Celebration Mozart: York Guildhall Orchestra 2019 (Evening Performance)

Simon Wright - Conductor       Rebecca Taylor - Piano
String Divertimento in D, K136
Piano Concerto No 9 in Eb, K271   
Symphony No 40 in G minor, K550

A welcome return from the slimmed down Guildhall Orchestra, to celebrate the music of  Mozart, where pianist Rebecca Taylor, a local musician from Scarborough, now performs on the international scene. 

York Guildhall Orchestra

Conductor: Simon Wright

La Trattoria, the bistro and pizzeria in the Market Square, is kindly supporting this concert and between the afternoon and evening performances, the orchestra will have a meal there.  Join them for Pasta and Pizza, for a pre-event or after-show dinner with a booking for this concert where, if you present your concert ticket you will receive 15% discount off the bill.

La Trattoria opening times are from 8am – 3pm & 5pm – 9pm   (closed 3pm – 5pm)

Simon Wright:  As a conductor, Simon Wright has earned universal respect and has become established as a musician of enormous integrity, winning the admiration of musicians, audience and critics alike. Simon was born in Sunderland and educated at Chethams School of Music in Manchester.  At the age of 16 he won a scholarship to the Royal Manchester College of Music and as a regular accompanist of the Halle Chorus often worked with John Barbirolli. Between many European engagements, recordings, teaching and conducting posts, he has been Conductor and Artistic Adviser of Leeds Festival Chorus since 1975 and Musical Director and Principal Conductor of the York Guildhall Orchestra since 1992.  In July 2018 he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the York St John University.

Rebecca Taylor:  Born and educated in North Yorkshire, Rebecca made her concert debut at the age of 17 performing the Shostakovich 2nd Piano Concerto.  She was awarded a performance scholarship to the annual Birmingham International Piano Academy where she won the Piano Academy’s concerto competition the following year. Rebecca read music as an organ scholar at Lincoln College Oxford and as both an organist and choral conductor has broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 & 4, made CD recordings and has performed in prestigious venues in the UK and abroad. She achieved a distinction in her LRAM Diploma and recently completed her studies for an MA in piano accompaniment at the Royal Academy of Music.

York’s renowned Guildhall Orchestra is one of the leading orchestral ensembles in the North of England.  It is an exceptionally fine and large amateur/volunteer symphony orchestra founded in 1980 by John Hastie, where rehearsals originally took place in the Guildhall in York – hence the orchestra’s name.

In 1992, when Simon Wright took over the baton from John Hastie, the band became the first official orchestra of the City of York and owing to an ever-increasing audience size the orchestra had outgrown the Guildhall and transferred to the Barbican Centre.

The size and most certainly the standard of playing has grown throughout the years and is now comparable with many professional orchestras; many years ago it featured as part of the Ryedale Festival. Regularly working with top class international soloists, the orchestra is capable of giving high-quality performances of some of the most demanding large-scale works in the orchestral repertoire. One of the claims to fame is probably that it is the only orchestra to ever have played all ten of Mahler’s symphonies in chronological order. Quite a feat to make that claim! It continued with Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring,  Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra,  Strauss’ notorious tone poem Don Juan and notably the truly spectacular Berlioz Grande Messe des Mort, with its huge orchestra of over 120 players, a choir of over 300 voices and 4 brass bands, which was performed in York Minster in 1999 and which is still talked about today.

Needless to say we have a slimmed-down version of this brilliant orchestra to play in Helmsley Arts Centre this afternoon and evening.  Celebration Mozart, playing the same concert at the times of 3pm & 7.30pm,opens with String Divertimento in D, followed by the Piano Concerto No.9 in Eb played by Rebecca Taylor.  After the interval we will hear the glorious Symphony No. 40 in G minor – sometimes refered to as ‘The Great G Minor symphony’.


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