Surrey Mozart Players

An Introduction to Season 2019-2020 .....

Surrey Mozart Players saw some exciting changes in 2018/19. Following on from Kenneth Woods's glowing twelve-year tenure as Musical Director, the orchestra delivered five captivating and popular concerts, as well as forging new working relationships with conductors Edward Farmer, Christopher Stark, David McCallum and Christopher Hopkins.

Now in our second year of trials for a new Musical Director, Surrey Mozart Players are welcoming five new conductors, each exploring different areas of directorship and expertise whilst adding to our already impressive reputation.

Our 2019/2020 season promises a feast for brass lovers, with Mozart Horn Concertos opening and closing the year. We begin in September with Concerto No. 3, performed by talented young soloist Alexei Watkins. The concert will be conducted by Lewis Gaston and also includes Dvorak’s Serenade for Wind, showcasing the orchestra’s wind section; Wagner’s symphonic poem for chamber orchestra, Siegfried Idyll and Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony, which was premiered in 1918 conducted by the composer himself.

Our season continues in December with the popular classics, Brahms’s much-loved Variations on a Theme by Haydn, and Classic FM Hall of Fame regular, the Rodrigo Guitar Concerto. Born in Padua, Italy, our guitar soloist Giacomo Susani winner of the 2016 London International Guitar Competition. Written in 1815, Schubert’s Symphony No.3 offers contrasting dramatic, lyrical and graceful styles, finished off with a tarantella-inspired presto, all under the experienced baton of Christopher McMullen-Laird.

One of our season highlights is to be playing with 2012 BBC Young Musician of the Year winner, cellist Laura van der Heijden, who will be performing the Haydn Cello Concerto in February with conductor Susanna Riddell, herself a cellist with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. The concerto will be performed with the ever-popular Mendelssohn Hebrides Overture and Haydn London Symphony. In addition, our vibrant string section will be playing Bartok’s lively Romanian Dances, which include a variety of stick, sash and stamping dances and a horn dance, which aptly ties in with our horn theme this season.

In March we are thrilled to present a Beethoven double bill to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth. After delighting audiences at the Menuhin Hall for three successive years, James Brawn continues our Beethoven Piano Concerto series with Concerto No. 4. Written at the same time as the concerto, the Fourth Symphony is perhaps the least well known of the nine. This promises to be a highly successful collaboration between the orchestra and guest conductor, Uruguayan-born Gonzalo Acosta.

The climax to our year is our June Gala Concert, with horn soloist and conductor Alec Frank-Gemmill at the helm. Alec will be conducting the whole concert and will also be our soloist in Mozart Horn Concerto No. 4. This concerto is thought to have been composed as a jocular attempt to rattle the intended performer and was originally written in a multicoloured manuscript of red, green, blue, and black ink. Concluding with Beethoven’s glorious Eroica Symphony, it seems this classical programme will certainly be keeping both the orchestra and audience on their toes.