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Concert: Moberg, Berlioz, Dvorak

Sunday 19 January 2025 7.45pm
Princes Hall, Aldershot, GU11 1NX – Venue Information

Conductor: Charlotte Politi
Soloist: Hannah Teasdale (Viola)

Moberg: Sunrise from the Sunrise Orchestral Suite
Berlioz: Harold in Italy
Dvořák: Symphony No. 9, ‘From the New World’

As the FSO welcomes in the New Year, we also welcome a new guest conductor, Charlotte Politi. Charlotte is currently the London Philharmonic Orchestra Fellow Conductor and Constant Lambert Associate with the Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Named by the BBC Music Magazine as a “Rising Star”, we are delighted that she will presiding over our first concert of 2025.

We are also excited that our very own Principal Viola, Hannah Teasdale (a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music), will be the soloist in our performance of Berlioz’ Harold in Italy.  This work, which is actually a  symphony in four movements with viola solo, was composed by Berlioz in 1834. Writing of it Berlioz said “My idea was to write a series of scenes for the orchestra in which the solo viola would be involved as a more or less active character, always retaining its own individuality…I wished to make of it a sort of melancholy dreamer after the manner of Byron’s Childe Harold”. The concert will open with a work by little-known female Finnish composer, Ida Moberg. Born in Helsinki in 1859, she grew up in a musical family and studied singing and piano at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. Having changed her career to focus on composition, she studied under Sibelius and, in 1909, wrote the four movement orchestral suite Sunrise, from which we are performing the first movement.

The concert will close with Antonin Dvořák’s much loved 9th Symphony, which was written in 1893 during the composer’s time as director of the National Conservatory of Music of America. He became fascinated by Native American music and African-American Spirituals and adopted the spirit of this music in his work from that period. Writing of the symphony, he explained, “I have not actually used any of the [Native American] melodies. I have simply written original themes embodying the peculiarities of [this] music, and, using these themes as subjects, have developed them with all the resources of modern rhythms, counterpoint, and orchestral colour.” The result was the New World Symphony, which has proved one of the most popular of all symphonies. Astronaut Neil Armstrong took a tape recording of the New World Symphony along during the Apollo 11 mission, the first Moon landing, in 1969. Fortunately you do not need to travel quite so far to hear our performance of this timeless work.


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