Torbay Symphony Orchestra is a full-sized symphony orchestra which regularly
performs concerts to a wide range of audiences across South Devon. Musicians
come from far and wide to play in the orchestra which is based in Totnes, a
market town well known for its alternative culture.
Under the baton of conductor Richard Gonski and led by violinist Chris Eastman, the TSO enjoys a reputation for embracing all kinds of music in our concerts, from the familiar and popular to acclaimed performances of contemporary repertoire and music specifically commissioned by the orchestra from living composers.
March 2014 Concert Series
Saturday, March 8 2014, 7:30 pm at St. Mary's Church St. Marychurch, Torquay
Sunday, March 9 2014, 7:30 pm at St. John's Church, Totnes
There are many strands that connect the 3 pieces in this programme - both Gustav Mahler and Arnold Schoenberg were hugely influenced by Wagner; Schoenberg was a great admirer of Mahler's music, and Mahler did his best to promote Schoenberg's.
This concert therefore offers an opportunity to witness a very special time in the development of Western classical music - the (glorious) end of tonal harmony as exemplified by the music of Wagner and Mahler, and the first dipping in the waters of atonality by Schoenberg, which would eventually lead to the dodecaphonic (12 tone) system, which in turn became the compositional orthodoxy of so many composers throughout the 20th century.
Listening to these 3 pieces, one is struck more by the similarities than the differences, but it is the '5 Pieces for Orchestra' that heralds the future. The 3rd movement especially is visionary - a changing landscape of tone colours built on a single chord, not a million miles away from the music of Morton Feldman composed 50 years later, to give just one example. One is also struck by the extreme emotionality and variety of feeling, expressed not only in the wonderful orchestration, but also in the chords and the dynamism and energy of the themes, especially in the 1st, 4th and 5th pieces.
The soprano soloist in Mahler's 4th Symphony is Celine Forrest, appearing with the TSO for the first time. Céline was born and raised in Swansea before winning a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music, London, where she completed her undergraduate degree. She has returned this year to begin her Advanced Diploma on the Royal Academy Opera course where she continues to study with Julie Kennard and Iain Ledingham. She has been recently selected for master-classes with Susan Bullock, the late Robert Tear, Diane Forlano, Dennis O’Neill, Barbara Bonney and most recently Ann Murray. Céline has performed with The Welsh National Youth Opera several times including the lead role in ‘The Sleeper’ in 2011. Céline has enjoyed singing as a soloist with The Ariosa Singers, with whom she has travelled to Dublin, Prague, Paris, Barcelona, and Tuscany.
Céline was the winner of the Arthur Burcher Memorial prize, the Gwynne Leyshon prize, as well as being the winner of the Toni V. Fell Prize Trust in 2012. She was also granted membership into the prestigious Royal Academy’s Song Circle, a group described as being Royal Academy’s most accomplished performers of art song.
TSO receives grants from 'Awards for All' and local Charitable Foundations
Over recent years, the orchestra’s reputation has grown immensely resulting in ever-increasing audience numbers. Consequently the TSO has been able to secure sponsorship from both the local business and charity sectors. In the last 3 years alone this has totalled over £11,000. These awards have been crucial to the orchestra’s desire to reach out to the local community, in particular to provide free music workshops in local schools and free admission to our concerts for children under16 and disadvantaged groups. The TSO has also won funds to commission new music from local composers. Other funds have enabled us to purchase vital new equipment such as percussion and music stands. Some of our sponsors include:
Lottery Awards for All.
Margery and Geoffrey Jones
The Lewis Trust
South Hams Radio
The Elmgrant Trust
The Torquay Charities
Beacon Park Removals Totnes
The TSO is extremely grateful to these organisations for their support.