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Tchaikovsky's Sixth the lure for Bishop's Stortford Sinfonia audience to step Inside the Orchestra

By Paul Winspear

Rebecca Miller conducting Bishop's Stortford Sinfonia at its previous Inside the Orchestra performance at Bishop's Stortford College in November 2017 (6448454)
Rebecca Miller conducting Bishop's Stortford Sinfonia at its previous Inside the Orchestra performance at Bishop's Stortford College in November 2017 (6448454)

Bishop’s Stortford Sinfonia is once again inviting an audience to get up close and personal as part of its mission to introduce orchestral music to new ears.

The orchestra, which is made up of professional, semi-pro and talented amateur musicians, returns to Bishop’s Stortford College on January 27 for a special concert, Tchaikovsky’s Sixth – Inside the Orchestra.

Inside the Orchestra events are unlike usual concerts as the audience are invited to sit surrounding and even within the orchestra.

The event begins with a workshop based around the featured work, Tchaikovsky’s epic Pathetique Symphony, that explores the inner workings of the orchestra and role of the conductor, American-born Rebecca Miller.

It then culminates in a performance of the complete symphony, one of the most compelling in the repertoire that takes the listener on a rollercoaster ride of emotion.

It will be Bishop's Stortford Sinfonia's first performance in the town since last May, apart from its collaboration with Bishop's Stortford Choral Society at All Saints' Church at the start of December.

Inside the Orchestra is a project right at the heart of what the sinfonia is about, finding new ways to engage with audiences and providing an exciting introduction to orchestral music to new audiences; its previous Inside the Orchestra performance, featuring Beethoven's Fifth in November 2017, proved extremely popular with families.

Furthermore though, it is equally popular with experienced concert-goers as the in-depth workshop and opportunity to experience the orchestra so close at hand give a chance to listen to the music in a very different way.

This is just some of the feedback from the Inside the Orchestra event 14 months ago.

"Having heard the workshop it really focused my attention and particularly listened out for sections that had been explained earlier.

"I think it is an amazing experience for children – hopefully will inspire some to take up and continue playing. We have been listening to our daughter playing for years – never knew there was so much to being an orchestral player.

"We had a great view of Rebecca, normally you see only the conductor’s back. It was amazing to see her face and her visual communication with the orchestra as she conducted. The power of a smile, a raised eyebrow or even a sniff from Rebecca was brilliant to witness.

"We are blessed to have such a great orchestra associated with the town. The vision and passion to do things differently is amazing.

"The explanations of how the sections communicate and the comments from players added a real depth and insight that I have never witnessed before.

"As an amateur violinist who has played this piece, I picked up on some nuances that I had been unaware of before. My 11-year-old found it all incredibly interesting and it built up anticipation for the final performance."

* Tchaikovsky’s Sixth – Inside the Orchestra, featuring principal conductor Rebecca Miller, will take place on Sunday January 27 at 3.30pm (ends about 5.30pm) at Memorial Hall, Bishop’s Stortford College. Tickets are £17 for adults (£15 if bought online by Jan 24), £5 for students and free for under-18s. They are available on the door or from the Sinfonia website www.bishopsstortfordsinfonia.com

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