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The Westmorland Orchestra is visiting Grange-over-Sands

Serene Koh

Kendal-based Westmorland Orchestra will be joined by pianist Serene Koh for their concert in March; the programme features works by Mendelssohn, Beethoven and Mozart.

The orchestra is conducted by Richard Howarth, who has had a distinguished career as a violinist and has been leading and conducting orchestras for over thirty years. He says “We hope to reach some new audience members while enjoying being on the road! The added bonus to appearing in Grange is that there is a lovely grand piano, hence the Mozart piano concerto.”

Mozart’s piano concerto No. 24, regarded by some as Mozart’s greatest piano concerto will be played by Serene Koh. She is a young, award-winning musician who has studied and performed around the world and is currently studying with renowned local pianist Martin Roscoe, also the president of Westmorland Orchestra.  “Serene Koh has been studying with me for the last two and a half years at Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. From Singapore, Serene already had the training and the talent to play at the highest level. Her background in chamber music and her stylistic awareness allied to technical control and communication skills make her an ideal soloist for Mozart’s C minor Concerto.”

Serene Koh said “I am extremely excited to perform with Richard Howarth and the orchestra. I love Mozart, C minor is one of my favourite keys, and this concerto is such a magnificent masterpiece – no doubt it has to be one of my favourite concerti! This concerto has the largest instrumentation of all Mozart concerti and I cannot wait to be immersed in the power of the orchestra and the music. It would also be my first time playing in Cumbria, and I am looking forward to sharing wonderful music with the audience there.“

Beethoven’s music will also feature in the concert; Creatures of Prometheus is the composer’s only ballet and the orchestra will be playing a selection from the music including the overture. This music, unusually for Beethoven, features not only the harp but also the basset-horn, a seldom-seen and rather glamorous member of the clarinet family.

Concert-goers will also have  the opportunity to sit back, listen to and enjoy Mendelssohn’s Symphony No.4 – the Italian. Its inspiration is the colour and atmosphere of Italy and many of its themes are instantly recognisable, from the joyful opening movement to the exciting and energetic finale.

The Westmorland Orchestra’s Christmas concert was well-received with one reviewer saying “Conductor Richard Howarth’s careful direction, and his insistence on high standards, certainly brought out the best in the orchestra…”  and there’s no doubt that the orchestra will be aiming for peak performance again!

Chair of the orchestra, Georgina Perkins, was delighted to discover that Serene was a student of Martin Roscoe “when our soloist was booked to play with us we had no idea of the connection with the orchestra’s president, Martin Roscoe, but I think it is a very special link!” Georgina also hopes to encourage an appreciation of “the magic that is live orchestral music” in more young people; to that end tickets are always free for the under 19s and full time students.

The concert is at The Victoria Hall, Grange-over-Sands and will start at 7.30 pm on Saturday 14th March 2020.  Tickets are £12.00 or free for young people and are available from the Grange Tourist Information Centre or online at www.TicketSource.co.uk/wes.

Further information is available from the orchestra’s website www.WestmorlandOrchestra.org.uk or Facebook page www.facebook.com/westmorlandorchestra.

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