Bruch and Beethoven conclude the 2022-23 concert season at De Montfort Hall

15th May 2023

The Bardi 2022-23 season concluded on Sunday with a concert of classical favourites enthusiastically received by a good audience. 

Players and audience alike enjoyed the evergreen Bruch Violin Concerto when they were joined by international soloist Zoë Beyers, who is also the leader of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. The Bardi concert was a total contrast to Zoë’s appearance with that Orchestra in the Eurovision song contest the previous evening, but an appearance she clearly relished. 

The concert opened with Weber’s Oberon Overture and concluded with Beethoven’s evocation of the countryside, Symphony No 6 the ‘Pastoral’. The perfect piece for a sunny, spring afternoon and the conclusion of a very successful season of varied concerts given by the Orchestra. Behind the scenes work is well advanced on our 2023-24 season, keep an eye on the website for emerging details! 

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The Bardi welcome soloist Zoë Beyers to perform the Bruch Violin Concerto

26th April 2023

The Bardi return to De Montfort Hall on Sunday 14th May with a concert of classical favourites from Bruch, Beethoven and Weber.

Alongside Beethoven’s Sixth ‘Pastoral’ Symphony and Weber’s Oberon Overture, the Orchestra will be performing Bruch’s ever-popular Violin Concerto No.1. To perform the concerto, the Bardi are delighted to welcome international soloist Zoë Beyers.

South-African born Zoë has established a reputation as one of the finest and most versatile violinists based in the UK, and performs worldwide as soloist, chamber musician, director and orchestral leader. In 2020 she was appointed Leader of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.  Zoë appears regularly as guest leader of the Hallé, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC Symphony and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestras, the CBSO, the Philharmonia, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Orquesta Nacional de España at the invitation of Maestro Juanjo Mena. 

Since 2017, Zoë has been the concertmaster of the English Symphony Orchestra, collaborating closely with them as director and soloist. As a chamber musician Zoë appears with the Hebrides Ensemble, Nash Ensemble, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and the London Sinfonietta.  She has recently joined the renowned Dante Quartet as their first violinist.  Zoë has a passionate interest in education, teaching at the Birmingham Conservatoire and coaching violinists and ensembles at the start of their careers.  She is proud to be involved in ARCO, a distance learning collaboration between Birmingham Conservatoire and students in deprived areas of South Africa. You can find out more about Zoë on her website

Photograph: Gail Secker


with international soloist and leader of the BBC Philharmonic Zoë Beyers


Sunday 14 May 3pm

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A Rodgers and Hammerstein Extravaganza at De Montfort Hall!

28th March 2023

Lights, Camera, Action! There was plenty of all three at the Bardi Orchestra’s ‘Rodgers and Hammerstein on the Silver Screen’ concert on Sunday.

Special lighting effects enhanced the performance on the stage, the action was provided in plenty by the Orchestra and West End soloists Shona Lindsay and Stephen John Davis who were all on sparkling form. The camera of David Calow was in action so that the event was captured for posterity and you can see his work below.  

Sadly much of the original material used for the film versions of these great musicals got lost and separated but British conductor and arranger John Wilson painstakingly and reassembled it for his memorable 2010 BBC Prom concert. It was this material that was used in the Bardi concert. The score called for a number of extra instruments such as saxophones and a massive percussion section so the stage was very full indeed. The concert had one direct connection to that 2010 Prom, the finale from Oklahoma! called for two extra soloists, local soprano Eleanor Charman, and from the Bardi violin section, to the surprise of Orchestra and audience, up stepped Michael Lessiter who actually sang in that 2010 Prom! Our biggest audience since the pandemic made this a concert to remember.  

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Meet our West End star soloists for Rodgers & Hammerstein on the Silver Screen

9 March 2023

There is something special for audiences in our next concert: not one, but TWO West End singers will be taking to the stage to perform favourites from the films of Rodgers and Hammerstein. 

Shona Lindsay began her career early with the title role in Annie when she was just 12, and she’s been a staple of British theatre ever since. Her show credits include starring roles in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Grease, The Sound of Music, Chicago, and she was one of the youngest ever singers to be cast as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera. She has also sung in concert with greats such as Sarah Brightman and Michael Ball. No stranger to the small screen, Shona has appeared on classic programmes like Crossroads and Casualty, and can be heard regularly on Friday Night is Music Night on BBC Radio 2. 

Stephen John Davis, at home in both the worlds of musicals and opera, has a long list of stand-out theatre roles, including The Phantom of the OperaSweeney Todd, Les Misérables, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor DreamcoatSouth Pacific and Mamma Mia. On film he can be seen in the tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, and in the 25th Anniversary production of The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall. 

The Bardi are delighted to welcome Shona and Stephen to De Montfort Hall on Sunday 26 March.

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Bardi Workshop Day 2023 – Sibelius Symphony No.2

22 February 2023

The third Bardi Orchestra Workshop day has now cemented the event firmly into the Orchestra calendar.

Players gathered at Holy Trinity Church in eager anticipation of a day to be spent rehearsing and playing Sibelius Symphony No. 2 (a work which is programmed for a concert in the 2023-24 season). As we found when playing at the Bardi Young Musician concert in January the acoustic in Holy Trinity church is excellent and the larger orchestra assembled for the Sibelius sounded superb. Having worked through the whole symphony by four o’clock it was time to share an informal concert play through for members of the Bardi Friends and the Bardi Principals’ Club who listened attentively in the comfortable seats in the balcony at the church. Music Director Claus Efland wrote afterwards ‘The playing was of sheer passion and on such extremely high level. The dedication and commitment was simply stunning. I would like to see any Orchestra who after a couple of hours rehearsal could match that magnificent play through that we did at the end.’ 

David Blaine and the team at Holy Trinity Church went out of the way to be really helpful, supplying an excellent working lunch, and tea and coffee throughout the day. Taking a break after their work had finished players were able to enjoy some time together simply socialising (a luxury that doesn’t happen very often after busy rehearsals) and watch a film of archive material kindly put together by Alan Hames the Orchestra’s Sound Technical Adviser and Orchestra Manager Robert Calow.

The day was rounded off with a first class meal, again supplied by the Holy Trinity team, in the wonderful surroundings of the church transformed into a very special restaurant. Our particular thanks have to go to the Holy Trinity team for another memorable occasion!

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Bardi Young Musician Joseph Geary the star of the show

31 January 2023

Bardi’s latest Young Musician appeared with the Orchestra at a special concert in Leicester’s Holy Trinity Church at the end of January. 

Joseph Geary, a flautist and Music Scholar at Loughborough Grammar School, was chosen as Bardi Young Musician 2023 after auditions last autumn. Holy Trinity is a new venue for this special concert and proved very popular with the large audience who heard him perform in Mozart’s Flute Concerto No 2. Joseph, from Barrow on Soar, has played the flute since the age of seven and the audience were treated to an extra bonus when he was promoted (for one piece only!) to the Principal flute desk for a performance of Fauré’s Pavane which has a substantial flute solo in the score.  

Presenting his trophy, Vice Chair of the Orchestra Mary Moore told the audience that he had literally just heard the previous day that he had been awarded a performers diploma on the flute from Trinity Laban College of Music in London. Congratulations Joseph! 

Aside from Joseph’s performances, the concert opened with Beethoven’s Egmont Overture and the second half featured a wonderful performance of Mendelssohn’s Third ‘Scottish’ Symphony concluding a fantastic concert to warm a cold January evening.

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Joseph Geary, Bardi Young Musician 2023

17 January 2023

There’s just under two weeks to go until the Bardi Young Musician 2023 concert. 

Our Bardi Young Musician is flautist Joseph Geary a music scholar at Loughborough Grammar School who has been playing the flute since the age of 7.  He has recently been performed with the English Schools’ Orchestra and was previously a member of the National Schools’ Symphony Orchestra. He was selected as Bardi Young Musician 2023 following auditions in October, and is greatly looking forward to performing with the Orchestra at the concert performing Mozart’s Flute Concerto No. 2.  His future plans include a performance of the Reinecke Concerto for Flute and Orchestra with the Loughborough Orchestra in June. 

In addition to playing the flute Joseph is also a keen singer and has a strong interest in early music. Alongside his musical studies, he is also studying French and Spanish at A-level. Joseph attained a DipLCM performance diploma from the London College of Music in May 2021 and is eagerly awaiting the results of an LTCL examination in flute performance from Trinity College London.  

Joseph is proud player of Miyazawa flutes and is delighted to be a Miyazawa Young Artist.

You can hear Joseph’s performance of the Mozart Flute Concerto in D along with Mendelssohn’s Scottish Symphony and more at Holy Trinity Church, Regent Rd, Leicester, on Saturday 28 January. A concert not to be missed!

Joseph Geary, 2023 Bardi Young Musician; Scottish scenery

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Bardi Wind Orchestra makes a triumphant Christmas return

20th December 2022

It was three years since the last Bardi Wind Orchestra Christmas concert in December 2019 so a return to the Holy Trinity Church stage was an eagerly anticipated event.

In the 30 years that BWO have existed there have been 21 Christmas concerts and it has often been said that ‘Christmas begins properly with the Bardi Wind Christmas concert’. The 2022 Christmas concert had a fresh new look about it with the theme ‘Christmas at the Movies’ but a glance at the programme revealed that lots of old favourites were there with seasonal readings by John Florance and a finale with the enthusiastic singing of ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’ almost bringing down  the roof of a beautifully decorated (a forest of Christmas trees)  Holy Trinity church. 

Film favourites with a Christmas flavour like ‘The Nightmare before Christmas’ and ‘The Polar Express’ were sprinkled through the programme.  In line with the whole refresh of Bardi branding this autumn the programmes and publicity had a really festive flavour. But the real joy was seeing familiar faces who have attended previous concerts, some since the first one, appearing at the ticket desk.

It was good to see new faces in the Orchestra too, alongside long-serving members there were a number of up-and-coming younger players who were relishing the opportunity to play with this high profile group. Received opinion in the foyer after the concert and since was that the sound has never been better. Christmas has properly begun!

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Bardi Wind Christmas at the Movies concludes a busy 30th anniversary year

13th December 2022

The Bardi Wind Orchestra has had a busy 30th Anniversary year. With the Jubilee Proms in the Park, attended by over 5,000 people, and the De Montfort Hall Jubilee celebrations the Orchestra are concluding their 30th year with a much anticipated return of the Bardi Wind Christmas Festival.

After two years away, the Orchestra are excited to return to Holy Trinity Church, on Regent Road, for their traditional festive celebration. For many, it’s not quite Christmas until the Bardi Wind announce the season with Leroy Anderson’s A Christmas Festival, a pot pourri of carol tunes setting the tone for the evening ahead.

This year’s concert has an added treat with a particular focus on music from favourite festive films including Home Alone, Harry Potter, Frozen, The Polar Express, The Snowman, The Nightmare Before Christmas, White Christmas and more.

Familiar traditions will also return though with readings from former BBC Radio Leicester presenter John Florance, and carols and Christmas hits featuring vocals from soprano Nicky Bingham and compère Colin Blackler. Truly a fantastic evening to look forward to for all the family!

Highlights of the Bardi Wind Orchestra’s 30th anniversary year so far

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Pictures at an Exhibition and The Fiddler’s Tale a hit at De Montfort Hall

29 November 2022

There was a real buzz in the foyer for the first concert of Bardi’s De Montfort Hall 2022-23 Season.

A number of people in the audience were there for the first time in almost three years keen to hear Adam Summerhayes’ violin concerto The Fiddlers Tale as well as the Orchestra playing the ever-popular Mussorgsky work Pictures from and Exhibition and, as a curtain raiser, Sibelius’ Finlandia. Audience attendance at concert halls across Europe and further afield is slow to return to pre-pandemic levels, but we were delighted to welcome a good-sized audience who showed their appreciation of the violin concerto (a De Montfort Hall premiere). 

The orchestra were delighted to perform alongside a colourfully-clad Adam, normally their leader, in the concerto. One attendee at the pre-concert talk, when questions were invited, asked “where did you get that shirt?” – he was told it was purchased at Glastonbury!

Adam has been the leader of the Orchestra for much of it’s existence and to mark the collaboration between Orchestra and composer/soloist on this occasion there was a surprise presentation, to a delighted Adam, at the rehearsal before the concert of a special picture by professional artist and Bardi Board member David Calow. 

A sparkling performance of Pictures at an Exhibition, in Ravel’s orchestration, ended the concert and was received with very enthusiastic applause by the audience. The buzz continued as concert goers headed into the cold damp November evening.   

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