Epic musical event to mark Norwich Philharmonic Society’s 175th anniversary

Launch of Norwich Phil's performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 8 at the Norfolk Showground Arena on M

Launch of Norwich Phil's performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 8 at the Norfolk Showground Arena on May 21. William Galinsky, director, Norfolk & Norwich Festival; councillor Florence Ellis, South Norfolk District Council; Greg Smith, chief executive, Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association; Caroline Jarrold, chairman and choir member, Norwich Philharmonic Society; Michael Nutt, horn, Norwich Phil; Caroline Furniss, cello, Norwich Phil. Photo: Bill Smith. - Credit: Bill Smith

About 500 musicians and singers are preparing to take to the stage for a major musical spectacle taking place this spring to mark the 175th anniversary of the Norwich Philharmonic Society.

The Norfolk Showground Arena is to be transformed into a concert hall for the performance of Mahler's Symphony No 8 - known as the Symphony of a Thousand - to an audience of more than 2,200 people on May 21. The epic event is part of this year's Norfolk and Norwich Festival, and will see the Norwich Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus joined by members of Academy of St Thomas, King's Lynn Festival Chorus, Sheringham and Cromer Choral Society and Norwich Cathedral Choir.

Matthew Andrews will conduct the performance which will also feature eight soloists - sopranos Kirstin Sharpin, Katherine Broderick and Catherine May, altos Anne Marie Gibbons and Anna Burford, tenor Peter Wedd, baritone James Harrison, and bass Richard Wiegold.

Caroline Jarrold, Norwich Philharmonic Society chairman, said: 'The Phil's performance of Mahler's massive Eighth Symphony is undoubtedly its biggest venture in 175 years. We are both proud and excited to be presenting such an ambitious project as the climax of our special birthday celebrations.'

William Galinsky, NNF artistic director, said: 'We are thrilled to be including the Norwich Philharmonic Society as a key part of the NNF 2016 classical music programme, celebrating a momentous anniversary with them in a truly spectacular way which will allow hundreds of festival-goers from across the UK a rare live experience of Mahler's 8th.'

The project is supported by Arts Council England, South Norfolk Council and local charitable trusts.

The performance will take place at 8pm on May 21 at the Norfolk Showground Arena. Tickets £12-£28.

Most Read

To book, visit www.nnfestival.org.uk or call 01603 766400.

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

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter