Introduction to Tonbridge Philharmonic Society’s 74th Season

2019 – 2020

Tonbridge Philharmonic Society’s 74th season is set to begin in November 2019 with a performance of Antonin Dvořák’s ‘Stabat Mater’. Consisting of 10 beautifully varied movements, Dvořák’s setting of Stabat Mater is a substantial choral masterpiece, by a composer better known for his fascination with the folk music of his homeland and musical explorations of America in his New World Symphony. Conducted by Matthew Scott Rogers, the choir and orchestra will be joined by four stellar soloists for the evening – Helena Dix, Sophie Dicks, Christopher Turner and Dawid Kimberg.

The first orchestral concert of 2020 showcases big-boned works by two Russian giants, Modest Mussorgsky and Dmitry Shostakovich. Although Modest Mussorgsky originally wrote ‘Pictures At An Exhibition’ for the piano, it was Maurice Ravel’s orchestration of 1922 that has become so enduringly popular. The piece was written in tribute to Mussorgsky’s artist friend Vladimir Hartmann who died at the peak of his career. For much of his life, Dmitri Shostakovich composed amid the terrifying confines of Communism. ‘Symphony No. 5’ was written in 1937, hot-on-the-heels of an opera which had not met with state approval. This climate of political fear led to the creation of one of Shostakovich’s most popular works – a piece where a huge range of emotions and orchestral effects are explored in dramatic style.

From Russia to France, our combined choral and orchestral concert in March will include delicious music by Camille Saint-Saëns and Gabriel Fauré, with Maurice Duruflé’s ‘Requiem’ forming the highlight of the programme. Written in 1947, Duruflé took the Gregorian plainchant Mass for the Dead as his starting point, with the intention of reconciling Gregorian ancient rhythms with modern musical metre.

For many classical music enthusiasts, 2020 will be memorable for the celebrations surrounding the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth. Tonbridge Philharmonic Orchestra will be marking the anniversary with a performance of Beethoven’s ‘Symphony No. 7’, notable for its wonderful orchestral textures, magical slow movement and energetic finale. We are also delighted to welcome TWIMC winner from 2018, Toby Hughes on the Double Bass, who will perform Nino Rota’s ‘Divertimento Concertante’ for Double Bass.

Tonbridge Philharmonic Society’s 74th season will end in June with a celebration of seasonal orchestral and choral favourites – ‘Music for a Summer’s Evening.’