WHEN 16-year-old Natasha Ludlow performs her first concert with Gloucestershire Symphony Orchestra on Saturday 17 June, she will be playing a 240-year-old violin bequeathed by its oldest player.
The 18th century violin, with its distinctive lion’s head scroll, was the pride and joy of Hucclecote pensioner Trevor Pleass, who finally hung up his violin bow at the ripe old age of 93 – after more than 25 years’ playing for the symphony orchestra. He passed away in April, aged 96.
In his will, he left the violin for the use of any music student who was in need of an instrument while studying at Gloucestershire Academy of Music. Grade 7 violinist, Natasha, who helps out with young players on Saturdays, was chosen.
The Tewkesbury teenager says she is already smitten with the rich sound of the violin, which was presented to her and academy Principal Glyn Oxley at an orchestral rehearsal recently by Trevor’s daughters Sue Johnson and Jackie Rodgers.
Sue said: “It was lovely to see Natasha with Dad’s violin and to know that it will be used and enjoyed. It was Dad’s wish that it should be donated to GAM and Natasha is the perfect choice!”
Her younger sister Jackie added: “Dad was given the violin by his father, who was conductor of the Llandaff Operatic Society in Cardiff. It’s a pleasure to see it handed down to Natasha. Quite an emotional moment.”
Natasha will be playing the violin at the orchestra’s summer concert at St Barnabas’ Church on Saturday 17 June at 7.30pm. The programme will include a 1953 coronation contender in Overture ‘Proud Thames’ by English composer Elizabeth Maconchy, as well as another work premiered in the 1950s – Aaron Copland’s Clarinet Concerto performed by GSO clarinettist Katy Wenham. The finale is Tchaikovsky’s much-loved Symphony No 5. Tickets are £12 adults, under-18s free are available on the door or in advance from https://www.eventbrite.com/…/summer-concert-tickets…