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Music Director Brian Wright introduces the season

We’ve a particularly fine set of concerts for you this season, featuring some of our favourite young international soloists. Cellist Maxim Calver plays Shostakovich’s brilliant 1st Cello Concerto, while master violinist Benjamin Baker, returning for a fifth time to MSO, brings Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s increasingly popular Violin Concerto along with Vaughan Williams’ iconic The Lark Ascending. Mathilde Milwidsky, who impressed so much last season as a last-minute substitute, returns to play Sibelius’s exciting Violin Concerto. And there are also MSO debuts for acclaimed Jordanian-Palestinian pianist Iyad Sughayer in Beethoven’s mighty 3rd Piano Concerto, and a superb Israeli clarinettist Jonathan Leibovitz in both Mozart and Debussy.

MSO will be kept on their toes with classic symphonies by Brahms and Schubert, the ultimate romanticism of Rimsky Korsakov’s Scheherazade, great English works by Holst and Elgar, and Bartok’s spectacular Concerto for Orchestra.

There are also delightful overtures by Smetana, Wagner and Mendelssohn and, I’m very pleased to say, a contemporary piece composed by our principal bassoonist, Philip Le Bas, his Yuki-Onna (”Snow-Woman” - an orchestral ghost story).

For further information about Brian Wright visit brianwright.co.uk
Click here to download our brochure

18 May 2024

Jonathan Leibovitz



Philip Le Bas - Yuki-Onna

Mozart - Clarinet Concerto

Debussy - Clarinet Rhapsody No.1

Bartok - Concerto for Orchestra

We end our season with Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra. Written in 1943 to show off the brilliance of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, it was an instant success and has retained its popularity ever since. Our soloist in both Mozart’s evergreen Clarinet Concerto and Debussy’s 1st Clarinet Rhapsody is the award-winning Israeli clarinettist Jonathan Leibovitz. To begin, we’ve a fine home-grown contemporary piece, Yuki-Onna, based on Japanese folklore, written by our much-admired principal bassoonist, Philip Le Bas.

Click here to download a flyer of this concert

14 October 2023

Maxim Calver


Maciej Kulakowski

Smetana - Overture, The Bartered Bride

Shostakovich - Cello Concerto No.1

Brahms - Symphony No.1

This is the third visit to MSO by the outstanding young British cellist Maxim Calver. He plays the exciting 1st Cello Concerto by Shostakovich, one of the summits of the cello repertoire both emotionally and technically. Either side are Smetana’s brilliant Overture, The Bartered Bride and the great 1st Symphony by Brahms. Overwhelmed by the legacy of Beethoven’s nine symphonies, it took Brahms half a lifetime to compose one of his own. Magnificently constructed, Brahms eloquently combines elements of classicism and romanticism.

Click here to read a review of this concert

2 December 2023

Benjamin Baker


Maciej Kulakowski

Holst - The Perfect Fool

Coleridge-Taylor - Violin Concerto

Vaughan Williams - The Lark Ascending

Elgar - Falstaff

A splendid concert of English music! One of our favourite violinists, New Zealander Benjamin Baker, on his fifth visit to MSO, plays both Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s passionately late-romantic Violin Concerto and Vaughan Williams’ much-loved The Lark Ascending. To start we’ve a delightful suite of ballet music from Gustav Holst’s opera The Perfect Fool. And to finish there’s Elgar’s superbly crafted “symphonic portrait” of Shakespeare’s Falstaff. Elgar said he particularly enjoyed writing it, calling Falstaff “one of my best works”.

Click here to read a review of this concert

3 February 2024

Mathilde Milwidsky


Mathilde Milwidsky

Wagner - Overture, Die Meistersinger

Sibelius - Violin Concerto

Rimsky-Korsakov - Scheherazade

Late-romanticism leaps to the fore in this highly entertaining concert. Wagner’s magnificent Overture from his opera Die Meistersinger paves the way for Sibelius’ powerful Violin Concerto. There’s an instant return for the young British violinist Mathilde Milwidsky, who made such a tremendous impression at her MSO debut in 2022. Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade is rightly popular. Gloriously orchestrated, Rimsky paints a series of wonderfully vivid musical pictures based on the famous collection of tales from the “thousand and one” Arabian Nights.

Click here to read a review of this concert

23 March 2024

Iyad Sughayer


Iyad Sughayer

Mendelssohn - Overture, The Fair Melusine

Beethoven - Piano Concerto No.3

Schubert - Symphony No.9 “Great”

This concert brings us musical classicism at the cusp of the Romantic Era. Our soloist is the multi-prizewinning Jordanian-Palestinian pianist Iyad Sughayer playing the emotionally diverse passions of Beethoven’s 3rd Piano Concerto. Mendelssohn’s neglected but nevertheless delightful Overture, The Fair Melusine sets the scene. Schubert’s much-loved “Great C major” Symphony then crowns it. Sadly, it had to wait ten years after his early death before its premiere, conducted by Mendelssohn.

Click here to read a review of this concert

Pre-concert talks

Steve Migden presents Free Pre-concert talks before each concert from 6.40-7.10pm


Steve has been a professional musician and educator since arriving from the USA in 1965 to study horn at the Royal Academy of Music. He presents informative informal and 'fun' talks throughout Kent. He has served MSO as Principal Horn, MOS Chairman, and currently as an MOS Vice President.


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.

Buy Tickets


Phone number 0333 666 3366

From September, you will be able to click here to buy tickets online

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.

About Us

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


Brian Wright

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.

For further information click here to see Brian's website



Andrew Laing

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!


Chairman - Peter Colman

General Secretary - Lyn Parker,

Treasurer - Harriet Finch,

Ticketing - Nicci Whittaker.

David Montague and Angela Migden

Peter Hart, Richard Ashby

John Lill CBE (President),

Janet Ash (Vice-President),

David King (Vice-President),

Steve Migden (Vice-President),

Brian Wright (Conductor & Music Director).

Friends of MOS

For over 35 years the Friends of Maidstone Orchestral Society have been our financial lifeline. The Friends help to bridge the gap between the price of our tickets and the actual cost of concerts, and have provided some of the equipment (eg acoustic screens) needed to make our concerts possible. The Friends’ activities inevitably fell quiet during Covid, but we are keen to revive and expand them. We would love you to join them and help the orchestra continue to perform its seasons of excellent concerts. The Friends charity is now chaired by Peter Colman. If you would like to know more about them, please email [email protected] or pick up an explanatory leaflet at one of our concerts.



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.

Contact Us

We would love to hear from you.

  Maidstone, Kent

  [email protected]

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Small Print
The Society is an Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), governed under a Constitution dated 1 October 1992 and last amended 11 December 2014. Trustees (Committee) are appointed or elected by the membership at the Annual General Meeting. The Maidstone Orchestral Society was first registered as a charity in October 1983 with the aim to advance and promote public education in, and appreciation of, music by the presentation of public concerts and recitals.

Maidstone Orchestral Society (MOS) is retained as the title of the orchestra’s promoting body and, unusually, the Society has two types of members – players and audience. MSO’s core of voluntary players pay an annual subscription to become members both of the orchestra and of the Society. Annual season ticket subscribers also become members of the Society, and both player and audience members have equal voting rights at the MOS Annual General Meeting and equal representation on the Management Committee. This MOS/MSO organisation may not be unique in music promotion, but it has particular strength for a community orchestra in bringing together every possible strand of local expertise.

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