Bristol Symphony Orchestra gets set for launch

May 26 2016
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Bristol Symphony Orchestra gets set for launch

BRISTOL Symphony Orchestra are in preparation for their first concert and it promises to be a unique experience.

The orchestra are in rehearsal for the world premiere of a new commission, Concerto for Kora and Orchestra, composed by William Goodchild and Bristol based Senegalese master Kora player, Mamadou Cissokho.

The Kora is sometimes known as the African harp and playing skills are passed down through generations. “This has been a unique collaboration from start to finish,” said William Goodchild. “Mamadou Cissokho and I met in January to discuss ideas for the piece: what form and shape the work might take, and how to embody the kora and its West African roots in a new piece with symphony orchestra. We finally settled on three distinct movements, each with their own character, and added a cadenza for solo kora. The work has brought together two very different musical traditions and we hope the audience will love the results of what has been a unique collaboration.”

The piece receives its first performance at the High Sheriff’s Concert at St George’s on June 18.

There is also an opportunity to listen to it beforehand at an open rehearsal as part of BBC Music Day 2016 when St George’s Bristol will be throwing open its doors, giving people the chance to sit in and experience musicians at work.

The Open Rehearsal will feature Bristol Symphony Orchestra, solo Kora, two Senegalese drummers and percussion.

Some seats on stage will be added for those who would like the opportunity to sit amongst the players and get a feel for what it is like to be in an orchestral musician.

Bristol Symphony Orchestra was started just over a year ago by Bristol composer and conductor, William Goodchild.

The Orchestra has sixty players, led by violinist Pamela Bell, consisting of amateur, semiprofessional and some professional musicians.

They are committed to performing some exciting and new orchestral compositions, in addition to classical pieces.