Bringing the orchestra to life: a young person's guide

Date: 3 Mar 2012 - 19:30
End Date: 3 Mar 2012 - 21:30
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Ely Sinfonia combines The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra with Ravel’s Bolero, Shostakovich’s best-loved symphony and a new work by Cambridge’s young composer of the year 2011
Ely Cathedral, Saturday 3 March 2012, 7.30pm

What can be a more joyful way of finding out about music than Britten’s “The Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra”? On Saturday 3rd March, families from Ely, Cambridge and beyond are invited to come together for a concert combining what is probably the best-known introduction to music in the orchestral repertoire with an array of popular pieces, including Shostakovich’s 5th Symphony, Ravel’s highly evocative Bolero (forever associated with Olympic skaters Torvill and Dean) and a new piece by Alex Cook, Cambridge Young Composer of the Year in 2011.
The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra is one of the most popular pieces used in musical education. It is a kind of orchestral sandwich, in which the whole orchestra begins by playing the theme, and then all the different families of instruments play separately before it finishes in a loud climax with everyone playing once more. It was originally written for a film featuring the legendary conductor Sir Malcolm Sargent, but has been played many times over the years.
Ely Sinfonia is complementing this with one of the most exciting and sensual pieces of music ever written, Ravel’s Boléro, which is still intrinsically linked to Torvill and Dean, whose highly evocative interpretation won the 1984 Olympic gold medal for ice dance. It was originally written as a ballet for the Russian ballerina Ida Rubinstein, and is now Ravel's most famous musical composition.
The premier of Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony was so successful that the piece received a standing ovation lasting over half an hour. Today it is no less popular, ranging from the hauntingly beautiful to satirical and, in places, grandiose.
Still only 17 years old, Alex Cook won the Cambridge Young Composer of the Year competition in 2011 for his composition 'Silvered Sounds' for flute, violin, cello and piano. The new piece will be a jubilant celebration of the whole orchestra.

Ticket info Premium tickets £20 (include a free programme plus, on request at the time of the main ticket purchase, a free ticket for a child under 16 to sit on the floor in front of the orchestra - bring a cushion and a thick coat). Other tickets £15 (reserved) and £5 (unreserved). Concessions (students, pensioners and unwaged) £10 in £15 seats. All tickets are available from Ely Cathedral Box Office (Tel 01353 660349, email and online from
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Posted by elysinfonia


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