Worthing Symphony Orchestra celebrates "rock star" Lord Byron

Sarah-Jane Bradley
Sarah-Jane Bradley

Worthing Symphony Orchestra’s concert on Sunday, March 10 in the town’s Assembly Hall celebrates one of the great poets of the Romantic era.

Lady Caroline Lamb described George Gordon, Lord Byron, as “mad, bad and dangerous to know.”

It was 1812, and the just-published Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage had made him the literary and social lion of London at the age of 24.

Spokeswoman Jennie Osborne explains: “Byron’s fame spread across Europe with rock star fervour, and his writings had a huge effect on European artists and composers of the day.

“Young French composer Louis-Hector Berlioz’s homage to Childe Harold came in the form of a great orchestral masterpiece – Harold in Italy. Berlioz’s friend, violin virtuoso Nicolo Paganini, had acquired a ‘superb viola’ – a Stradivarius – but lamented he had ‘no suitable music’.

“Berlioz therefore composed an orchestral work which showcased the solo viola.

“The solo will be performed by celebrated viola player Sarah-Jane Bradley, making her Worthing debut with WSO.

“A former student of the Royal Academy of Music and the Mozarteum, Salzburg, Sarah-Jane has gone on to a hugely-successful international concert and recording career.

“Critics have described her playing as masterly, exceptional and beguiling.

“She is a passionate advocate of the viola and has premiered many new works.

“She plays an 1896 instrument made by Chanot of Manchester.”

Jennie added: “Sarah-Jane will also play William Alwyn’s pensive Pastoral Fantasia for viola and strings. Alwyn was a champion of the viola, sometimes called the Cinderella of the musical instruments, and wrote several works especially for it.

“Pastoral Fantasia, written in the early years of WWII, ranks alongside The Lark Ascending and On Hearing the first Cuckoo in Spring for its delicate evocation of the English countryside.

“The March concert also includes Chabriers’s Joyeuse March, the delicate favourite Clair de Lune by Debussy, with Bizet’s L’Arlesienne – Suite No. 1 concluding a wonderful spring concert from the professional orchestra of West Sussex.”

The concert starts at 2.45pm.

Tickets for Worthing Symphony Orchestra’s concert are available from Worthing Theatres box office on 01903 206206 or online via the website http://www.worthingtheatres.co.uk.

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