About Shrewsbury Orchestral Society
The Shrewsbury Orchestral Society was founded in 1888, making it one of the country’s oldest non-professional orchestras. An enterprising and forward-looking group of Shrewsbury residents, including local merchants and solicitors, met on a December evening to “establish an orchestral society in the town”. It gave its first public concert 18 months later.
The orchestra flourished particularly during the thirties and forties and afterwards, and, thanks to both the improved standard of playing and support from local patrons, was regularly engaging top soloists - such names as Solomon, Myra Hess, Heddle Nash, Clifford Curzon, Jelly d’Aranyi, Ida Haendel, Isobel Baillie and Dennis Brain appear in programmes of that time.
More recently, the title “Shrewsbury Symphony Orchestra” was adopted as the name for the performing ensemble. This was felt to reflect more accurately the nature of the concerts, which are normally of symphonic and other similar works, rather than shorter pieces, arrangements or “selections”.
Soloists who have appeared with the Orchestra have included a number of talented local players. In addition to these, however, the following have also performed as soloists with the Orchestra:
(Elgar Violin Concerto)
(Beethoven - Violin Concerto)
(Strauss – Four Last Songs)
(Schumann - Piano Concerto in A Minor)
(Mozart Horn Concerto)
(Brahms Violin Concerto)
(Grieg Piano Concerto)
(Mozart Clarinet Concerto)
Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto
(Beethoven Piano Concerto No 1)
(Dvorák Cello Concerto)
(Dvorák Piano Concerto)
(Sibelius and Mendelssohn Violin Concertos)
Frances Mason and James Halsey
(Brahms Double Concerto)
(Bruch Violin Concerto No 1)