It has seemingly been quite a while since I last visited a concert by MUMS - The Manchester University Music Society, but it was lovely to be back and the concert did in no way disappoint.
There really isn’t anything better, on these cold winter nights and ever, than stepping into the magical wonder that of Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall to tantalise your sense with the world-acclaimed Hallé orchestra and I am a regular attendee to their Pops series.
Amidst the Victorian elegance and splendour of a definitely Harry Potter-esque Whitworth Hall - a large Baronial styled hall in the University building adjoining the museum (and yet another performance venue on Oxford Road!) gathered the University Of Manchester Chorus, MUMS Symphony Orchestra, 4 soloists and an audience of approximately 400 people.
The Cosmo Rodewald Hall at the Martin Harris Centre on the Manchester University campus is an ideal setting for the regular free lunchtime concerts that are such an important part of the city’s classical music scene. Today, the university’s student Baroque orchestra presented a short programme of favourites by Vivaldi and Corelli to a large and appreciative audience, swelled by a large group of primary school children from St Mark’s, Worsley, who behaved impeccably throughout: full marks to them and their teachers.
Once again I find myself seated in Manchester's third and least known concert hall, although it does have the most interesting name; The Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall. It's hidden away, inconspicuously, inside one of the many unpredisposing anonymous university buildings which outlie Oxford Road. As I mentioned last night, it does look rather functional and classroom-like, but I am not here to criticise the architecture!
Tonight, I had the pleasure of a warm welcome back to the Royal North College of Music’s Concert Hall for a concert by their Symphony Orchestra, consisting of three pieces.
The Halle's Season of Pops Concerts continued in fantastic fashion this evening as we were taken on a Musical journey through the entire set of the 7 Star Wars films.
The Pops Concerts by The Halle Orchestra are designed to introduce those who would not normally come along to listen to this magnificent orchestra to do so and to open up the world of music to young and old alike. they do this by playing music which is perhaps more 'popular' or not quite as highbrow or, to use my nephew's latest favourite word, 'fuddy-duddy'.
This was a full orchestral concert for young children, and making up a good 50% of today's capacity audience, with many dressed in fantasy costumes, they were remarkably well behaved and attentive. As part of the 'Young Explorers' series of concert, this series has been developed by the RNCM Engage programme, and are designed to introduce young people to the world of music.
The first of this year's Junior RNCM Formal Concerts saw three 17 year old pupils take the spotlight in the RNCM's Concert Hall in a concert of solo pieces showcasing the talents of three very different instrumentalists.
The Brand New Orchestra is the RNCM's orchestra dedicated to performing full orchestral pieces of music which are, well, brand new! I think the RNCM is unique in its public programming, showcasing so many world premieres of student orchestral compositions each year. It is a wonderful idea, and fascinating to see and hear what the up-coming generation of classic composer has in store for us.
The Ensemble L'Imaginaire is a group of four dedicated and specialist musicians based in Strasbourg, who specialise in working with contemporary composers and new writing for quartets. They are currently on tour and came to Manchester this afternoon with a programme of music by Swansea born composer Richard Barrett.