For their first symphony concert of this year, Durham University Palatinate Orchestra are pleased to present Brahms’ incredible second symphony, as well as Brahms’ Academic Festival Overture and Dvořák’s Slavonic Dance No. 8. This concert will be on Saturday 1st December in Elvet Methodist Church at 7:30pm. Following on from their Children’s Concert for local primary schools earlier this term, Under 12’s attend this concert free of charge; families are welcome and encouraged!

After wrestling for a long time with the symphony genre, Brahms finally finished his first symphony in spring 1877. Whereas Brahms needed several years to compose his first symphony, he was relatively quick with the second, which is often considered to be his most popular symphony. It’s a great piece of music and DUPO are very excited to be performing it in their first concert of the year, 140 years and 336 days after the first performance by the Viennese Philharmonic, in Elvet Methodist Church.

Brahms’ Academic Festival Overture is a joyful and intricate work, filled with the melodies of German student drinking songs, as well as humour and excitement. This year, DUPO Symphony and Chamber will be playing one of Dvořák’s popular Slavonic Dances in each of their concerts.

Conductor, Matthias Lichtenfield, expresses his excitement for his premiere concert with the orchestra:

I’m looking forward to my first concert with famously enthusiastic English audiences, and I am excited to be between the energy of the orchestra and the wild mob behind me, and to distill this into the music. Every orchestra should play a Brahms symphony at least once, and the Slavonic Dances are always a party to play. The challenge is to bring the character out of the music, and to battle the acoustic of Elvet Methodist.

Chris Savage, this year’s leader of DUPO Symphony, also comments on the challenges of playing Brahms:

With Brahms, a lot of the musicality comes from the bottom up, and there are some really interesting cross rhythms throughout the piece that audiences will be keen to look out for. I’m excited to play Brahms at his best!

Now in their 10th year, DUPO pride themselves on working hard to achieve a high standard of music making, while still maintaining a friendly, open atmosphere. In particular, they are shown to value outreach and want to engage with the local community. Alongside a free annual concert for primary schools, in their final term they will be doing a collaborative project with St Margaret’s Primary School. Naomi, president of DUPO, commented:

 I’m so excited for our first (public) concert of the year – Matthias has brought such a brilliant, fresh energy to the orchestra and it’s wonderful to begin this year with a powerful and triumphant programme. I am consistently impressed by the commitment, enthusiasm and talent of this group of musicians and you definitely should not miss out on the opportunity to watch them perform some stunning works!

Saturday 1st December, Elvet Methodist Church, 7.30pm (doors open 7pm)

Ticket Prices: Adult £10, Concession/Student £8, Music Durham £7, Under 12s Free

Tickets are available here: https://www.musicdurham.org/event/dupo-symphony-concert/