Cornwall Residency Summary

The BSO’s Cornwall Residency 2015 was by the far the biggest community outreach programme undertaken by the Orchestra in recent years, running from 21 – 25 April. As the Participation team, BSO Young Conductor in Association Frank Zielhorst and tens of musicians headed down to sunny Cornwall, there was a slight sense of trepidation. With over 35 separate projects and events scheduled for 5 days, we had packed as much as possible into the week so we could cover as much of Cornwall as we could. By Monday afternoon, the vehicles were all packed and we set off for an epic week of music making.

BSO Resonate Strings perform their Travel Throughout Time concert to the full school at Biscovey Academy on the first day of the residency

BSO Resonate Strings perform their Travel Throughout Time concert to the full school at Biscovey Academy on the first day of the residency

The BSO Resonate Strings, Wind Quintet, Brass Quintet and BSO Bash percussion ensembles were in schools and colleges delivering fun, high quality coaching and performances to inspire the next generation of musicians. Our BSO Associates for Cornwall, Patrick Bailey and Matt Harrison led creative music and composition sessions for users of Scope and MENCAP centres. It was a really rewarding experience, giving those who would not normally get the opportunity to express themselves through musical group performances a chance to compose their own music. Our guest artist in residence, composer Stephen Montague, along with Frank Zielhorst undertook CPD and masterclass sessions captivating and informing school children and local music leaders alike. Stephen also led a stimulating composers networking event discussing the state of composition in Cornwall with local composers.

The massed orchestra of BSO Musicians sitting side-by-side with musicians from local Cornish communities

The massed orchestra of BSO Musicians sitting side-by-side with musicians from local Cornish communities during rehearsal for the performance of Dark Sun by Stephen Montague

The culmination of the week was the performance at RNAS Culdrose of Stephen’s Dark Sun, an orchestral work in memoriam of the victims of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear attacks of WWII. Over 150 local musicians and 50 BSO Musicians sat side-by-side with the end performance being a very strong, moving performance. The Navy base’s HMS Seahawk Volunteer Band and Truro Sinfonia also performed, adding a variety of music for the invited audience.

And so the curtain came down on our residency. Over 2,500+ miles were driven by the Participate team, 40+ Cornish pasties consumed (including the musicians!), upwards of 14,000 people were engaged by us and a great sense of achievement was felt by all.
Ben Jennings

Ben Jennings works as an Intern in the Participation department, a position generously funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.


Sunwook’s Rach Three and BSO’s 2015/16 Concert Season


Sunwook’s Rach Three review, Poole, Lighthouse, Wednesday 29 April, 2015           by Tom Wickson, BSO Member

It is hard to pick out a single outstanding highlight from such an exciting programme as we have enjoyed this season, but what an incredible experience it was to hear the Rachmaninov Third Piano Concerto with Sunwook Kim and the Prokofiev Sixth Symphony played together in Poole, Bristol and Portsmouth in the last days of April and on the first of May 2015.

Sunwook Kim, BSO Artist -in-Residence 2015/16

Sunwook Kim’s amazing virtuosity was just so engaging in the Rachmaninov. He looked absolutely exhausted after the performance; as well he might, given the length and technical difficulty of the piece.

The audience was there with him the whole way, rolling and swirling like a ship at sea as we lived the mighty emotions and boiling passions of this dramatic masterpiece.

It is hard to imagine how Sunwook found the energy to take the baton and conduct the Pas de Deux from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker as an encore – but let’s hope it was just the beginning of many future conducting endeavours.

After the interval, the Prokofiev Sixth Symphony proved a shattering experience.               A mixture of lament for the dead of the Second World War and Prokofiev’s personal response to facing his own mortality, this is a serious and powerful work. The Orchestra was in absolutely top form. Kirill’s interpretation of the work meant we experienced an involving and moving performance, never likely to be forgotten.

Perhaps the most important feature of the evening, apart from the live relay on             BBC Radio 3, was the announcement by Dougie Scarfe at the interval in Poole that       Kirill Karabits has agreed to extend his Conductorship on a rolling basis, taking the Orchestra through to its 125th anniversary in 2018 and beyond! How amazingly lucky    we are!

BSO 2015/16 Concert Season, by Tom Wickson, BSO Member

Augustin Hadelich, BSO Artist-in-Residence 2015/16

With such a mouth-watering BSO 2015/16 concert programme, how can we decide what to come and hear? There have been some lively debates in our household and a few ‘prior engagements’ might have to give way.

Clearly after the Rach Three, Sunwook’s recital with the brilliant Augustin Hadelich, BSO Artist-in-Residene 2015/16 and the Orchestra strings is an essential. The season-opening Salome is a really exciting prospect, as are visits by soloists like Steven Isserlis and  John Lill.

How about those sublime Beethoven Piano Concertos which are scattered through the season, and the BSO Chorus in Poulenc’s Gloria and Brahms’ Requiem? There’s Mozart by Reinhard Gebel and Elgar by Vassily Sinaisky and almost too many things to take in by Maestro Karabits.

I hope the Chief Conductor and the Orchestra management understand what torments of decision we are going through before we probably buckle under and book the lot!

Young Reviewer

Ciaran Trevena review Image 3

Concert Review: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, 23rd April, St Endellion by Ciaran Trevena

Hearing the string section of the BSO felt like an enormous privilege for me, as I am a musician, and this was an extraordinary standard of music. An even greater privilege was the chance to perform alongside them in their concert. I spoke to the conductor, Frank Zielhorst, who told me that it was “always special to work with such high standard players in the BSO. It’s intense, but it’s a great opportunity.” In this concert, six you string players, including myself, joined the BSO players, and I know that we were all blown away by their musical ability.

The programme was very varied for this concert.The orchestra started with Dvořák’s Serenade for string orchestra in E major, which is a beautiful piece, played astonishingly well. It was simply breath-taking! This set the tone for the evening, and was followed by Peter Warlock’s Capriol Suite, for which the six Cornish players joined the orchestra. I think I can speak for all of us in saying that this was easily one of the best experiences that we’ve had. In the words of one of the violinists from the BSO, Colette Overdijk, “The only thing better than hearing this kind of music at this level is playing it!” The third piece, Souveinr de Printemps, by Otto Ketting, was a lot more modern, and slightly discordant at times, but this only showed off the togetherness of this ensemble. The BSO then finished with Brahms’ String Quintet No. 2 in G major, arranged for the whole orchestra, another beautiful and intricate piece brilliantly played.

One audience member told me that this was one of the best evening’s music they had ever heard, a view I believe the whole audience shared. For the six young string players, this was an absolutely amazing experience too.

Final day in Cornwall


Today saw the culmination of months of preparation and planning for the community-playing day held at RNAS Culdrose.

After a week of workshops and concerts throughout Cornwall by the BSO, the orchestra came together to play alongside over 100 musicians from across the county.

The piece for the day, ‘Dark Sun’ was composed and conducted by Mr Stephen Montague.

Musicians began arriving early and by 10pm, rehearsals were well under way. After mastering the parts and in some cases learning advanced playing techniques, the piece slowly came together.

After lunch, members of Truro Sinfonia and HMS Seahawk Royal Naval Volunteer Band, both of which had workshops with BSO musicians earlier in the week, gave performances. Also featured was the BSO wind ensemble.

To end the afternoon, ‘Dark Sun’ was performed, sending shivers down everyone’s spine and captivating the audience.

It was a truly memorable occasion and a fantastic climax to a fantastic week in Cornwall.

BSO undergo Naval Bootcamp

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Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra musicians get a taste of Naval Life at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose on the eve of their spectacular Dark Sun concert.

They have been given the opportunity to see for themselves what goes on at the Royal Navy’s West Cornwall Air Station on the eve of a special community mass ensemble performance in one of the base’s huge aircraft hangar

The team of would-be naval candidates is part of the BSO Cornwall Residency’s 60-strong professional musicians, who are delivering an extensive music-making programme to the region from Tuesday 21 – Saturday 25 April 2015.

“They have been invited to take part in one of the navy’s training exercises on Friday, April 24, as the BSO and RNAS Culdrose are collaborating on the culminating event of the BSO Cornwall Residency 2015, with a spectacular mass community musical production taking place on Saturday 25 April in the presence of the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm at RNAS Culdrose” said Lisa Tregale, BSO Head of Participation.

The event is part of the orchestra’s most extensive programme yet as they cover 20 locations in the Cornwall region, delivering over 22 school and community visits to inspire new communities.

An evening of Chamber Music…….

Embedded image permalinkBSO’s wind ensemble entertained the people of west cornwall tonight with great success.

The concert, held at the Tolmen Centre, Constantine, featured an inspiring programme including works by Hummel and Dvorak.

Students from Truro College also joined the BSO to perform Gordon Jacobs ‘New wine in old bottles’. The performance from the students was flawless!

Organised in conjunction with Carn to Cove, the concert also featured guest ensembles run by the Cornwall Music Education Hub. Flautistas! and Sax is the business both giving excellent performances.

As well as the wind ensemble concert, tonight additionally saw BSO’s brass ensemble performing in Callington and BSO’s resonate strings group performing in St Endellion

The orchestra will come together on Friday night in a concert at Hall For Cornwall, before heading to RNAS Culdrose on Saturday for a community-playing day.

Conducting Masterclasses at Univeristy College Falmouth


BSO’s associate conductor Frank Zielhorst this morning led a master class for music students at Falmouth University.

Working with around 17 students, Frank explained the basics of conducting before asking for some participation from the students, practising their arm swinging!

Once everyone had mastered their conducting arm and after a quick re-fuel, a small ensemble was formed allowing the remaining students to master their techniques. Almost everyone took a turn at conducting or playing and everyone flourished on Frank’s enthusiasm and knowledge.

Tonight will see Frank attending Truro Sinfonia to rehearse for the community event at RNAS Culdrose on Saturday.