Tag Archives: Vaughan Williams

Crash Bang Wallop! The Musical Party

We return to Cadogan Hall on 31 October for our Crash Bang Wallop! family concert, The Musical Party, and it’s certainly got us in the party mood! To celebrate, we’ve put together a playlist of the pieces we’ll be performing, so you can have a little listen before the concert…

So don your favourite party outfit and join us on Saturday 31 October for a fun-filled musical celebration. The concert starts at 11am, but why not come along for some great pre-concert creative activities from 10am? Meet the musicians, try your hand at the conductor’s baton, visit the Percussion Zoo, and make lots of fun crafts.

We look forward to welcoming you to our party!

Crash Bang Wallop! The Musical Party
Saturday 31 October 2015, 11am
Pre-concert activities from 10am
Cadogan Hall, 5 Sloane Terrace, SW1X 9DJ
Adults £10, Children £8, Family £30 (for 4 tickets)
Box Office cadoganhall.com / 020 7730 4500


An Interview with Richard Hope

This week the team at CLS got the chance to catch up with actor Richard Hope before he joins us this Wednesday, along with Emma Pallant, for a very exciting performance of Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Southwark Cathedral. Aside his extremely impressive resumé, we loved his enthusiasm for music, subtle humour and thoughts on cake (always a very important subject!). Check out the interview here:


What first made you want to become an actor?richard hope

At school someone bet me £5 that I couldn’t get into the National Youth Theatre and at the interview, having done my speeches, Michael Croft asked me that very question. I told him I would win £5 (worth about £100 now) and he said: “You’re in!” I was with them for five years and doing drama was a great way to meet girls. I have always respected the written word and how hard it is to bring it alive from the page. To be able to share that and enjoy it has stayed with me. My first TV job was with Sir Laurence Olivier who encouraged my work and my recounting of appalling jokes.


What has your favourite role been?

For stage maybe Levin in Anna Karenina which toured the world for years with many revivals . Helen Edmundson has an amazing ability as a writer to distil the essence of the story . I also did War and Peace playing Pierre at the National which ran for four and a half hours….. and we did matinees twice a week. For TV it has to be Morty in The Riff Raff Element written by Debbie Horsfield who has just adapted the new BBC series of Poldark…. or playing Ford Prefect in HitchHikers Guide to the Galaxy with Ken Campbell directing (and encouraging me to be dangerously mad as I struggled to fly in space in a harness above the audience!). Recently I really enjoyed playing Elizabeth 1 in the UK premiere of Orlando….. I had the wig and dress with fairylights.


Are you musical? / Do you play any instruments?

I was always told at school I couldn’t sing and sort of gave up. I had to do songs in shows and then found myself doing Max Kellerman in Dirty Dancing at the Aldwych. I love music and admire the precision of dancers and musicians. I play the triangle and I have mimed with a harmonica on film.

What is the most played piece on your iPod?

It Keeps Rainin’ by Fats Domino closely followed by We Can’t be Friends by Lorene Scafaria. This week listening to Tower of Song by Leonard Cohen.


What living person do you admire most of all?

My kids. Namely, having to pick them up in the rain after surviving the Reading Festival and their tent catching fire.


What is your favourite cake?

Dundee Cake as it reminds me of Christmas and sometimes has a dash of Guinness.


Tickets are still available to see Richard Hope narrate alongside City of London Sinfonia at Southwark Cathedral this Wednesday! BOOK NOW

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Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
with City of London Sinfonia and Holst Singers
Wednesday 8 October, 7.30pm
Southwark Cathedral, London Bridge
Tickets, £25, £15, £5 available from spitalfieldsmusic.org.uk / 020 7377 1362

(Free pre-concert talk from 18:30 in the retrochoir. Book tickets for the pre-concert talk here)


Shakespeare: Let Music Sound – Booking Now Open!

We’ve recently opened booking for our next London concert series, Shakespeare: Let Music Sound in celebration of Shakespeare’s 450th anniversary.  From musicals to movie adaptations, opera, ballet, jazz rock ‘n’ roll, Disney songs, Broadway and Bollywood, Shakespeare’s poetry have inspired countless musicians and artists across the centuries. Performing in a selection of London’s most atmospheric venues from 8 October to 1 November, we’ll be embarking on an exciting journey through some of the most incredible works for film and theatre inspired by the Bard’s timeless tales.

To view our online brochure, click below or to view our Pinterest page inspired by the series, click here!


2013 – The year that was at City of London Sinfonia

It’s that time of year when we look back at the year that was and forward to the year that will be! We asked some of the City of London Sinfonia team what their own personal CLS highlight of 2013 was…


CLOSER: The New Babylon, 23 October 2013
‘A packed house for The New Babylon at CLoSer. More people than we could deal with (almost) for Shostakovich’s silent film
Matthew Swann, Chief Executive


Outreach project at St Joseph’s Hospice, May 2013
‘The Hospice Harmony project at St Joseph’s Hospice, Hackney with John K Miles and a CLS quartet,  one of the most moving projects I’ve been a part of.’
Gillian Hunter-Gibbs, Educations Manager


The Fauré Requiem Tour 2013
‘Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme of Tallis being played in 10 cathedrals by our fantastic string players – moved me to tears every time.’
Matthew Swann, Chief Executive

Crash Bang Wallop

Crash Bang Wallop! Christmas Special, December 2013
‘Pushing Claire Bloor across the Cadogan Hall stage in a custom made box whilst wearing an elf hat!’

Becca Newman, Concert Manager


Lullaby Tour, Autumn 2013
‘Watching the musicians throw themselves into the ‘Mad Professor’ tour with Claire Bloor – their outfits and hair styles got madder each day!’

Gillian Hunter-Gibbs, Education Manager


CLOSER: Tim Garland, February 2013
‘The audience vote for February’s CLOSER. It was really exciting to see which piece the audience would choose and it was definitely a close call towards the end – there were only a few votes in it. The Schnittke sounded spectacular in Village Underground and it was great that our audience was able to have an input in the programming.’
Steph Ramplin, Development and Marketing Assistant

Cathedrals October 2013 054

The Fauré Requiem Tour 2013
‘For me, it has to be our epic ten-date national cathedrals tour which saw the Orchestra and Artistic Director working and performing with the cathedral choirs and organists in Durham, Ely, Portsmouth, Derby, Coventry, Guildford, Exeter, Chester, Southwell and Liverpool. A wonderful chance to take music (including a brand new commission from Gabriel Jackson) to new audiences around the country and for cathedral musicians to work with a professional orchestra thanks to our tour supporters Friends of Cathedral Music, Arts Council England and the Foyle Foundation. Watch this space for the next instalment in 2015/16…!’
Ruth Mulvey, Development Manager

Elaine cathedral pic

Chester Cathedral, The Fauré Requiem Tour 2013
Sitting behind / underneath the organ pipes in Chester Cathedral during the Cathedrals tour. I could see the second orchestra for the RVW but got the full effectof the organ in the Poulenc – amazing !’
Elaine Baines, Chief Operating Officer

The Great Enormo credit James Berry

Arnold’s Grand, Grand Overture at Brighton Festival, May 2013
‘My favourite moment for the year has got to be a personal one. Once a year my concert management services are required and I am let out of the office. At this concert in Brighton I could finally tell people the adoption service had found us a little girl because everything had been agreed, yet despite my excitement Elaine (Chief Operating Officer) still let me loose with a gun for the Arnold Grand, Grand Overture!’
Jacqui Compton, Librarian

Coming up in 2014…
Natural / Supernatural Festival
Spring 2014

Behind the Scenes Photos: Conquering the Antarctic rehearsal

Here’s a sneaky peek of what happened in our first rehearsal for our upcoming tour, Conquering the Antarctic. It was our first chance to get our teeth stuck into Cecilia McDowall’s new piece (written especially for the tour) Seventy Degrees Below Zero and to meet our narrator, actor Hugh Bonneville .















Images: James Berry

We’re now set to get on the road and celebrate the Scott centenary and this epic and inspiring story.

Conquering the Antarctic

3 Feb – Symphony Hall, Birmingham SOLD OUT

4 Feb – Corn Exchange Cambridge

7 Feb – St David’s Hall, Cardiff

8 Feb – Town Hall, Cheltenham

3 Mar – Cadogan Hall, London Limited tickets available


Conquering the Antarctic – The Place

Ahead of our Conquering the Antarctic concert tour, starting next month, we’re immersing ourselves in all things Antarctic. Here are some interesting facts about the most mysterious and fascinating of continents…




  • The Antarctic is the world’s highest, driest, coldest and windiest continent (as well as the last to be discovered).
  • Ancient Greek geographers were the first to guess there was a large landmass around the South Pole. They named it Anti-Arkitkos (‘the opposite of the Arctic’).
  • Wind speeds of up to 351km (218 miles) per hour have been recorded.
  • In 1983, the coldest temperature ever was recorded at a freezing -89.2 degrees Celsius (-128.56 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • The distance between the UK and Antarctica is 11,000 miles (17702.784 km).
  • Ice in the middle of the continent can be up to 2500m (2 miles) thick.
  • Antarctica is more than 58 times bigger than Great Britain.
  • The pole moves with the ice at the rate of ten metres per year – each summer it has to be put back to its rightful geographical place.
  • Antarctic ice sheets store 70% of the world’s fresh water.
  • In Antarctica’s Dry Valleys, less than 6cm (2.4 in) of snow falls in a whole year.
  • Although there are no trees, more than 100 million birds nest and breed on the Antarctic.
  • Today, around 1,200 people spend the winter on Antarctica – about a third are scientists and the rest are support staff.
  • On average, ice sheets are nearly 2.5km (1.5 miles) thick – that’s the same as ten Canary Wharf towers on top of each other.
  • Thanks to high levels of oxygen in the water, sea spiders grow up to 30cm (12 in) across!

Conquering the Antarctic – the Scott Centenary Concert Tour

A celebration in music, words and images

Stephen Layton, conductor
Robert Murray, tenor
Hugh Bonneville, narrator

3-8 February and 3 March 2012

Conquering the Antarctic – In Pictures



Our Conquering the Antarctic concert tour, a celebration of the centenary of Captain Scott’s expedition to the South Pole 1910-1912, in partnership with the Scott Polar Resarch Institute, Cambridge, begins this February. Alongside our performances of moving and evocative musical tributes by Ralph Vaughan Williams and Cecilia McDowall, we will be showing the stunning expedition photography of Herbert Ponting, which is remarkable for its quality and beauty.


Ponting’s images portray the day-to-day life of the expedition, focusing on the camp from which the team made its exploratory treks. Through these pictures, we can witness the busy but methodical way the group went about conducting research in the frozen landscape, utilising cutting-edge scientific techniques and instruments. Though the expedition is now remembered for Scott’s doomed attempt to reach the South Pole, this selection of images goes some way towards conjuring up the team’s more contented and companionable times. You might have spotted some of the pictures on the BBC’s recent Frozen Planet series!

Images: SPRI, University of Cambridge








Conquering the Antarctic
3-8 Feb & 3 March 2012
Birmingham, Cambridge, Cardiff, Cheltenham, and London

In partnership with Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge




Festive Playlist

With Christmas approaching, our thoughts have turned to festive music! We know how much you love our playlists, so we’ve put together a good mix of our favourite seasonal tunes from all across the genres. Guaranteed to put you in a festive mood!

Is there any essential listening we’ve missed?

Listen to the Spotify playlist here


Angels We Have Heard on High – traditional 

White Christmas – Bing Crosby 

In the Bleak Midwinter – Darke 

The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole

Away in a Manger – traditional 

Let it Snow! – Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne 

O Holy Night – Adam 

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas  – Bing Crosby 

A Hymn to the Virgin – Britten 

Once in Royal David’s City – traditional 

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Darlene Love 

The Holly and the Ivy – traditional 

Fairytale of New York – The Pogues 

Walking in the Air – Howard Blake 

Hanukkah, O Hanukkah – Barenaked Ladies

Coventry Carol – traditional

Baby it’s Cold Outside – Frank Loesser

Ceremony of Carols: This Little Babe – Britten

Christmas Time – The Darkness

Silent Night – traditional

Fantasia on Christmas Carols – Vaughan Williams

Ding Dong Merrily On High – Radcliffe Woodward

Only One More Sleep – The Muppets



Who was Captain Scott?

We asked our newest Marketing recruit, Alice, to help us discover who Captain Scott really was ahead of our Conquering the Antarctic concert tour in February.


Now remembered as a ‘race to the Pole,’ the tale of Captain Scott’s ill-fated expedition to the Antarctic from 1910-1912 has acquired the dimensions of a myth. But we are able to discover a good deal about what really happened on the expedition from Scott’s diaries, which give a vivid and moving depiction of the challenges the hard-working team faced.

Who was this man, whose personal qualities were so central to the expedition, and whose diaries, discovered by a rescue mission three months after his death, continue to provide a moving and emotive demonstration of his resolve and dignity in such unthinkable circumstances? What drove him to undertake this monumental challenge?

Born in 1868, Robert Falcon Scott joined a Royal Navy training ship at the age of thirteen. From 1900 to 1904, he commanded a British trip to the Antarctic, and from 1907-1909, Scott’s erstwhile companion Shackleton led a further British Antarctic Expedition to the Antarctic, locating the South Pole high on the ice plateau. Scott planned to finish what Shackleton had begun, and a further privately-funded expedition was raised which led to the purchase of the expedition ship, the Terra Nova, for £12,500.

Although he declared that the “main object of the expedition is to reach the South Pole and secure for the British Empire the honour of that achievement,” Scott also had geological, biological and meteorological goals. The British team faced competition from the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, who had abandoned earlier attempts to reach the North Pole in favour of being the first to get to the South. Despite this element of competition, Scott’s diaries reveal that he refused to abandon the pursuit of science, however difficult and unrelenting the freezing conditions.

When they reached the Pole in January 1912, the malnourished and frostbitten explorers found that the Norwegian team had got there first. Some believe that tragedy would have been prevented if the British team had ‘won’—they would have been in better spirits. As it was, they all met their deaths soon after. As Scott wrote in his journal, “These rough notes and our dead bodies must tell the tale.”

To read the full version of this blog post, visit our website
Image courtesy of SPRI, University of Cambridge

Conquering the Antarctic
2-8 Feb & 3 March 2012
Birmingham, Cambridge, Cardiff, Cheltenham, London