Shrewsbury Symphony Orchestra

Shrewsbury Orchestral Society

Shropshire Magazine

Shropshire Magazine

We're really pleased to have been featured in the March 2013 edition of the Shropshire Magazine who interviewed us about our 125th Anniversary year concert series.


Shropshire Magazine Archive

Getting to the Clayton Hall

We are delighted to be playing at the London Road campus of Shrewsbury College of Art and Technology.
There are two entrances to the site, the main parking area is at the A5 end of the site. There should be ample parking in the evening.
There are front and rear Reception doors, enter via the front Reception door by simply walking from the car park to the front of the building, go past Origin Restauant and take the pathways to Reception.
When you arrive at Reception area you will be guided to the left to a lift, this takes you to the entrance of Clayton Hall. The ticket desk and programmes will be just inside the Hall NOT in the Reception area.

Zoe Beyer to perform Sibelius Violin Concerto

Zoe Beyer to perform Sibelius Violin ConcertoONE of the UK’s most versatile violinists has agreed to perform the Sibelius violin concerto with Shrewsbury Symphony Orchestra in March.

South-African born Zoë Beyers, who now lives in Shrewsbury, performs as soloist, chamber musician, director and orchestral leader across the world. She recently recorded and filmed Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra for Sky Arts.

Zoë will be performing Sibelius’ violin concerto with the SSO on March 28 at 7.30pm. The concerto, in D minor, was written in 1904 and is Sibelius’ only concerto. It is notoriously difficult for the solo violin, containing virtuoso sections of extaordinary technical difficulty. The third movement is widely considered one of the greatest concerto movements written for the instrument.

Zoë said: "I’m very excited to play the Sibelius Concerto with the SSO. No other concerto for the violin manages to combine traditional folk fiddle music with technical virtuosity quite as successfully as this one - but the fireworks never get in the way of the music. It’s more of a symphony for violin and orchestra, full of colour and emotion."

Since her solo debut aged eleven with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra under Paavo Järvi, Zoë has performed with many distinguished conductors throughout Europe and Africa. Recent highlights include Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ A Spell for Green Corn, Sibelius and Korngold concerti with the Norwich Philharmonic Orchestra, Prokofiev’s 2nd Violin concerto and the Walton concerto with the Corinthian Chamber Orchestra and Michael Seal, and Milhaud’s Cinema Fantaise on Le Boef sur le Toit with the English Symphony Orchestra.

Zoë is the violinist of the internationally renowned Hebrides Ensemble, and also performs, broadcasts and records with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group the Scottish Ensemble, and I Musicanti. She has collaborated with Francois Leleux, Stephen Osborne, Lars Vogt, Elisabeth Leonskaja and Alexander Janiczek, and composers Helen Grime, Oliver Knussen, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and Sir James Macmillan. Her 2017 recording of Maxwell Davies’s late chamber works with the Hebrides Ensemble, entitled The Last Island (for Delphian), has been featured on BBC Radio 3 and attracted top ranking reviews in The Times, The Guardian and BBC Music Magazine. In 2018 Zoë will tour Israel with the Nash Ensemble and record a disc of Scottish composer Nigel Osborne’s chamber works with the Hebrides Ensemble.  

The 2017/2018 season sees Zoë performing with the English Symphony Orchestra both as their newly appointed concertmaster and as a director and soloist. Zoë relishes the challenge of directing from the violin: her recording of early Mendelssohn concerti with the University of Stellenbosch Camerata was nominated for a SAMA award in 2011; her 2013 recording of Wassenaer concerti armonici (directing the Innovation Chamber Ensemble for Somm Records) was Classic FM’s CD of the week, and their 2014 disc of rare Elgar works was received with critical acclaim.

As an orchestral leader, Zoë performs regularly with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonicand Symphony Orchestras, the Philharmonia, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Aurora Orchestra.  She has played as leader on several highly regarded recordings with Andris Nelsons, Juano Mena and John Storgards, most recently on discs of de Falla and Ginastera with Mena and the BBC Philharmonic for Chandos.  She is dedicated to performing the music of contemporary composers and is involved in the commissioning and premiering of several new works.

Spring 2018 Member News

Term starts back on 9th January 2018 in the Alington Hall at 7.15pm
13th February (no rehearsal)
Extra rehearsal Monday 26th
Dress rehearsal 27th March 7-10pm
Concert 28th March 7.30pm Clayton Hall, SCAT

Schubert’s overture in the Italian Style
Sibelius Violin Concert with Zoë Beyers
Dvorak 7th Symphony

Shrewsbury Symphony Orchestra welcomes Alex Postlethwaite as guest leader

Alex Postlethwaite

Alex Postlethwaite is a freelance violinist based in the West Midlands. He is in much demand as orchestral leader, chamber musician, soloist and recording artist having worked with top chart acts, including appearances on Top of the Pops, BBC, Channel 4, and French channel TF1.


Musically one of his passions is modern and contemporary music. For ten years he ran and led the Richmond Chamber Symphony, a group dedicated to playing the chamber orchestra music of the Twentieth Century, with whom he performed Schnittke’s 3rd Violin Concerto and Kaija Saariaho’s Nocturne as soloist. Alex leads the Alexandria Ensemble whose recent concert performances include Martinu’s Piano Trio, John McCabe Musica notturno, and Schnittke Moz-Art.


He also plays with the Blaze Ensemble performing chamber recitals around London including St James, Piccadilly and St.Martin-in-the-fields. His favourite place is in the depths of an opera pit and leads many operatic groups including Park Opera, Guildford Opera, Windsor and Eton, and touring around stately homes in the UK with Candlelight Opera Company. He was also guest leader with the London Shostakovich Orchestra in 2015 and more recently in the West Midlands he has lead the British Police Symphony Orchestra.


In 2008 he was fortunate to be asked to lead “Toccata”, a charitable touring musical production company; with them he has toured Zambia, India, Sri Lanka, Northern Ireland and Kenya playing dozens of shows and raising money for a number of charities in those countries.


As a soloist, he has performed concerti by Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Schnittke, Bartok, Ravel, Szymanowski, Vivaldi, Mozart (including the Sinfonia Concertante with his wife Jane) and the Beethoven Triple with fellow members of the Toccata band – a far cry from the ‘cheese’ of Broadway and pop music from the seventies and eighties! Hobbies include staying up late with his telescope (amateur astronomy), staying active (containing three youngish children) and mashing malt (brewing beer). His violin is a 1732 copy of a Guarneri which he calls Kylie.


Recent groups leading:
British Police Symphony Orchestra
Bearwood Opera
Dorking Philharmonia
London Shostakovich Orchestra
Blaze Ensemble
Epsom Light Opera
Park Opera
Guildford Opera
Maidenhead Operatic Soc.
Windsor and EToN Opera
South East London Orchestra (as dep)
Sainsbury Singers (annual shows)
Epsom College Choral Society
Thames Philharmonia

Vincent Barrella to perform Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No 2


Vincent Barrella


Anglo-Italian pianist Vincent Barrella studied at the Royal Academy of Music before embarking upon a busy soloist and teaching career. In recognition for services to music and for his outstanding concert work, especially with young musicians, he was awarded the prestigious ARAM, Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in 2001, one of the highest awards for former students.


He has appeared as official accompanist in many masterclasses and in recitals at the BBC (Radio 3 Live), Radio Kent, Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, St John’s Smith Square, Meridian TV and BBC Young Musician of the Year (televised rounds).


His solo work has included appearances with the London Philharmonic (Alfriston Festival 2009), Tonbridge Philharmonic Orchestra, Kent County Youth Orchestra and Dartford Symphony Orchestra, as well as professional recordings for television (Poirot, 2013).


He is the current head of keyboard studies at Highgate School, London and a visiting piano teacher at Tonbridge School. He was elected to be a member of the Examiners Panel for ABRSM in 2004 and has served as lead judge for the Finals of the Rotary Club ‘Young Musician of the Year’.


Latest review by Bob Wysome of our June 2017 concert


To read our latest review: click here

Ben Goldscheider Concert Review


The review from our latest concert is now on the website written by Bob Wysome.


Click here


Peter and The Wolf Concert Review


The review from our latest concert is now on the website written by Bob Wysome.


Click here


Robert Daws from BBCs Poldark to narrate Peter and the Wolf

Concert on Wednesday 30th November 2016 at 7.00pm

at The Alington Hall, Shrewsbury School

For our next concert, Robert Daws will narrate Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf. As an actor, Robert Daws has appeared in leading roles in a number of award-winning and long-running British television series, including Jeeves and Wooster, Casualty, The House of Eliott, Outside Edge, Roger Roger, Sword of Honour, Take A Girl Like You, Doc Martin, New Tricks, Midsomer Murders, Rock and Chips, The Royal, Death in Paradise, Father Brown and Poldark.


His recent work for the stage includes the national tours of Michael Frayn’s Alarms and Excursions, and David Harrower’s Blackbird. In the West End, he has recently appeared as Dr John Watson in The Secret of Sherlock Holmes, Geoffrey Hammond in Public Property, Jim Hacker in Yes, Prime Minister and John Betjeman in Summoned by Betjeman.


His many BBC radio performances include Arthur Lowe in Dear Arthur, Love John, Ronnie Barker in Goodnight from Him and Chief Inspector Trueman in Trueman and Riley, the long-running police detective series he co-created with writer Brian B Thompson.


Robert’s second and third Sullivan and Broderick novels – Poisoned Rock and Killing Rock – will be published in September 2016 and early 2017, respectively. His first novella, The Rock, has been optioned and is being developed for television.


Robert Daws


Sir David Lees – President of Shrewsbury Symphony Orchestra

Sir David Lees has kindly accepted the orchestra’s invitation to take up the position of President. This will last for a 3 year duration, renewable by both parties every 3 year term.


Director of three FTSE 100 Index companies . . . former head of the CBI’s economic affairs committee . . . and until summer 2014, was chairman of the Bank of England’s court.


Despite having officially ‘retired’, in 2014 long-time Shropshire resident Sir David added chairing the advisory board which helped to shape the University Centre of Shrewsbury.




Sir David Lees was educated at Charterhouse, Godalming, Surrey. He trained as a Chartered Accountant and became a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in 1962. Prior to joining Binder Hamlyn he was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery from 1955-57. From 1964-68 Sir David was Chief Accountant at Handley Page Limited. Sir David joined the GKN Group in 1970 as Chief Accountant at GKN Sankey Limited, becoming Director, Secretary, Controller from 1973-76.


He moved to GKN pic as Group Finance Executive in 1976, becoming Finance Director in 1982. He became Chairman and Chief Executive in May 1988. He retired as Chief Executive at the end of 1996 but continued as Chairman until May 2004. Sir David became Chairman of Tate & Lyle PLC in October 1998 and retired in July 2009. In August 2005 he was appointed a Non-Executive Director of QinetiQ Group pic and was appointed Deputy Chairman in September 2005 retiring in January 2012. In June 2009 Sir David was appointed Chairman of the Court of the Bank of England. From March 1991 to May 1999 he was a Non-Executive Director of the Bank of England.


Sir David was Chairman of Courtaulds plc from July 1996 to September 1998, having been a Non-Executive Director since 1991.


In March 1998, he was appointed to the Board of the Royal Opera House retiring in August 2008. In June 2001 he was appointed to The Panel on Takeovers and Mergers. He became a Governor of Shrewsbury School in 1986 and Chairman of the Governing Body in 2004 retiring at the end of 2007. He remains involved in its international development, first in Bangkok and more recently in Hong Kong. Sir David was appointed a Knight Bachelor in The Queen’s Birthday Honours List in July 1991.


In July 1996, Sir David received the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and in 1999 received The ICAEW Award for Outstanding Achievement. In November 2007, he was commissioned to be a Deputy Lieutenant of Shropshire. He became The Honorary Patron of Shrewsbury Town FC in January 2010.


Personal life:


Married with two sons, a daughter and nine grand children. Sir David relaxes by watching football, playing golf, listening to music and going to the opera.


Latest review from Bob Wysome of our May concert with Jennifer Pike


Latest review from Bob Wysome of our concert has now been published: click here


Jennifer Pike

Latest review from Bob Wysome of our March 2016 concert


Latest review from Bob Wysome of our concert has now been published: click here


Wednesday 16th March 2016 at 7.30pm

Venue: Shrewsbury Abbey, Shrewsbury

Shrewsbury Abbey

  • Tchaikovsky – March Slave
  • Khachaturian – Spartacus Suite No.2
  • Tchaikovsky – Symphony No.4

Latest review from Bob Wysome of our December concert


Latest review from Bob Wysome of our concert has now been published: click here


Viv McLean

Our soloist : Viv McLean

Shrewsbury Orchestra welcomes back Viv McLean

Our forthcoming concert on Wednesday 2nd December welcomes back Viv McLean who will perform Schumann's Piano Concerto in A Minor.

Winner of the First Prize at the 2002 Maria Canals International Piano Competition in Barcelona, Viv McLean has performed at all the major venues in the UK as well as throughout Europe, Japan, Australia and the USA. 


Viv’s concerto work includes appearances with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Halle Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, Sinfonia Viva, Orchestra of the Swan, London Concert Orchestra, Scottish Concert Orchestra and the National Musicians' Symphony Orchestra.


Recent concerto highlights include Mozart K. 467 with the English Chamber Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall, Grieg with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Barbican, a tour of the USA with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performing Gershwin, Rachmaninov’s 3rd Concerto with the RPO in Cambridge, Gershwin and Bernstein with the Hallé at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester and Beethoven's 5th Concerto with the Philharmonia at the Royal Festival Hall.


Viv has performed chamber music with leading groups such as the Ysaye String Quartet, the Sacconi String Quartet, Ensemble 360, the Galliard Wind Ensemble and the Leopold String Trio and has collaborated with musicians such as Natalie Clein, Marianne Thorsen, Daniel Hope, Lawrence Power, Eijin Nimura, Phillip Dukes, Matthew Sharp, Kate Gould, Guy Johnston, Richard Dubugnon, David Le Page, Wayne Marshall, Christopher Warren-Green, Owain Arwell Hughes, David Charles Abell, Carl Davis and Marvin Hamlisch.


Viv McLean has performed at festivals including the Cheltenham International Festival and Harrogate Festival in the UK, the International Beethoven Festival, the Mecklenburg Festival and the Kultur Kreis Festival in Germany, the Melle Festival and Festival de Saintes in France, the Vinterfestspill i Bergstaden in Norway and the Musik vid Kattegatt Festival in Sweden.

Viv studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Hamish Milne where he held the Hodgson Fellowship and was made an Associate of the Royal Academy in 2005. He made his Wigmore Hall recital debut through winning the Friends of the Royal Academy Wigmore Award. Whilst studying at the Academy, he was the piano winner at the Royal Overseas-League Music Competition and was selected as one of three winners of the National Federation of Music Societies' Young Artists Competition, leading to various recitals and concerto appearances throughout Great Britain.


Viv has recorded regularly for BBC Radio 3 since making his recital debut through the BBC Radio 3 Young Artists Forum scheme and has also recorded recitals for Classic FM, WDR Radio in Germany, Radio France, ABC Radio in Australia, NRK Radio in Norway and for the Sky Arts television channel. His commercial releases include recordings for such labels as Sony Classical Japan, Naxos, Nimbus and the RPO label. 


The pianist Viv McLean seemed exceptional to me; he astonished us with his musical maturity and extraordinary sonority. 
Le Monde (Paris)


At the Festival de Melle, Viv McLean revealed extraordinary originality, superb simplicity, and fingers of steel hidden behind muscles of velvet. He is an otherworldly young man - he plays with the genius one finds in those who know how to forget themselves, naturally placing themselves at the right point to meet the music, this mystery of the moment. 
Le Monde (Paris)


The pianist Viv McLean never faltered, spewing molten lava.
 The Times (London)


The fluent technique and brilliance of the interpreter were impressive, he played with insight and the greatest sensitivity. 
General Anzeiger (Bonn)


The listener was struck by the sustained level of technical mastery. Viv McLean performed with his mind as well as his hands. 
Malta Sunday Times

Jennifer Pike to play Elgar's Violin Concerto in 2016

Jennifer Pike photo by Tom Barnes

We are looking forward to the 2015/2016 season of concerts. We are especially excited to welcome our guest soloist Jennifer Pike who will perform Elgar's Violin Concerto with us.


Jennifer Pike took the musical world by storm with her unique artistry and compelling insight into music. She gained international acclaim in 2002, when aged 12 she became the youngest-ever winner of the BBC Young Musician of the Year and the youngest major prizewinner in the Menuhin International Violin Competition. At 15 she made debuts at the BBC Proms and Wigmore Hall, soon after becoming a BBC New Generation Artist, winner of the international London Music Masters Award.


She is the only classical artist ever to win the South Bank Show/Times Breakthrough Award. Passionate about helping young people from all backgrounds enhance their lives through music, she is an Ambassador for the Prince’s Trust and Patron of the City Music Foundation.


Jennifer is in much demand as soloist with top orchestras worldwide and recently released the Sibelius with the Bergen Philharmonic and Sir Andrew Davis on Chandos.


Read more about Jennifer on her website: click here


Forthcoming Concerts


Wednesday 2nd December 2015 at 7.30pm

Venue: The Alington Hall, Ashton Road, Shrewsbury School

  • Nielsen - Maskarade Overture
  • Schumann - Piano Concerto in A Minor
  • Sibelius - Symphony No.5


Wednesday 16th March 2016 at 7.30pm

Venue: Shrewsbury Abbey, Shrewsbury

  • Tchaikovsky – March Slave
  • Khachaturian – Spartacus Suite No.2
  • Tchaikovsky – Symphony No.4


Wednesday 25th May 2016 at 7.30pm

Venue: Shrewsbury Abbey, Shrewsbury

  • German – Welsh Rhapsody
  • Elgar – Violin Concerto
  • SOLOIST: Jennifer Pike
  • Vaughan Williams – Fantasia on Theme by Thomas Tallis

Looking forward to welcoming our soloists for Beethoven 9


Our next concert is on Saturday 20th June 2015 with the Shrewsbury School Community Choir at The Abbey in Shrewsbury.


We look forward to welcoming our Soloists:


Naomi Harvey


Laura Innes


Jamie Macdougall


Jonathan May




Tickets from members of the Orchestra or from THEATRE SEVERN BOX OFFICE or at the door £12.00

Concessions £10.00

Children under 18 £2.00
All seats unreserved - No recordings permitted



Another exciting concert with Naomi Harvey

Thank you to our audience and helpers for another wonderful concert at The Abbey in Shrewsbury.


Please see our latest concert review by Bob Wysome: click here


Naomi Harvey and John Moore

Soprano Naomi Harvey and Conductor John Moore

Naomi Harvey to perform Strauss Four Songs


Naomi Harvey - SopranoThe orchestra are delighted that Naomi Harvey will be returning to perform the Strauss Four Songs with us at our first concert of 2015.


Naomi Harvey

Born and educated in Cornwall, Naomi Harvey studied with William McAlpine at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Having worked in an extensive and broad range of repertoire, over the last two decades Naomi has worked with many leading companies throughout Europe. Recent engagements include the title role in Puccini's Tosca at the National Concert Hall, Dublin, Donna Anna Don Giovanni, and cover Senta The Flying Dutchman for English National Opera, cover Domna Saburova The Tsar’s Bride for the Royal Opera House, the role of Sara in
the world première of James McCarthy's Codebreaker at the Barbican Hall, London, soprano soloist in The World of Opera with the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera, the title role in Aida at Shrewsbury Abbey, and the soprano solo in Verdi Requiem at Sherborne Abbey.

Ms. Harvey’s previous seasons highlights include Marschallin Der Rosenkavalier, Elisabetta Don Carlos, Leonora Il Trovatore, Giorgetta Il Tabarro, the title role in Tosca, Desdemona Otello, Alice Ford Falstaff, Blanche Dialogues des carmélites, Violetta La Traviata, Liu Turandot, Mimi La Bohème, Erste Dame Die Zauberflöte, Micaela Carmen, Hanna Glawari The Merry Widow, Marcellina Le nozze di Figaro, and Berta Il barbiere di Siviglia (Welsh National Opera); Emilia Marty The Markopulos Case, Donna Anna Don Giovanni, Micaela Carmen and Mimi La bohème (English National Opera); Tina Flight (Glyndebourne Festival Opera); Magda The Consul and Donna Anna Don Giovanni (Opera Holland Park); Isabella Jobling in the world première of Will Todd’s The Blackened Man (Royal Opera House, Covent Garden); Ismene Mitridate (Opera Monte Carlo); Mimi & Musetta La bohème, and Alice Ford Falstaff (English Touring Opera); Violetta La Traviata and the title role in Tosca (Mid Wales Opera); Rosalinda Die Fledermaus (on tour in the USA), Ellen Orford Peter Grimes (Canterbury Festival).


An experienced concert artist, Naomi has performed at many leading concert halls internationally, highlights include gala concerts with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Queen Elisabeth Hall, London, and Symphony Hall, Birmingham, Verdi Requiem, Tippett A Child Of Our Time, Britten Spring Symphony, Vaughn-Williams Sea Symphony, Janacek Glagolitic Mass and Beethoven Mass in C at the Barbican Hall, London, Mahler 8th Symphony at the Royal Festival Hall and Ely Cathedral, Will Todd’s The Burning Road at The Sage, Gateshead, and is a regular guest soloist with the BBC Concert Orchestra for Friday Night is Music Night (BBC Radio 2). Further concert repertoire includes Beethoven 9th Symphony, Mahler 4th Symphony, Strauss Four Last Songs, Bruckner and Dvorak Te Deum, Britten War Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Handel’s Messiah and Samson, Mendelssohn Elijah, Mozart Requiem and Exultate Jubilate, and Brahms German Requiem.

In the 2015 season Naomi will make her Scottish Opera début, and also returns to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, English National Opera, and Welsh National Opera.



Fantastic concert with Michael Bochmann


We loved accompanying Michael Bochmann who performed the Beethoven Violin Concerto at our recent concert. To read the review by Bob Wysome : click here

John Moore (Conductor), Michael Bochmann (Soloist), Paul Bramwell (Leader)

John Moore (Conductor), Michael Bochmann (Soloist), Paul Bramwell (Leader)


Michael Bochmann to perform Beethoven Violin Concerto with Shrewsbury Symphony Orchestra

Wednesday 3rd December 2014 at 7.30pm

Venue: Alington Hall, Shrewsbury School

Michael Bochmann

Brought up in Turkey and England, Michael Bochmann has been well known in British musical life for several decades.


He has performed in the USA, all over Europe and in India. While still a student Michael was a finalist and winner of the British Prize in the 1972 Carl Flesch International Violin Competition. A year later, he was a prizewinner in the Jacques Thibaud Competition in Paris. At only 19, he made his first solo broadcasts for the BBC.


During his time as a student at the Royal Academy of Music in London  he was a pupil of the famous teacher Frederick Grinke. Later he received lessons from Sándor Végh and Henryk Szeryng. In February 1990 Michael partnered Sir Yehudi Menuhin in the Bach Double Violin Concerto in a most successful tour of 16 concerts throughout the USA and Canada.


His appearances as a soloist throughout Britain have taken him to major concert venues such as the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and St. James's Palace, London; Gloucester, Hereford and Worcester Cathedrals; Tewkesbury Abbey in the Three Choirs Festival; Symphony Hall, Birmingham, Bridgewater Hall in Manchester and the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.


He frequently directs the English String Orchestra and has performed as soloist with them many times in the UK and abroad. His recording of “The Lark Ascending” by Vaughan Williams with the ESO on the Nimbus label has been broadcast many times on Radio 3 and Classic FM. He formed the Bochmann Quartet in 1977 with which he made over 50 broadcasts within their first 10 years. He has an immensely successful duo partnership with the harpist, David Watkins. Their recent CD ‘Sacred and Profane” is a favourite on Classic FM. Michael performs with several pianists, most recently making a recording of short pieces “Rondino I” with Michael Blackmore.


He is very active as a teacher and is a professor of violin and chamber music at Trinity College of Music in London. He also gives private lessons, master classes and residential courses at his home in Gloucestershire. He recently he visited Portugal, Turkey, Mexico and Germany to teach and play. This season he is performing in France, Italy and S. Africa.

Review of our concert with Sam Pearce at Shrewsbury Abbey


Please see our latest concert review by Bob Wysome : click here

Sam Pearce

Sam Pearce - Horn Soloist

Horn Soloist - Sam Pearce

Sam Pearce studied the french horn at the Royal College of Music under Julian Baker, Simon Rayner and Timothy Jones. Since his graduation in 2010 he has enjoyed a varied career as a freelance musician, performing with many leading British orchestras. He is the principal horn of the Orchestra of St. Paul's, the Orpheus Sinfonia, and has appeared on many occasions with the Philharmonia Orchestra (as both third horn and guest principal), the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the Aurora Orchestra. He can also be heard on the soundtrack to the Tom Cruise film 'Edge of Tomorrow', currently showing in cinemas worldwide.

Sam is a founding member of the critically-acclaimed, award-winning ensemble Oompah Brass, with whom he regularly performs across the UK and Europe. In June 2012, along with Oompah Brass winning first prize, he was awarded the 'best instrumentalist' title at the Haizetara International Street Band Competition in Bilbao, Spain

Review of our Russian concert at Shrewsbury Abbey


Our latest concert review by Bob Wysome is now published in our reviews section:


Click here to read the review


John Moore

Review of our 125th Anniversary Concert with Tasmin Little


Our latest concert review by Bob Wysome is now published in our reviews section:


Click here to read the review


Tasmin Little

Photo: Benjamin Ealovega

Sponsors for our next concert


We're very grateful to the sponsors of our 125th Anniversary concert:


  • Wace Morgan Solicitors
  • Escom Financial Advisors
  • St John's Hill Dental Practice


For more information, please see our Sponsors page.

Review of our June Concert by Bob Wysome


We're very grateful to Bob Wysome for reviewing our latest concert for us.


To read his review : click here


Thanks to Jim Hawkins for photographing us rehearsing for our 125th Anniversary Concert


Have a look at some of our favourite photos taken by BBC Radio Shropshire's very own Jim Hawkins below ...



If you'd like to see more of Jim's portfolio, please check out his Flickr photostream: click here


Orchestra saddened to hear about Bridget Downer

Those who knew Bridget Downer will be saddened to learn that she died in the first week of April 2013 at the Radbrook Nursing Home in Shrewsbury.

The funeral will be on Thursday 18th April at 1pm in St Eata's church, Atcham.

Bridget was at various times the Orchestra's Chairman and Secretary, and over many decades she did a huge amount of work to ensure the smooth running of the Orchestra. She also led the viola section until she retired from playing in 2000 owing to ill health.

Our thoughts are with her friends and family.

Review of our Aida Concert by Bob Wysome

We're very grateful to Bob Wysome for reviewing our latest concert for us.

To read his review : click here

Verdi’s Opera Aida Concert

Shrewsbury Symphony Orchestra and Shrewsbury Community Choir

Shrewsbury Symphony Orchestra announce a line up of international soloists for the concert performance of Verdi’s Opera Aida. Professional Opera singers from around the world will join the Shrewsbury Symphony Orchestra and the Shrewsbury Community Choir for a concert performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s ever popular grand opera set in ancient Egypt.

This is the first of a season of three concerts to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the formation of the Orchestra in 1888. This event will take place in the Abbey on Wednesday 20th March. Jon Box, Chairman of the Orchestral Society said “we are delighted to join together with the Community Choir to stage a unique event for Shrewsbury. With about 200 performers including these fantastic soloists it will be truly a night to remember for those fortunate enough to get tickets”. The soloists and the roles are below:


Naomi Harvey - AidaNaomi Harvey (Soprano) was born and educated in Cornwall, Naomi studied with William McAlpine at GSMD. She has performed leading roles with Welsh National Opera, English Touring Opera, Mid-Wales Opera, The Royal Opera House, Neath Opera and many others.

This year Naomi returns to WNO for Le Nozze di Figaro and ENO for The Flying Dutchman, and other work includes The Kingdom by Elgar in Worcester Cathedral in June, and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis at St Alban’s Abbey in October.


Shaun Dixon - RadamesNew Zealand born Shaun Dixon (Tenor) studied at RCM , National Opera Studio and with the late Luciano Pavarotti. Shaun currently works freelance throughout the UK, and has appeared with some of the foremost companies and orchestras including RPO, ENO, WNO and Scottish Opera. Shaun has been broadcast on radio and television in both New
Zealand and for the BBC . He has partnered crossover artist Hayley Westenra. Recent and future engagements include Rodolfo in La Boheme for WNO, Radames in Aida for Opéra de Baugé and Der Steuermann in the Flying Dutchman for NBR NZ Opera .


Simon Thorpe - AmonasroBorn in Tasmania, Simon Thorpe (Baritone) studied at the Guildhall School of Music, where he was awarded the Harold Rosenthal Prize. He spent a year at the National Opera Studio. A finalist in the Kathleen Ferrier Competition, he now studies with Robert Dean. He has performed leading roles with Scottish Opera, English Touring Opera, Welsh National Opera, Opera North, Opera Australia, State Opera of South Australia and others. Current engagements include Don Pizarro (Fidelio) for Opéra de Baugé, Escamillo (Carmen) for the State Opera of South Australia, Amonasro (Aida) for Lyric Opera, Dublin, Herald (Lohengrin) for the Opéra de Toulon and Welsh National Opera, Melot (Tristan und Isolde) for Welsh National Opera and Last Night of the Christmas Proms for Raymond Gubbay Ltd.


Kathryn Tupin - AmnerisKathryn Turpin (Mezzo-soprano) was born in Mid Wales, Kathryn read History of Art at Cambridge before studying at the Royal College of Music. She made her Royal Opera debut in January 2000 as Lady de Hautdesert (Gawain). She has performed throughout the UK, Europe and the Far East working with orchestras including the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the Bournemouth Sinfonietta, the CBSO, Hanover Band, London Mozart Players, London Sinfonietta, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Kathryn has broadcast on Classic FM and Radio 3 and her recordings include Copland In the Beginning and the Duruflé Requiem with the Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge. Recent performances have included the world première of the one act opera Magic Potions by Jacques Cohen for the Tête à tête opera festival and The Armed Man for the Aberystwyth Choral Union.


Jonathan May - The KingJonathan May (Bass-baritone) was born in Windsor. After taking a degree at Newcastle University he studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Ellis Keeler, at the National Opera Studio, the Britten-Pears School and privately with Norman Bailey, Robert Dean and Robert Lloyd. He has performed leading roles with the Royal Opera House, Welsh National Opera, Scottish Opera, Norway’s Opera Vest, Opera Theatre de Metz, Opera de Rouen and the Japan Society in USA. His most recent performances include Smirnov in Walton’s The Bear for Severn Opera in Shrewsbury, his debut with Grand Theatre de Geneve in Harrison Birtwistle’s Punch and Judy, and Sparafucile (Rigoletto) and
Johann (Werther) for Scottish Opera. Jonathan is visiting singing Teacher at Shrewsbury School and St Andrew’s University