WEST LONDON SINFONIA IN LOCKDOWN
We were sadly not able to perform our usual Christmas concert last year, but we were able to get together virtually to perform Leroy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride. You can watch this here
We hope to see you in person, at a live concert, later in 2021.
You can also watch our virtual lockdown performance (from earlier in the year) of Shostakovich’s Waltz no 2 from his Suite for Variety Orchestra (sometimes known as his Jazz Suite no 2) here
Or you may want to read a recent interview with our Leader, Iwona Boesche (who is also a barrister) on the legal blog site “Civil Litigation Brief” – The Not So Lonely Litigator’s Club – interview with Iwona Boesche
Like other orchestras, the later part of our 2020-21 season was cancelled due to Covid-19; we could neither perform nor rehearse. This season we started to rehearse again – in a socially distanced, Covid-compliant way – and we gave a very successful short afternoon concert on 17th October, much appreciated by performers and audience alike. Unfortunately the concert we had planned in November – featuring Tchaikovsky’s String Serenade and Mozart’s Serenade for 13 Wind Instruments – had to be postponed due to the second and third lockdowns. We are hoping to re-schedule for later in 2021. Further concerts will be announced as soon as we can.
The 2019-2020 season opened with a major highlight in a complete performance of Mendelssohn’s incidental music to Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, together with actors. Our second concert featured Shostakovich’s’ magical 15th Symphony. What was to be our 50th anniversary concert at St John’s Smith Square scheduled for 6th June – featuring Holst’s Planets suite and the Barbara Thompson Concerto for 3 saxophones, with soloist Jonathan Radford playing soprano, alto and tenor saxophones – unfortunately had to be cancelled due to Covid-19. We have rescheduled this concert for June 2021.
The 2018-2019 season highlights included a complete performance of Smetana’s “Ma Vlast” (My Country) to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia in October 1918, Verdi’s Requiem, and a musical murder mystery by Lemony Snicket and Jonathan Stookey (“The Composer is Dead”) at the Ealing Film and Music Festival 2019. We also had a very successful tour to Lille in France.
About West London Sinfonia
West London Sinfonia is an amateur orchestra with ambition and passion. Our players, many of whom work in music or music education, come from all over London. Most of our players have non-music day jobs, but for all of us, making music is an important part of our lives. We perform a wide programme of music with a concentration on larger orchestral works from the 19th (especially late 19th) and early 20th centuries. We regularly perform with world class soloists, and we are fortunate to have Philip Hesketh as our musical director and Iwona Boesche as our leader.
Join West London Sinfonia
If you’re looking to join a friendly and ambitious orchestra when rehearsals and performances start up again, we are always on the look-out for string players (especially in the violin and viola sections). If you’d like to enquire just complete the form on our contact page, and we will contact you immediately.
Come to a performance
To enjoy a great evening of high quality classical music, please look through our programme when concerts start up again. You can buy tickets for any of our concerts online. Join our mailing list if you would like to receive information about future concerts.
How is it that non-professional orchestras sound so good? In the spacious St Michael’s Church the West London Sinfonia and Philip Hesketh (its director for two-and-a-half decades) provided an evening of music performed with great skill and remarkable accuracy, the players responding fully to the conductor’s expressive phrasing. The feature was John Carmichael's Trumpet Concerto (1972). Barry Yardley is clearly very familiar with the work and he encompassed impressively its numerous facets. The final Act of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake was performed with panache. Detail was admirable and, as throughout the concert, harpist Sophy Cartledge was superb. Special mention must also be made of the percussion section which had demanding passages in all three works and was precise, exciting and ideally forceful. Hesketh and his musicians were clearly at one and he built a tremendous climax in the Tchaikovsky, the point at which the famous theme which permeates the score blazes out in a major key is one of the great moments and it was all the more remarkable on this occasion as the huge volume of sound, ideally balanced, reached its peak, enhanced by the resonant acoustic. Amid all this power and brilliance, inner detail remained clear. London has a wealth of amateur orchestras and the West London Sinfonia is a very fine example.