The Bardi Interviews: In Conversation with Adam Summerhayes

In the second of The Bardi Interviews, John Florance talks to orchestra Leader Adam Summerhayes. They discuss his career in music from his days playing with the Leicestershire Schools Symphony Orchestra, through the Guildhall School of Music and conducting his own chamber orchestra in London to his travels around the world with the acclaimed baroque instrumental group ‘Red Priest’ who are noted for their flamboyant theatrical and virtuosic style. In a wide ranging discussion we learn how Adam came to take up the violin at an early age being taught by his grandfather, that he is not a player to be pigeonholed into a specific style of music and that his real love is the violin itself. His affection for the Bardi Symphony Orchestra, which he has led for many years, comes through very clearly and his choices of music are, as might be expected, eclectic and fascinating.

To hear Adam’s selected pieces you can pause the video and listen to the music in the Spotify player below. Alternatively, click here to watch the video on YouTube where you can find links to all the pieces in the video description.

8. Adam’s eighth musical choice is available on YouTube here: To The Nightingale – Words of a Fiddler’s Daughter

The conversation continues…

A special thank you to former chairman Colin Blackler

30th April 2021

After 11 years as Chairman of the Bardi Symphony Orchestra, Colin Blackler stood down in November 2020. As a non-player, but with an extensive background in local musical theatre and performance, his contribution to the development of both the Bardi Symphony and the Bardi Wind Orchestras was immense and varied from compering the ever popular Bardi Wind Christmas concerts, to firing the cannon in performances of the 1812 Overture! At the same time his wisdom and professional knowledge was invaluable in guiding sound decision making within the Bardi committee.

Marking his retirement a very special gift was commissioned from professional artist and Bardi Wind Orchestra conductor David Calow. The cartoon portrait of Colin is full of reminders of his long association with Bardi. Pandemic lockdowns thwarted plans for a formal presentation at a gathering of the Orchestra so the artist was pleased to present the gift to a delighted Colin in his garden in the warm April sunshine. Thank you Colin, from the Bardi Symphony and Wind Orchestra!


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A tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh

17th April 2021

As the country mourns HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, at his funeral today the Bardi also salutes with affection his immeasurable contribution to so many facets of British life and unfailing support of HM Queen Elizabeth II for over 70 years. As a tribute, here is a performance of Elgar’s Nimrod from the Enigma Variations performed back in May 2015 with musical director Claus Efland at De Montfort Hall, Leicester.


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The Bardi Interviews: In Conversation with Claus Efland

In the first of our new series ‘The Bardi Interviews’, John Florance talks to Music Director Claus Efland about his career in music beginning with a fascination at a very early age, in his native Denmark, with the music of Johann Strauss in New Years Day concerts from Vienna. He describes the occasion when he took up a toy baton and conducted his orchestra of teddy bears, a far cry from his work today as an award winning internationally known conductor in Europe and further afield. His choices of music range from Mozart and Grieg to a beautiful but hitherto unknown Danish song, and topics covered range from insights into the art of conducting, his career history to what he has been doing at his home in Berlin whilst, like the rest of us, in lockdown.   

To hear Claus’s selected pieces you can pause the video and listen to the music in the Spotify player below. Alternatively, click here to watch the video on YouTube where you can find links to all the pieces in the video description.

The conversation continues…

Bardi COVID-19 April Update

12th April 2021

Due to Covid-19, we have had to cancel or postpone all the concerts that we had planned for the 2020-21 season.

We did manage to come together to make music again last October– the first time since March 2020 – but have been locked down since then. For more details, and a link to the video of the day find out more here.

We are hoping to do something similar in the summer if lockdown regulations permit; and we are busy planning an exciting season of public concerts starting in October 2021.
Rest assured, we WILL be back!

Further information will appear as soon as possible.


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The Bardi are back playing!

5th October 2020

The Bardi Symphony Orchestra met for the first time since March at the Covid-secure Holy Trinity Church, Regent Road, Leicester on Saturday October 3rd. Under the baton of Music Director Claus Efland, the 3 sections of the Orchestra; Brass, Winds/Horns and Strings met at different times of the day socially distanced in the secure, vast space of the church. Works included Handel’s “The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba” and Gabrieli’s “Sonata Pian’e Forte” for the Brass, the “Serenade” Op.7 by Richard Strauss for the Winds/Horns and the “Little Suite for Strings” Op.1 by Carl Nielsen.


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The Bardi and a Young Person’s Guide to the Symphony Orchestra!

16th March 2020

A fantastic family friendly afternoon concert took place at De Montfort Hall on Sunday 15th March featuring a feast of popular classical and film music with Guest Conductor Richard Laing and young local Tuba soloist Stephen Calow. To take take the audience through the instruments of the symphony orchestra, the afternoon was hosted and narrated by the very popular presenter and animateur Tom Redmond from BBC Radio 3.

The concert included performances of Benjamin Britten’s brilliant Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra and George Kleinsinger‘s Tubby the Tuba, both with Tom as our narrator. Two wonderful musical masterpieces forthe many youngsters in the audience! Other pieces included the Overture to Beauty and the Beast, “Happy” from Despicable Me 2, Festive Overture and Waltz No.2 by Shostakovich, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony First Movement and the Berceuse and Finale from Stravinsky’s The Firebird.


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A Bardi Workshop day on Elgar’s First Symphony!

2nd March 2020

The Bardi Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Music Director Claus Efland spent Saturday 15th February at Holy Trinity Church, Regent Road in Leicester taking part in a workshop rehearsing Elgar’s magnificent First Symphony. After the mid afternoon break invited guests arrived to hear a play-through of the entire work.
As the evening dinner was being prepared downstairs the Orchestra and guests gathered upstairs in the newly refurbished Holy Trinity to watch performances of the Bardi at De Montfort Hall over recent seasons on the big film screen.
At 7pm all then went downstairs and were seated at tables and were treated to a superb meal in the brilliant surroundings.
A day to repeat in the future for sure!


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Bardi Young Musician 2020 CONCERT

27th January 2020

The annual Bardi Young Musician concert series goes from strength to strength. These concerts are intended
to encourage emerging and talented young soloists by giving them a platform on which to perform with a full
symphony orchestra.

This year’s concert took place on Sunday 26th January at 3pm in the main concert hall of English Martyrs’ Catholic School in Leicester. The Bardi Young Musician 2020 is Flautist Szymon Mosciszko.


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Bardi Wind Christmas Festival 2019

23rd December 2019

A Feast of Words and Music indeed! The annual Bardi Wind Christmas Festival took place at Holy Trinity Church on Regent Road in Leicester on Saturday 21st December. The Bardi Wind Orchestra was conducted by Music Director David Calow with the usual team of reader John Florance, Soprano Nicky Bingham and compère Colin Blackler. The large and enthusiastic audience heard many Christmas favourites including Christmas Festival, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, In The Bleak Midwinter, Sleigh Ride, Suite from Disney’s Frozen and of course White Christmas!  The concert ended with the audience singing along to Wizard’s I wish it Could Be Christmas Every Day.


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