Durham University Orchestral Society: Concert

Fantastic dreams, restless dances, storms and disturbed sleep swirled together in Durham University Orchestral Society’s Epiphany term concert in a programme of vividly evocative music that used the entire rich palette available to the orchestral composer – plus a few extras.   Rossini’s overture Il Signor Bruschino provided a light introduction, a sparkly aperitif before the weightier, more interesting things that followed. The DUOS Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Oliver Zeffman bounced cheerily through it, and had plenty of fun with Rossini’s unorthodox percussion – violin bows tapped on the music stands.  One of Peter Maxwell Davies’s best known pieces is his An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise which ends gloriously with the arrival of a piper, but this isn’t the only piece he’s written for pipes. Kettletoft Inn, for Northumbrian pipes and a quintet of strings plus cor anglais was written in 2006 for Kathryn Tickell, and was being played for only the second time this evening but it deserves to be more widely heard, and hopefully the resurgence of interest in Northumbrian folk music that Tickell has started will mean that there will soon be more pipers around to play it. Soloist Alice Burn beautifully showcased the plaintive, lyrical qualities of the Northumbrian pipes, a much gentler instrument than its Scottish cousin. Kettletoft Inn swings between expansive evocations of the vast moorland skies and relaxed, impromptu dances. Maxwell Davies...

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Sir Thomas Allen’s Birthday Celebration

It is undisputed that Sir Thomas Allen is one of the finest lyric baritones of our time and so it seemed only fitting that his surprise birthday celebrations, held at Durham Castle last night, featured some of the university’s top singers and instrumentalists. A string quartet, featuring Chris Hirschman, Tim Seegar and Clare Durgan, greeted the Chancellor and his guests upon arrival, with guests in the Great Hall arriving to the sounds of the Big Band, before an introduction from another of the string quartet’s members, Experience Durham’s Head of Music Development, Jessica Lawrence. In her speech, she mentioned the awed reaction of one of the students at having been invited to sing at this event, saying that he was his “hero”, something that was echoed by many people throughout the evening. The first performance was given by the Opera Ensemble and displayed the talent of both the excellent soloists and the company altogether. Marnie Blair gave a brilliant and sultry rendition of Carmen’s Habanera aria (L’amour est un oiseau rebelle), before Hattie Ekbery and Lewis Whyte entertained with the Papageno/Papagena duet from The Magic Flute. Also included were the Sola, sola in buio loco sextet from Don Giovanni and the return of a brilliant arrangement of Summertime from Porgy and Bess by Roderick Williams. During the breaks for the guests to mingle and enjoy the atmosphere of the impressive building, the Big Band brought further excitement to the...

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Upcoming Events

Wed 22

Music Durham Lunchtime Concert

January 22 @ 1:15 pm - 1:45 pm
Durham
Sat 25

TriUni 2020

January 25 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Durham
Sun 26

Intercollegiate Cathedral Evensong

January 26 @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Durham
United Kingdom
Sun 26
Mon 27

Northern Lights at the Gala

January 27 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Durham