year-old Shoshanah Sievers is the soloist for Henryk Wieniawski’s Violin concerto No 2 in D minor. An up-and-coming musician and composer, she was awarded a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Music in 2017. She also won the BBC Proms Inspire Young Composers Competition and is renowned for her “glorious sustained sound” on the violin.

The Polish violin virtuoso Wieniawski began composing his second concerto in 1856 but it was not performed until 1862. It is dedicated to his dear friend Pablo de Sarasate. It remains one of the greatest violin concertos of the Romantic era, memorable for its lush and moving melodies. It’s got a touch of gypsy fiddling about it too. Shoshana is sure to delight the audience with this absolute gem of a work.

Leonard Bernstein’s wonderful West Side Story Symphonic Suite is also on the programme. The composer’s music, written to enhance a twentieth-century film on the story of Romeo and Juliet, is a firm favourite with concert and cinema-goers alike.

Although the running order might change on the night, the final number is expected to be George Gershwin’s Cuban Overture. Here again are the sounds of high spirits in a sunny clime reminiscent of the composer’s holiday on that Caribbean island. The work is a tone poem which was originally entitled Rumba. It has a wide spectrum of instrumental colour and rhythmic percussion.
Tickets are available from the Turner Sims Box Office on 02380 595151.

Starting from scratch, the CSO’s members rehearse on the day of the concert and perform the same evening. Many of the musicians travel considerable distances to play. Currently the CSO would welcome bassoonists plus more string players, especially double bassists. Interested musicians should contact the Orchestra’s Secretary, Harriet Carey via

Read a profile of CSO violinist Shoshanah Sievers.

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