You are here: Home > News > Newsletter archive > Feb 2016You are not logged in.

Newsletter for February 2016

This is an edited version of the Havant Orchestras newsletter which is provided in printed form (or e-mailed in PDF format, if requested) to players and Friends of the Orchestras.

The Havant Orchestras

President: The Rt Hon The Lord Willetts, PC    Patrons: The Mayor of Havant; The Mayor of Fareham

February 2016 Newsletter

From the Chairman …

Happy New Year!  The Havant Orchestras have been very grateful to hear the news that two of our most loyal supporters in past years have left significant legacies to the Havant Orchestras in their wills.  We hope that these valuable contributions should not only help to secure our current financial position for a while but will enable us to explore opportunities for new developments, such as concerts in different venues.  We will let you know more about this when further details have been confirmed.

This is very good news, but a healthy bank balance is only one of several ingredients needed to sustain the orchestras into the future.  In order to keep the books balanced into the future, we need more regular income, which mainly means larger audiences.  One way to attract larger audiences is to select very popular works, and this has been the basis of our “Popular Classics” Hayling concerts for many years, which have always been well-attended.  However, our players and many of our audience members have long appreciated the principle laid down by our founding musical director Peter Craddock that the orchestras should try to provide a wider musical experience by introducing some lesser-known works which are likely to be new to many players and audience members.  There also only a relatively small number of the most popular works, and we don’t want to end up playing them too frequently.  Our musical directors are currently busy planning their programmes for next season, and finding the right balance between popularity and a wider musical experience is very much on their minds!

Another ingredient needed for future success is the right players.  The use of Oaklands School hall has enabled HSO to perform works requiring a significantly larger orchestra, such as Shostakovich’s fifth Symphony last July and Elgar’s first Symphony in December.  However, on both occasions we were short of regular players in some areas and ended up having to pay last-minute extras, which not only costs more but also often means that rehearsals are less productive.  Our numbers of violins are also somewhat less than ideal for such major works.  We are therefore looking for more regular players, and even for instruments where we already have regular players we would like to hear from anyone else who is interested, as we often need extra players for larger works.  The best way for new players to contact us is to send an email to the orchestral manager,

A further vital ingredient for future success is the team of committee and helpers who run the orchestral events.  It would be particularly useful if we could find more helpers who are not themselves players, to help things run smoothly at concerts.  We would also like help from any people with publicity-related skills.  Please let us know, ideally by email to, if you may be able to help us.

Coming back to the present, Havant Chamber Orchestra are preparing a delightful and exciting mix of works for Saturday’s concert, of which a special highlight is the Beethoven Triple Concerto, with the Albany Piano Trio (Pippa Harrison – piano, Gemma Sharples – violin and Verity Evanson – cello).  We are eagerly looking forward to this concert, and hope that you will all join us and bring lots of friends!

Jonathan Scott     Tel: 023 8026 1372

Saturday 6th February’s Programme

at Ferneham Hall, Fareham

6.30 Pre-concert talk in the auditorium by Alex Poulton
7.00 Pre-concert interlude in the Octagon Lounge by local music pupils
7.20 Take your seats in the main hall
7.30 The Concert
conducted by Robin Browning.
Overture The Marriage of Figaro Mozart
Triple Concerto in major 
 Soloists: The Albany Piano Trio
    Interval – 20 minutes
Suite Pelléas et Mélisande Sibelius
Symphony No. 1, Classical Prokofiev
9.30 (approx) End of Concert
We wish you a safe journey home.

Pre-concert Talk at 6:30pm in the auditorium

Alex Poulton will be talking about the music, in particular the Sibelius.

We recommend taking seats at or near the front so that you can easily hear the speaker and musical excerpts.  If you miss the start, please feel free to join the talk anyway but enter as quietly as you can.

Pre-Concert Interlude at 7:00pm in the Octagon Lounge

Pre-concert music will be provided by Hanna Simojoki (violin) and Daniel Simojoki (cello), pupils of Robert and Barbara Martin.

Notes from the conductor…

As I write this, I’m in my broken down car awaiting Green Flag.  So you’ll pardon me if I come across with a grumpy tone!  We itinerant conductors have to find work-spaces wherever we can...

Despite my transportation woes, I’ve very positive feelings about 2016. There’s plenty in store.  We’ve two remaining programmes of the current HCO season including the treat lined up for February 6th.  Plus we've been busy planning repertoire for the next season - which promises to be just as good, if not even more enthralling than this one.

Our February concert centres around the Beethoven Triple Concerto.  A bit of a dark horse, this one - many people love it, yet some are scathing.  Which is a tad unfair in my view - whilst it doesn’t plumb the mighty depths of the Emperor or Violin Concerto, the Triple is always great fun on stage, offering interplay, drama and fabulous melodic invention.  I’ve always loved it, a fond favourite, and sure to sound great in Ferneham Hall.

Alongside it, we showcase two pinnacles of the chamber orchestra repertoire, but rather different ones.  It’ll be my first ever Prokofiev Classical Symphony, in fact.  It’s a mini masterpiece but I’ve avoided it for some time because it’s rather hard.  Great to have HCO, an orchestra we can all trust in, to pull it off.

After last year’s Sibelius 150 celebrations, I did wonder if the musical world would avoid the Finnish giant during early 2016.  But why only celebrate such a genius in one year?  His Pelléas et Mélisande is another dramatic gem, pulling together the intoxicating threads of Maeterlinck’s late 19th-century play - which of course also inspired the likes of Debussy, Faure and Schoenberg too.  Sibelius wrote eight instrumental items to accompany the symbolist play, including “At the Castle Gate” - so memorably used by the BBC in Patrick Moore’s “Sky at Night” for many years.

I’m very much looking forward to this varied, eclectic mix of a programme, and hope you are too.  We hope to see you there and offer you a warm HCO welcome.

Happy New Year!

Robin Browning

CD recommendations for the works in this concert

Sourced by Gordon Egerton (Clarinet)

Mozart – Overture, ‘The Marriage of Figaro’
Dresden Staatskapelle, Sir Colin Davis
(c/w other Mozart overtures).
RCA 7432 1566 982 £7.50

Beethoven – Triple Concerto
Gordan Nikolitch, Tim Hugh, and Lars Vogt,
London Symphony Orchestra, Bernard Haitink
(c/w Symphony no.7).
LSO Live LSO 0578 £8.75

Sibelius – Suite ‘Pelléas et Mélisande’
Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, Leif Segerstram
(c/w Musik zu einer Szene, Valse Lyrique, Autrefois, Valse chevaleresque, & Morceau Romantique).
Naxos 8 573301 £6.75

Prokofiev – Symphony no.1, ‘Classical’
London Symphony Orchestra, Vladimir Ashkenazy
(c/w Symphonies nos. 5, 6, & 7, Autumnal Sketch, and Overture on Hebrew themes for clarinet, string quartet, and piano).
Decca, Double Decca 4705282 (2 discs, £11.50).

(Prices quoted are from the Presto Classical website).

Next concert

HSO Concert at Oaklands School 19th March 2016

Other concerts
by local orchestras

Saturday 13th 20th February 2016, 7:30pm
St Thomas’ Cathedral, Portsmouth
Solent Symphony Orchestra
Grieg, Nielsen, Tchaikovsky

Saturday 5th March 2016, 7:30pm
United Reformed Church, Fareham
Portsmouth Philharmonia with Meon Valley Orchestra:
Light classical music in aid of Pancreatic Cancer Research

Saturday 12th March 2016, 7:15pm
Medina Theatre, Newport, Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra
Suk, Strauss, Rachmaninov

Sunday 13th March 2016, 7:30pm
Thornden Hall, Chandler’s Ford
Southampton Concert Orchestra       
Elgar, Shostakovich, Holst

Thursday 17th March 2016, 7:30pm
Petersfield Festival Hall
Petersfield Orchestra
Berlioz, Tchaikovsky, Brahms

See the Events page on our website for more information about these concerts and other musical events in the area involving local players and ensembles.

Other musical events

compiled by Geoff Porter

Saturday 13th February 2016, 7:30pm
Portsmouth Music Club
74th Anniversary Concert

Emilie Capulet, Piano.

Monday 15th February 2016, 7:30pm
Portsmouth Guildhall
Piatti Quartet
Mozart Quartet in B flat, K589
Bartok Quartet No. 5
Beethoven Quartet in F, Op. 59 No. 1

Saturday 27th February 2016, 7:30pm
Portsmouth Music Club
‘Goldberg Strings’ Trio

Friday 11th March 2016, 7:30pm
Portsmouth Guildhall
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Magic Tales:

Wagner The Flying Dutchman Overture
Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto
(soloist: Yossif Ivanov)
Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherazade
Conductor: Frank Zielhorst

Saturday 12th March 2016, 7:30pm
Portsmouth Music Club
South Downs College
Music Students’ Concert

Friday 25th March 2016, 7:30pm
Portsmouth Guildhall
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Fantastic Berlioz:
Mussorgsky A Night on the Bare Mountain
Scriabin Piano Concerto
(soloist: Yevgeny Sudbin)
Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique
Conductor: Alexander Vedernikov

Society contact information

Havant and District Orchestral Society (HADOS)
Registered Charity No 288747  Email:  Tel: 023 8026 1372


Contact information can be found on the Contacts page within this web site.

Website kindly hosted by