For this instalment of Flashback, we’re heading back to our first ever BBC Promenade concert at the Royal Albert Hall on Wednesday 1 August 1973, when CLS was still known as the Richard Hickox Orchestra. The Orchestra performed Handel’s Messiah with the Richard Hickox Singers (also founded in 1971) alongside a host of incredibly talented soloists, many of whom were budding young stars and have since gone on to great things!
Back then we were joined by Stephen Cleobury on the organ, now better known for being Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral and Director of Music of the world-renowned Choir of King’s College, Cambridge. Alastair Ross who is still a member of CLS, performed as a soloist on the harpsichord too.
Our vocal soloists on the night included the late Philip Langridge, a tenor who became famous for performing the works of Benjamin Britten and was regarded as the true successor of Peter Pears, baritone Raimund Herincx who has since appeared with the Welsh National Opera and at the Royal Opera House, and James Bowman who has become arguably the most acclaimed countertenor of his generation.
This year we’re returning to the Proms on Sunday 21 August to perform a new work by Colin Matthews, No Man’s Land, which was commissioned by the late Richard Hickox, alongside Britten’s Variations on a theme of Bridge, and Mozart’s Requiem, recently voted the Nation’s Favourite Mozart piece by BBC Radio 3 listeners.
For a flavour of our upcoming Prom, listen to our Spotify playlist.