Croydon’s resident orchestra are celebrating 25 years in the town this year with a very special performance.
The London Mozart Players open their Spring Season at the Fairfield Halls this week with a celebration of their quarter of a century in the borough.
There will be a special visitor as the Earl of Wessex, who is the patron of the orchestra, will be in the crowd for the event.
Gerard Korsten will be conducting the LMP and is joined by British violinist Anthony Marwood as they perform music of the Romantic period, which is a genre of music created in the late 18th century.
It will feature Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture Fingal’s Cave, Schumann’s Violin Concerto and Schubert’s Symphony No.2.
In fact, the performance of Schubert’s second symphony is quite poignant as although it was completed in 1815, it did not receive its first performance until 63 years later at the Crystal Palace.
There are two other spring performances in April and May.
Conductor Howard Shelley will be leading a performance of Poulenc’s Sinfonietta, which Simon Funell, the managing director of the LMP, says is a beautiful piece of music.
In May, conductor Gerard Korsten will be orchestrating Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.17, which will feature Angela Hewitt on piano.
Funnell says he hopes fans of classical music attend the events, but also wants to encourage the next generation of classical enthusiasts to come along as well.
He says: “The Earl of Wessex is a great patron of ours and it is fantastic he can come along and celebrate our 25th anniversary in Croydon. It is a really great opportunity to thank him for his support.
“This series is a key moment in our history really and we are hoping for a good audience.
“It is hard for us to compete with some of the bigger events that are held in London, but we are always looking to expand our audiences.
“I always say the same thing. The residents of Croydon have a world-class orchestra right on their doorstep.
“I know some people say they think classical music is not for them as they do not know much about it, but they could not be further from the truth.
“You do not need to know how to play football to enjoy the beautiful game. In a similar way you do not need to know much about classical music to appreciate a beautiful performance.
“It is such an amazing opportunity to have this in the borough. You don’t have to dress up smart or anything like that, just come along and admire quality music.”