The Bardi Symphony Orchestra announce the 2019/20 De Montfort Hall Season

Sunday 6 October 3pm   2019
Austrian Connections
Claus Efland – conductor
Bardi Wind Soloists

Mozart – Sinfonia Concertante for Winds K297b
Bruckner – Symphony No.4 “Romantic”

The Bardi’s new season opens with well-known music from two great Austrian composers. The Orchestra’s own wind soloists begin the concert with Mozart’s sublime Concertante for Winds, with the towering “Romantic” fourth symphony by Bruckner as a contrast in the second half.

Sunday 1 December 3pm   2019
Tchaikovsky and the Violin
Claus Efland – conductor
Natalia Lomeiko – violin

Humperdinck – Hansel and Gretel Overture
Tchaikovsky – Violin Concerto
Dvorák – Symphony No.7 in D minor

Popular concert hall favourites feature in the Bardi’s second concert of the season. The magical overture to Hansel and Gretel is followed by Tchaikovsky’s powerful Violin Concerto with rising star Natalie Lomeiko as the soloist. Dvorák’s seventh symphony, a work more in the style of Brahms but still featuring the composer’s Bohemian melodies, completes the concert.

Sunday 15 March 3pm   2020
A Young Person’s introduction to the Symphony Orchestra

Richard Laing – guest conductor and host
To include:. Benjamin Britten – A Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra (with narrator)
Join the Bardi to learn about the instruments of the Symphony Orchestra, in a feast of popular classical and film music for all the family hosted by Guest Conductor Richard Laing. The concert will include a performance of Benjamin Britten’s “Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra” .

Sunday 17 May 3pm   2020
Elgar Concert

Claus Efland – conductor
Lydia Shelley – cello

Serenade for Strings
Cello Concerto
Symphony No.1

The Bardi’s De Montfort Hall season finale sees three works showing different sides of one of England’s greatest composers, Sir Edward Elgar. The first half has the delightful String Serenade contrasting strongly with the passionate and powerful Cello Concerto. The mighty First Symphony brings the concert to a magnificent conclusion with one of Elgar’s most inspired themes.

For ticket information: De Montfort Hall Box Office: 0116 233 3111
demontforthall.co.uk

Fantasy & Adventure! The Bardi Wind Orchestra at De Montfort Hall

Sunday June 16th 3pm
Join the Bardi Wind Orchestra under the baton of Music Director David Calow for their annual Family Gala Concert in association with Oadby & Wigston Lions Club. The Orchestra welcomes back Compère Martin Ballard from BBC Radio Leicester, Soprano Jenny Saunders and Tenor David Morris for this concert which will be supporting the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance.

Summon the Heroes
Game of Thrones
633 Squadron
Saving Private Ryan
Bohemian Rhapsody
Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines
Thunderbirds and Stingray
The Greatest Showman Suite
Music from Harry Potter, ET and Indiana Jones
Mary Poppins Suite sing-a-long

and many more!

For tickets please click on the link below:

http://www.demontforthall.co.uk/events/events.php/2019/2065/bardi-wind-orchestra/

The Bardi end the De Montfort Hall Season in style with Northern Rhapsodies

The Bardi Symphony Orchestra ended the 2018/19 De Montfort Hall Season in style with their “Northern Rhapsodies” concert on Sunday 19th May at 3pm.

The concert began with a stirring performance of the Karelia Suite by Sibelius. Piano soloist Katya Apekisheva then treated the audience to a stunning rendition of Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.
Nielsen’s 5th symphony concluded the concert. This was only the second time this work, Denmark’s “National symphony” had been performed at De Montfort Hall.

 

Ballet Concert with Dance Activate Review by Neil Crutchley

Sunday 24th March 3pm
De Montfort Hall Leicester

There is an admirable generosity of spirit in the Bardi Symphony Orchestra. Whether it be encouraging young musicians, getting together with local choirs or as in this concert, performing alongside Dance Activate, the willingness to share the concert platform brings enormous rewards for everyone involved, not least members of the audience.

That was certainly the case with this hugely enjoyable presentation, the second of the orchestra’s partnerships with Graham Fletcher’s team of talented young dancers. Everyone benefits: the dancers have the opportunity to perform with an excellent orchestra; the orchestra has the chance to play great ballet scores and to have the live dancers in front of them and the audience has the pleasure of both watching and listening.

The main work and the one in which Dance Activate featured, was the whole of the 2nd act of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet with all its familiar characteristic dances and great Pas de Deux.

One of the most difficult aspects of conducting for the ballet (I imagine) is keeping everything together, yet this presentation was beautifully coordinated and Claus Efland as always, conducted with authority and panache. Each of the dances was charmingly characterised and the pacing was spot on – nothing forced or overdone yet full of life and vigour. There was an infectious sweep to the Waltz of the Flowers and in the Pas de deux, (probably the most substantial and emotional piece in the ballet) the conductor graded the climaxes with impressive assurance, only allowing the full force to emerge in the closing bars. Equally compelling was the finale where the various threads were drawn together into a powerful peroration.

I’m not a ballet expert but I think I can confidently say that the dancing was enchanting throughout. It was clear that hours of painstaking rehearsal had gone into reaching so high a standard. The various nationalistic dances with their splendid costumes was a real feast for the eyes and the glorious pas de deux was brilliantly executed by Oliver Speers and Samantha Camejo, both principal artists of the English Youth Ballet. The closing scene was especially affecting, featuring all the young dancers in turn and bringing the curtain down in glittering fashion.

The first half of the concert opened with an invigorating account of the Prelude and Mazurka from Coppelia and this was followed by the Ballet Music from Gounod’s Faust – once a relatively popular concert item but seldom heard nowadays. However it is a delightful piece – especially when played with such charm and affection. There was an infectious lift to the rhythms and the conductor’s ability to stylishly shape and turn a phrase was, as always, very impressive.

The same could be said of Ponchielli’s Dance of the Hours, a short ballet from his opera, La Gioconda. This too was once a concert favourite but is less often heard today. It is full of delightful melodies (one of which has been immortalised in a song by Alan Sherman) and the performance sparkled from the first bar to last.

It was very gratifying to see Claus Efland lavish as much care and attention to detail on these charming works as he would on a symphony by Brahms or Nielsen. Some conductors would see this sort of programme as an “easy ride” but happily he’s not one of them and consequently, in the case of the Gounod and Ponchielli, many of us were left thinking “Why on earth aren’t these pieces played more often.” What greater compliment could be paid to the quality of the performances?

The orchestral playing throughout the concert was astoundingly good. Not only as an ensemble, but also in the quality of the soloists within the orchestra – especially the woodwind. The Bardi must be one of the most professional of non-professional orchestras, as for long stretches it was difficult to believe we weren’t listening to a full-time group. Only very occasionally a slight discrepancy in string ensemble gave the game away, but even then the actual tone of the strings was extremely fine. Surprisingly, the sound from where I was sitting was not affected by the orchestra being in a “pit”.

Altogether this was a superb afternoon of music and dance, fully deserving the large audience it attracted.

 

An afternoon at the ballet

A large and enthusiastic audience attended a concert of ballet favourites!

Sunday 24th March 2019  3pm
De Montfort Hall, Leicester.

Delibes – Mazurka from Coppelia 

Gounod – Ballet music from Faust 

Ponchielli – Dance of the Hours from La Gioconda

and

Tchaikovsky  The Nutcracker  complete 2nd Act

Following the successful collaboration with the Bardi in Stravinsky’s ballet The Firebird, Dance Activate with Principal Dancers from English Youth Ballet returned in a Ballet Concert which included the 2nd Act of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker.

The Bardi New Year started in Vienna!

 The Bardi Symphony Orchestra presented ‘A Viennese Concert’ on Sunday February 17th 3.00pm

The concert illustrated different facets of Viennese musical life in the 19th Century, with the first half featuring a performance of Schubert’s much-loved ‘Unfinished’ Symphony No.8.
The second half, the Orchestra with their Music Director Claus Efland, who has a particular affinity with this music, moved to the glittering occasions in society. There were waltzes, marches and polkas by the Strauss family and others some more familiar some less (and including one irresistible offering from Denmark!).
The concert would not have been complete without ‘The Beautiful Blue Danube’ by Johann Strauss and the events were rounded off with a rousing ‘Radetsky March’ for the audience to warm their hands before setting off into the darkening February afternoon.

A Centennial Thank You from the Oadby & Wigston Lions to Robert and David Calow

Oadby & Wigston Lions Club presented the first of its ‘Centennial Certificate of Appreciation’ awards to Robert and David Calow.
Robert is the Orchestra Manager and David the Orchestra Conductor of the Bardi Wind Orchestra. Together the Bardi Wind Orchestra and the Lions Club have staged a Charity Concert at the De Montfort Hall, Leicester every year for the past nine years. Each year the concert has helped a different charity and has raised thousands of pounds over the nine years.
The award gave the Lions Club a way of saying a BIG thank you to Robert, David and the Bardi Wind Orchestra. The next charity concert will be on the 16th June in aid of the Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance.
Picture: (L to R) Robert Calow Orchestra Manager, Richard Darlaston Vice President of Oadby & Wigston Lions club, David Calow Orchestra Conductor.

War Requiem Concert Review – Claus Efland

War Requiem – Benjamin Britten
10th November 2018 De Montfort Hall Leicester

The Bardi is at the moment on its peek. I don’t think the Orchestra has since my tenure been any better. Great and committed playing with many many fine details. Full credit must be given to the Orchestra for controlling the balance so well – also in the loud bits – without loosing intensity. And it is a great skill (also when not very musical) that the Orchestra carries on and sticks to the beat if the playing gets rocky.

However, it is such a shame when piano, harp and percussion are joining in so late. With such complicated pieces, they should attend more rehearsals. But when the players are there, they work well and are so responsive. Great singing throughout the Requiem from the choirs – also from the choristers. How wonderful to have them with us.

The 3 soloists must have been the best voices we ever had. And they want to come back. So all in all a trememdous success in every sense for the Bardi, simply due to perfect management and outstanding commitment from everybody involved.

Best wishes

Claus