18th May 2024 – Orchestral Concert

Saturday 18th May 2024

7.30 Tonbridge Parish Church

Florence Price Concert Overture No 1
Ibert Flute Concerto performed by Ukrainian Sofiia Matviienko, (2022 winner Wind & Brass section of the Tunbridge Wells International Music Competition)
Dvořák Symphony Number 9 From the New World


This month we will be presenting works that straddle the Atlantic – from American Florence Price, to Frenchman Jacques Ibert, and ending with a Czech who spent time in the USA, Antonin Dvořák.

We have featured the work of Florence Price in earlier concerts, and she is becoming better known and appreciated in Europe, as more orchestras include her compositions in their programmes. The Concert Overture No 1 (there are 2) is based on the spiritual Sinner, Please Don’t Let This Harvest Pass. A plangent brass introduction gives the clue as to how important those instruments will be for the development of the recognisable strains of the spiritual melody, providing a treat for the brass enthusiasts among us.

French composer Jacques Ibert may not be the best known among his fellow musicians, although the Flute Concerto chosen for our concert by Sofiia Matviienko may be among his best known works. Sofiia is a Ukrainian flautist who won the Wind section of the Tunbridge Wells International Music Competition in 2022, and we are sure she will dazzle with the demanding, high-speed passages that surround the sustained lyricism of the middle movement.

The final piece in our orchestral concert is, on the other hand, known to most – even those not old enough to remember it being used in a Hovis advertisement in 1973! From the New World by Antonin Dvořák, written in 1893, is a much loved work that has travelled far beyond our planet – taken to another new world on the Apollo 11 mission to the moon by astronaut Neil Armstrong.

Dvořák was working in New York from 1892, having gone to find ‘American music’ to use in the same way as he had the folk songs of his Czech homeland. He was deeply homesick – the contrast between Prague and New York must have been so marked. This unhappiness would inform the other major piece to be written before he fled home across the Atlantic: his moving and distinctive Cello Concerto.

Tickets can be bought here