Norfolk musicians hit the slopes ahead of Olympic-inspired concert at St Andrew’s Hall in Norwich

Michael Nutt, right, playing with members of the Norwich Philharmonic at the Norfolk snowsports club at Whitlingham to publicise their Russian programme concert at St Andrew's Hall on Saturday. Photo: Bill Smith Michael Nutt, right, playing with members of the Norwich Philharmonic at the Norfolk snowsports club at Whitlingham to publicise their Russian programme concert at St Andrew's Hall on Saturday. Photo: Bill Smith

Tuesday, February 4, 2014
7:30 AM

Some Norfolk musicians have been donning their skis and taking to the slopes ahead of their Olympic-inspired concert.

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Michael Nutt, right, playing with members of the Norwich Philharmonic at the Norfolk snowsports club at Whitlingham to publicise their Russian programme concert at St Andrew's Hall on Saturday. Photo: Bill SmithMichael Nutt, right, playing with members of the Norwich Philharmonic at the Norfolk snowsports club at Whitlingham to publicise their Russian programme concert at St Andrew's Hall on Saturday. Photo: Bill Smith

For while Russia is being cast into the international spotlight with the opening of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi this weekend, the Norwich Philharmonic Orchestra (Norwich Phil) is tuning up for its latest concert which features an all-Russian programme.

Works by Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev and Liadov will be performed by Norwich Phil at St Andrew’s Hall in Norwich this Saturday, the night after the 2014 Winter Olympics opening ceremony.

And in between concert rehearsals some of the Norwich Phil musicians have been donning their skis and hitting the slopes at Norfolk Snowsports Club in Trowse. On Saturday Ted Burton (who plays the French horn), Judy Tryggvason (percussion), Vicky McCardel (flute), Geraldine Verschoor (violin) and Michael Nutt (French horn) all enjoyed spending some time at the ski centre.

Michael Nutt, chairman of the orchestra’s sub-committee, said: “The eyes and ears of the world are on Sochi with the Winter Olympics and we thought it would be quite nice to pay our own little tribute with this Russian programme of music for our concert this month at St Andrew’s Hall.

“It seemed too good an opportunity to miss - although we won’t actually be doing a bobsleigh run down the stage!”

Conducted by the orchestra’s principal conductor Matthew Andrews, the orchestra will play two major classics from the Russian repertoire – Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6. the Pathétique, and Prokofiev’s ballet music for Romeo and Juliet - as well as a lesser heard orchestral miniature, Kikimora by Anatoly Liadov.

The Pathétique is the last of Tchaikovsky’s symphonies, written and first performed just before the composer died in 1893.

Prokofiev wrote his ballet score for Romeo and Juliet for the Kirov Ballet and it was performed by the Kirov in Lenningrad in 1940. Norwich Phil will play the Suite No. 2 which includes the famous dance, The Montagues and Capulets.

The short piece which will open the concert is the orchestral tone poem, Kikimora by Liadov, which tells the fairy story of the mischievous Russian nymph, Kikimora.

The Norwich Philharmonic Society has been a focus for high-quality amateur music-making in Norwich since its first performance in 1841. Between them the Philharmonic Chorus and Orchestra present five concerts a year.

The Norwich Philharmonic Orchestra is led by Dominic Hopkins and made up of talented non-professional, semi-professional and former professional musicians. Norwich Phil’s current season is being sponsored by Hansells Solicitors.

• The Norwich Philharmonic concert is on Saturday, February 8 at 7.30pm at St Andrew’s Hall, in Norwich.

Tickets for the concert range from £6 to £16 (under 26s £5). They are available to buy from Prelude Records in St Giles Street, Norwich, and by calling 01603 628319 or online at www.preluderecords.co.uk and www.norwichphil.org.uk

• Do you have a story about the arts in Norwich? Email arts correspondent Emma Knights at emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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