We’ve five wonderfully entertaining concerts in store for you
this season. Our solo line-up was to be led by MOS’s President, the
great pianist John Lill - in his 75th birthday year - playing his
favourite Brahms. Sadly John has had a nasty fall and will not be able to play with MSO on 30 November - we wish him a speedy recovery. We are delighted to have engaged in his place, the wonderful young British pianist Alexander Ullman to play Tchaikovsky’s brilliant Concerto No.1.
There’s a very welcome return
for popular clarinettist Emma Johnson, with contrasting
concertos by Weber and Malcolm Arnold. The acclaimed
current BBC Young Musician, 18-year-old Lauren Xhang, plays
Rachmaninov’s spectacular 3rd Piano Concerto. Plus, two
exceptional young artists also return, Kentish-born Callum
Smart brings Korngold’s beautifully romantic Violin Concerto,
and - after his stunning last-minute debut with us last season
- Maxim Calver plays Shostakovich’s brilliant 1st Cello
There are fabulous pieces for MSO’s players as well - Richard
Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben, Stravinsky’s Petrushka, Elgar’s
Enigma Variations, symphonies by Schumann and Tchaikovsky,
plus works by Chabrier, Beethoven, Britten, Dukas and Wagner.
So buy your season tickets - excellent value - and spread the
word that classical orchestral music is very much alive and
well here in the middle of Kent!
Click here to download our brochure
(BBC Young Musician 2018)
Dukas - The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Rachmaninov - Piano Concerto No.3
Stravinsky - Petrushka
18-year-old Lauren Xhang stunned both judges and audience at the BBC Young Musician competition when winning in 2018. She plays the most technically challenging and exciting of romantic piano concertos, Rachmaninov’s 3rd. Elsewhere musical storytelling fills the air. We begin with Dukas’ colourful symphonic scherzo, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, and end with Stravinsky’s brilliantly orchestrated tale of the ups-anddowns of the puppet Petrushka.Click here to download a flyer for this concert
Chabrier - España
Korngold - Violin Concerto
Richard Strauss - Ein Heldenleben
To begin our season, Chabrier’s rhapsody España brilliantly evokes the character and sounds of Spain. BBC Music Magazine recently hailed young Kentish-born violinist Callum Smart “a rising star”. He plays Erich Korngold’s lush and lyrical Violin Concerto which he based on themes from his acclaimed Hollywood movie scores. The hero of Richard Strauss’ symphonic blockbuster of a tone poem, Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life), is the composer himself. Narcissistic, but be prepared to swoon!Click here to download a review for this concert
Beethoven - Overture, Fidelio
Schumann - Symphony No.4
Tchaikovsky - Piano Concerto No.1
Sadly, our advertised soloist, John Lill has had a nasty fall and will not be able to play with MSO on 30 November - we wish him a speedy recovery. As we were unable to find another soloist to play the Brahms 2nd Concerto at such short notice, we have engaged the wonderful young British pianist Alexander Ullman to play Tchaikovsky’s brilliant Concerto No.1. Alexander won the 2017 International Franz Liszt Competition and has impressed audiences around the world with his subtle interpretations and refined technical mastery. We are excited that he is able to come and play with us. Schumann provides our symphony, his revolutionarily compact and eloquent 4th. We open with Beethoven's fine overture to his magnificent opera, FidelioClick here to read a review of this concert
Britten - Four Sea Interludes from “Peter Grimes”
Weber - Clarinet Concerto No.2
Malcolm Arnold - Clarinet Concerto No.2
Elgar - Enigma Variations
Emma Johnson has been a very popular soloist with MSO for many years. No-one has done more to promote the clarinet than Emma, and she brings both classical-romantic eloquence with Weber’s 2nd Clarinet Concerto and some jazzy pizzazz from Malcolm Arnold. Either side there are poignant and fiery seascapes from Benjamin Britten, with his Four Sea Interludes from “Peter Grimes”, and Elgar’s Enigma Variations. This famous series of musical portraits, featuring Nimrod, is lovingly dedicated to “my friends pictured within”. .Click here to download a flyer for this concert
Wagner - Overture, Die Meistersinger
Shostakovich - Cello Concerto No.1
Tchaikovsky - Symphony No.4
Young Maxim Calver amazed us all last season when he took over as soloist at short notice. He returns with the work originally billed for that concert, Shostakovich’s powerful 1st Cello Concerto. Wagner’s festive overture to Die Meistersinger is a perfect foil. Tchaikovsky then brings every emotion to the fore in his passionate 4th Symphony. At its heart is his belief in the disruptive power of fate, but as he remarked about the boisterous finale: “If you can find happiness in the joy of others, you can still enjoy life!”Click here to download a flyer for this concert
Steve Migden presents Free Pre-concert talks before each concert from 6.40-7.10pm
You can download our 2020/21 Concert brochure by clicking here.
If you drop us an email to [email protected] we will keep you in touch with all our news.
All our concerts are held in Mote Hall Mote Leisure Centre, Maidstone, ME15 7RN.
Wheelchairs can be accommodated in certain areas of the hall. A number of reserved car parking spaces are available for visitors with disabilities. The bar is open before and after the concerts, and during the interval. Interval drinks may be pre-ordered Refreshments are available in the bar foyer
Please note that Maidstone Leisure Centre (Mote Hall) have installed a vehicle number plate recognition system in the car park. However, we have arranged for the system to be TURNED OFF AT 5.30pm prior to each of our concerts. Therefore, please ignore all signage and park as normal, without registering your vehicle’s number plate.
Maidstone Symphony Orchestra performs at Mote Hall, in Mote Park, Maidstone, which has a seating capacity of approximately 900. Concerts start at 7.30pm, with Free pre-concert talks presented by Steve Migden from 6.40pm to 7.10pm. Current Season Ticket Holders save up to 20% by buying a season ticket for all concerts. HALF PRICE FOR NEW SEASON TICKET SUBSCRIBERS! Students £5 and FREE for under 18s. You can book tickets for individual concerts online, by phone, or buy tickets at the door. Click here for more information on buying tickets.
Under the direction of its acclaimed and popular conductor, Brian Wright, Maidstone Symphony Orchestra is regarded as one of the UK's finest "community" orchestras. It was formed in 1910 as Maidstone Orchestral Society, still the title of the concert promoting organisation.
Today MSO is a superbly well-balanced mix of local professionals and ex-professionals, music teachers and excellent amateur players who come together regularly on a voluntary basis to produce concerts of a professional standard. This entails great commitment by the players, many of whom travel from all over Kent, and beyond, to attend MSO's weekly Thursday evening rehearsals.
The MOS is a registered charity number 1163384.
Brian Wright has been Music Director and Conductor of Maidstone Symphony Orchestra since 1990.
Brian studied as a Gulbenkian scholar in London and Munich. He won major prizes in conducting competitions at La Scala, Milan and with the London Symphony Orchestra. He was Assistant Conductor to the LSO and then Associate Conductor to the BBC, winning acclaim for performances at the Proms. Brian has conducted all the UK orchestras, toured in Europe with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and in Europe and China with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He has been a guest conductor in almost 20 countries.
Andrew (Andy) Laing started learning the violin when he was 5, and by the age of 16 was appointed leader of the National String Orchestra of Scotland. He gained a place at the Royal Academy of Music, winning numerous prizes and scholarships. Andy was appointed sub-leader of the BBC Radio Orchestra, then Leader of the London City Ballet Orchestra. In the '90s, he spent much time on stage at the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he met his wife, Rachel, also a professional violinist. Andy is a keen amateur astronomer, and if music had not been his first love, it is entirely possible that a career involving the stars may have followed!
General Secretary - Lyn Parker,
Treasurer - Harriet Finch,
Ticketing - Nicci Whittaker.
Ben Knowles, David Montague and Angela Migden
Richard Ashby, Peter Hart, John Horne
John Lill CBE (President),
Janet Ash (Vice-President),
David King (Vice-President),
Steve Migden (Vice-President),
Brian Wright (Conductor & Music Director),
Richard Ashby (Chairman Friends of MOS)
The Friends of Maidstone Orchestral Society are our financial lifeline.
The Friends help to bridge the gap between the price of the tickets and the actual cost of the concerts. We would love you to join them and help the orchestra continue to perform its excellent season of concerts. The Friends are chaired by Richard Ashby, and the Secretary is Evelyn Shoults. If you would like to know more about the Friends please contact their Secretary, Evelyn Shoults, by email at [email protected]
The Kent Messenger described MSO's players as "A fantastically loyal group of players with amazing abilities." Coming from all over Kent, they are recognised for all giving of their time unstintingly with more than 23 hours of rehearsal for each concert.
We would love to hear from you.