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Salomon Orchestra's 60th Birthday Concert
St John's Smith Square, Oct 14, 7:30
Photo Credit: Ben Ealovega / Uri Elkayam
I was with a heavy heart that Salomon felt we had to cancel this concert late in the day because of world events and a large demonstration near St John’s Smith Square. We will be re-scheduling it sometime next year (2024). Please subscribe to this substack to be kept informed about this and other Salomon Concerts.
The Salomon Orchestra is delighted to announce that our 2023-24 season will open on October the 14th, 2023 at St John's, Smith Square with a fanfare written by our president Martyn Brabbins for Salomon Orchestra's 60th birthday conducted by the young, award-winning conductor Michal Oren.
Martyn will also conduct Elgar's First Symphony and, to complete the program, Michal will conduct Paul Ben-Haim's First Symphony.
This is a very special concert for us and we hope you will come to celebrate 60 years of music making. Tickets are available here.
Martyn Brabbins is the former Music Director of the English National Opera (2016-2023). An inspirational force in British music, Brabbins has had a busy opera career since his early days at the Kirov and more recently at La Scala, the Bayerische Staatsoper, and regularly in Lyon, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Antwerp. He guests with top international orchestras such as the Royal Concertgebouw, San Francisco Symphony, DSO Berlin and Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony, as well as the Philharmonia, BBC Symphony and most of the other leading UK orchestras.
He is a popular figure at the BBC Proms, who in 2019 commissioned fourteen living composers to write a birthday tribute to him. Known for his advocacy of British composers, he has conducted hundreds of world premieres across the globe. He has recorded nearly one hundred and fifty CDs to date, including prize-winning discs of operas by Korngold, Birtwistle and Harvey. In 2023 he received the RPS Conductor Award for his "colossal" contribution to UK musical life.
He was Associate Principal Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra 1994 - 2005, Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic 2009 - 2015, Chief Conductor of the Nagoya Philharmonic 2012-2016, and Artistic Director of the Cheltenham International Festival of Music 2005-2007. He is Prince Consort Professor of Conducting at the Royal College of Music, Visiting Professor at the Royal Scottish Conservatoire and Artistic Advisor to the Huddersfield Choral Society alongside his duties at ENO, and has for many years supported professional, student and amateur music-making at the highest level in the UK.
Martyn Brabbins is represented by Intermusica.
Michal Oren is an award-winning conductor from Tel Aviv, Israel. Michal's work represents a contemporary modern approach aiming to combine classical music with additional arts as a new step in the 21st century's cultural creation. Michal is currently studying for her Master of Performance in conducting, with a full scholarship, at the Royal College of Music in London under the conductors Toby Purser, Peter Stark and Howard Williams. She was awarded a distinction for her Bachelor of Music in orchestral conducting from the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music in Tel Aviv University.
In 2020 Michal won the first prize in the conducting competition of the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music and, in September 2023, won first prize in the 4th International Academy and Competition of Orchestra Conducting in Estoril, Portugal. Michal is a Victor and Lilian Hochhauser Scholar, Residence Music Scholar of The Robert Anderson Trust, and since 2015, Scholar of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. Michal is the founder and musical curator of the “Museum Orchestra” of Petach-Tikva Museum of Art in Israel.
Martyn Brabbins - A Birthday Greeting (2023)
conducted by Michal Oren
Specially written for the Salomon Orchestra’s 60th Birthday. Tonight we premiere this original composition by our president Martyn Brabbins.
Paul Ben-Haim (1897 - 1984) - Symphony No.1 (1940)
conducted by Michal Oren
Paul Ben-Haim composed his first symphony in 1940, seven years after escaping from Germany to the then British Mandate of Palestine. Encouragement for his composition came from the establishment of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (at the time known as the Palestine Orchestra) in December 1936. Ben-Haim was entrusted with the task of composing the first Israeli symphony. He fully understood the weight of responsibility involved and wanted to create a symphony that reflected the spirit of the people and the land. However, Ben-Haim acknowledged that his composition was also influenced by the dark forces in Europe at that time: this is particularly evident in the first movement. The second movement is slow and introspective, featuring a long melodic line that concludes with a quote from the Psalmic verse "I will lift up mine eyes", which Ben-Haim composed at the same time. The third movement begins with a lively Tarantella dance and includes a quote from Ben-Haim's monumental oratorio “Yoram”. Composed in Munich in 1933, this was his last composition before his emigration.
The movements of this symphony are presented as follows. 1. Allegro energico; 2. Molto calmo e cantabile; 3. Presto con fuoco.
Interval 20 Minutes
Sir Edward Elgar (1857 - 1934) - Symphony No.1 (1908)
conducted by Martyn Brabbins
Elgar's Symphony No. 1 in A flat major, Op. 55 is one of his two completed symphonies. The first performance was given by the Hallé Orchestra conducted by Hans Richter in Manchester on 3rd December 1908. It was widely known that Elgar had been planning a symphony for more than ten years and the announcement that he had finally completed it aroused enormous interest. The critical reception was enthusiastic, and the public response was unprecedented. The symphony achieved what The Musical Times described as "immediate and phenomenal success", with a hundred performances in Britain, continental Europe and America within just over a year of its première.
The symphony is in four movements. 1. Andante. Noblimente e semplice - Allegro; 2. Allegro molto; 3. Adagio; 4. Lento - Allegro.