Cellist Rebecca McNaught joined Gloucestershire Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Haydn’s well-known Cello Concerto in C in June 2019. Listen to this exciting performance .
Talented young cellist Rebecca McNaught will join Gloucestershire Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Haydn’s well-known Cello Concerto in C in June. Rebecca won the Gloucestershire Young Musician title in 2015. Since then, she has completed her undergraduate degree in music at Oxford, where she twice achieved the highest solo performance mark in her year. She now studies at the Royal Academy of Music, and is principal cellist in the Royal Academy Symphony Orchestra. She recently toured Japan with the Royal Academy Soloists.
As well as the Haydn concerto, the concert includes Mendelssohn’s well-loved Italian Symphony, and Mozart’s effervescent overture to his opera Marriage of Figaro.
The concert is at St Catharine’s Church, London Road, Gloucester on Saturday 22 June at 7.30 pm. Full concert and ticket details are here.
Cakes and music will combine when GSO celebrates principal flautist Suzanne Blewett’s 40 years with the orchestra at their Spring Concert on Saturday March 23, at 7.30pm in St Barnabas Church, Gloucester. Suzanne will be playing John Rutter’s beautiful Suite Antique and the programme will include Brahms’ Symphony No 1 and Borodin’s Overture to Prince Igor.
Suzanne joined the orchestra as principal flautist at 20 years old, having just left the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where she completed three diplomas in performing and teaching – and won the 20th Century Woodwind Prize. Her teachers were Stanley Gleave, from the Halle Orchestra, and Douglas Townsend.
John Sanders was the conductor of GSO at the time and rehearsals were held in Gloucester Cathedral, where he was organist. Suzanne later played under the baton of Mark Finch until 2013, when current musical director Glyn Oxley took over.
Suzanne’s teaching career took off simultaneously with her joining GSO. It was 40 years ago when she began teaching at Cheltenham Ladies’ College, where former GSO leader Claire Piper was Head of Music. During her career, she taught at several state and independent schools, including Wycliffe College, where she still teaches today.
In 1985, she formed The Cotswold Flute Choir, which had 35 players and toured Malta, Spain and Italy. She ran it single-handedly for 26 years, gaining the support and recognition of the county music service.
Several of Suzanne’s students have won the coveted Gloucestershire Young Musician of the Year contest which is now organised by GSO.
During her 40 years of playing and teaching, Suzanne has travelled to Hong Kong to teach and perform, she has played with the Ma Bellini Quintet in Florence and performed many of the major flute concertos – from Neilson, Chaminade, Reinecke to Mozart. John Rutter’s Suite Antique is one of her favourites.
Suzanne, who lives in Hucclecote with husband Bob, will be celebrating her 40th wedding anniversary this summer.
Tickets £12, £9 (conc) on the door or in advance from www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/spring-concert-tickets-54794921084
The first thing 15-year-old viola player Bill Ko Tsz Hin did when he heard that he had won the Gloucestershire Young Musician of the Year title was ring his parents in Hong Kong – despite it being 5am their time!
The gifted teenager, who is a boarder at Cheltenham College, wowed the judges with his powerful performance of Bruch’s Romanze for Viola and Walton’s technically challenging second movement of his Viola Concerto on Tuesday evening (March 5).
He was one of five highly talented young musicians from across the county competing in this year’s contest which saw the Audience Prize, sponsored by the Carducci Trust, go to 14-year-old pianist Diff Jia, from Pate’s Grammar School.
The other finalists were Katie Jenner (clarinet) from Birmingham Conservatoire, Stephen Parker (euphonium) from Marling School and Michael Lei (piano) from Dean Close School.
Bill was presented with the Hewitt-Jones Trophy by composer Thomas Hewitt-Jones and received a cash prize of £500 from Brimpsfield Music Society chairman Patrick Daly. He will have the opportunity to perform a concerto with organisers Gloucestershire Symphony Orchestra on November 17 at Pittville Pump Room, play in a further concert with Gloucestershire Youth Orchestra as well as a recital at Cheltenham Music Festival.
Underlining how much he hoped others would follow in his footsteps, Bill said: “I hope more people, no matter what their age, will take up a musical instrument and explore different genres of music.”
Audience Prize winner Jiff Dia, who received a cheque for £200 from Carducci Quartet leader Matt Denton, will perform at the Carducci Festival at Highnam Court on May 18.
The judging panel was chaired by Professor Derek Aviss, who is former principal of London’s Trinity College. He said: “The arts have suffered badly from funding in this country and at last it seems to be there is a parliamentary report due out very shortly, which shows the value of the arts, and music in particular, in terms of supporting young people’s educational development. It’s great that Gloucestershire is at the forefront of some of these new initiatives.”
He was accompanied by Meurig Bowen, head of artistic planning for the BBC National Orchestra and Philip Harper, musical director of the award-winning Cory Band.
While the judges deliberated, gifted blind pianist Ashleigh Turley, from Tuffley entertained the audience with pieces by Bach, Debussy and Rachmaninoff to rapturous applause.
Partners and sponsors of the contest include the Gloucestershire Academy of Music, Cheltenham Music Festival, Gloucestershire Music, The Summerfield Trust and Ann Heron, mother of 2016 winner Adam.