Visit of Orchestra Allegro Moderato to the UK

Excitement is mounting in the south of England over the impending visit of Orchestra Allegro Moderato (OAM) from Milan.

This renowned Italian orchestra includes young adult musicians with physical and mental disabilities. They are coming to Putney in London to perform with their friends from Hampshire’s own Charity Symphony Orchestra (CSO) on Saturday 26 May this year.

The CSO is based in the Solent area and draws amateur musicians from several local orchestras such as those of Chichester, Petersfield and the Meon Valley. Other players come from London and further afield in the UK.

“We’ve played in Milan with OAM before and had a wonderful time making music together. We intend to make our Italian friends very welcome indeed,” said Craig Lawton, Director and Conductor of the CSO from Southampton. “The last time we played we raised money to help their worthy cause. Over the years the CSO, as its name implies, has raised thousands of pounds for charity. This year we will be playing Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty Suite and music from the ballet Rodeo by Aaron Copland.  We will also hope to play a special musical arrangement for the two orchestras,” he added.

The Charity Symphony Orchestral Manager Harriet Carey is putting together a full ensemble for the occasion. “We hope to have over fifty experienced amateur musicians from Hampshire and London playing at the concert including a harp and a piano,” she said. “I am a flautist but if we’re short, I may have to play a percussion instrument like the triangle or something,” she joked. “We could do with at least one more clarinettist.”

“We in the British-Italian Society are very interested in this concert and some of our members will be attending it. It’s such a good initiative,” said Elisabetta Murgia, the Membership and Events Secretary of the Society. Since its formation in 1941, the British-Italian Society has worked to promote knowledge and understanding in the UK of Italian culture.

The visit has already been mentioned on Classic FM and music by Rossini has been played as a treat for the Milanese visitors.

The venue for the concert is Saint Mary’s Church at the southern end of Putney Bridge which crosses the River Thames. This historic place of worship was built in the 13th century.  During the English Civil War, the headquarters of Oliver Cromwell’s army was briefly located at Putney.  The Church was at the centre of a turning point in British history as meetings of Cromwell’s Army Council held discussions which laid down plans for the future government of the realm.

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