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THE highly acclaimed Sands Centre International Orchestral Concert Series will begin this month with an opening concert from the St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra.

Czech National Symphony Orchestra will play
Czech National Symphony Orchestra will play

The first concert will take place on Friday October 27 and the season will continue with concerts from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Russian State Philharmonic. Czech National Symphony Orchestra before concluding with Halle on Friday May 18.

But with only weeks to go until St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra take to the stage, Entertainment Manager Jonathan Higgins admitted that this year is set to be bigger than ever.

"We are extremely proud to present another five internationally acclaimed orchestras, featuring a superb array of world renowned conductors and soloists. The Sands’ provides one of the finest classical music seasons in the country, despite Carlisle being one of the smallest cities in terms of population. I believe that our season of international orchestral concerts is crucial for our entire region, because the nearest concert halls that provide these opportunities are in Gateshead, Glasgow or Manchester.

"The population between these three cities therefore have to travel less to enjoy some of the great orchestras of the world, performing a splendid variety of symphonic music right here in Carlisle."

The opening Classical Symphony by Prokofiev was written and performed at the time of turmoil in Russia as it had two revolutions in 1917. The show is hailed to be an excellent prelude to the appearance of celebrity British pianist Peter Donohoe to play Rachmaninov’s 4th Piano Concerto.

It has suffered in popularity because of the dominance of No 2 and No 3- but it is apparently frequently performed and much loved in Russia. It is a comparatively late work and shows the influence of jazz with Rachmaninov living in the USA.

The second half of the concert provides well-known fare – Rimsky Korsakov’s Scheherazade, based on stories from 1001 Nights. It is exotic in feel, often suggesting the swell of the sea, and always with the unifying theme that represents the Sultana Scheherzade as she entertains her lord with fascinating tales. So a sumptuous feast of music kicks off the season. Those present last May to hear the brilliance of the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra will want to relive the sound at this show.

The St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra will head to Carlisle on Friday October 27

Tickets are available from the box office

Thursday, October 12, 2017 at 11:16AM
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