On Saturday 11 November, we’ll be performing a sweeping all Russian programme featuring some of the country’s greatest composers, Tchaikovsky, Borodin and Shostakovich.

We kick off with Borodin’s exquisite ‘Polotvsian Dances’, written in 1869 by the composer, a chemist and teacher by profession and who amazingly composed in his free time, much to his musical friends’ dismay. This popular work features many well-known themes with its most famous adapted to form the song ‘Stranger in Paradise’. 

"A grandiose piece with a glorious orchestra part"

We’re very excited to be playing Shostakovich’s first cello concerto in November with an exceptional soloist, Marina Martins.

The concerto, widely considered to be one of the most difficult concert works for cellists, was written by the composer for his friend Rostropovich in 1959. The work is at once terrifying, dark, compelling and astonishingly beautiful.

All the ingredients for the perfect Christmas treat

If you’re looking for all the Christmas classics, a heavenly choir and a dash of some major movie tunes, look no further than our Christmas concert.

We'll be playing big pile of your favourite carols, including Away in a Manger, Hark the Herald Angels and O Come All Ye Faithful for those who love a bit of tradition.

Brunel Christmas concert flyer

Get ready for some angelic voices. We're excited to announce we’re being joined by Red Maids Close Encounters choir for our Christmas concert on Sunday 11 December at Henleaze United Reform Church in Bristol. The choir sing unaccompanied close harmony and pride themselves on their musical ability and strong reading skills.

Trumpeter Julius Scholz (pictured) joins forces with us for our autumn concert on Saturday 12th November at 7.30pm at the Victoria Rooms, Bristol. The programme has a real Halloween flavour to it, featuring witches, spirits, Satan, obsessive unrequited love and nightmarish hallucinations with Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique and Mussorgsky Night on a Bare Mountain. We're also offering a rare opportunity to hear the Arutunian Trumpet Concerto, a beautiful, flamboyant Russian piece referencing folk music and dance.

The violin cake rota

Returning by popular request this term is the violin cake rota. Spoilt, happier (and heavier) as we were last term, there was great enthusiasm to put on our pinnies and bake once again. Each week a different desk bakes some scrummy nibbles for us all to enjoy, and power us through the second half - to be honest I worried how the William Tell would go without cake on concert day but check it out on YouTube, complete with our ricochet bowing. 

Spring concert, spring clean

With our spring concert just days away, it's time to give Lucy (my fiddle) a clean up - she's got pretty dusty of late. Whilst it's always worth wiping your violin and bow with a duster after playing to keep rosin build up under control, once in a while she needs a little more love.

So here’s how to give your violin a quick spruce up:
 

From ricochet rookies to old hands

Last week was sectionals week and the first violins were looking to work on our  ricochet technique as Rossini’s William Tell Overture demands some fine rhythmic control. The cellos were having bit of a debate too about the bowing beforehand, so were looking forward to mastering the technique. 

Want to go from being a ricochet rookie to an old hand? Here are some tips: 

Whether you’re bitten by the love-bug or reaching for the bucket, there’s no denying that Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to dig out some beautiful music.

So when we asked our players what music puts them in the mood for love, what conjures up the essence of romance for them, they came up with some gorgeous pieces which would melt even the hardest of hearts. So curl up with that special person or, if Valentine’s Day leaves you cold, put your feet up, plug in your headphones and enjoy the music.

Lots of love from Brunel Sinfonia xx

Shostakovich 15: Surprising, beautiful and somewhat understated

Mark Gateshill talks about the symphony we're working on in preparation for our concert on 19th March.

The thing that always strikes me about Shostakovich’s final symphony is how unsettling it is, despite the fact the composer was looking to create an uplifting piece. Though beautiful, it’s evidently the work of an already sick man facing the end of his life.

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From Russia with love

On Saturday 11 November, we’ll be performing a sweeping all Russian programme featuring some of the country’s greatest composers, Tchaikovsky, Borodin and Shostakovich.

We kick off with Borodin’s exquisite ‘Polotvsian Dances’, written in 1869 by the composer, a chemist and teacher by profession and who amazingly composed in his free time, much to his musical friends’ dismay. This popular work features many well-known themes with its most famous adapted to form the song ‘Stranger in Paradise’. 

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Whether you are interested in joining the orchestra, or are looking for more information about upcoming concerts, we have a number of ways to get in contact with us. Please use the links below to access our contact form and our social media accounts.