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

Graham Walker delights audience with Elgar's Cello Concerto

Cello soloist Graham Walker in performance with the orchestra

Shrewsbury Symphony Orchestra enjoyed accompanying soloist Graham Walker, who gave a superbly controlled performance of Elgar's Cello Concerto at Christ Church, Bayston Hill recently.


Graham, who grew up in Shrewsbury and is the son of one of our own members, gave his debuts on BBC Radio 3 and at Birmingham's Symphony Hall and is now Director of Music at Magdalene College, Cambridge, although maintains a busy touring and recording schedule alongside!


He said: "It was a wonderful performance by the SSO under John Moore - energetic, stylish, communicative playing in the Brahms, and such responsive chamber-music making in the concerto. A total joy to work with you all!"


The orchestra also played the Overture to Ethel Smythe’s ground-breaking opera, The Wreckers, a stunning work that is now receiving the attention it has long deserved. The second half of the concert was devoted to Brahms' sunny and bucolic second symphony, a work full of Brahms’ wonderful musical constructs and invention. John Moore, conductor of the orchestra, said of the concert: “Shrewsbury Symphony Orchestra entered a new phase of excellence last Wednesday, demonstrating their ability to not just play major repertoire superbly, but to also be able to be the most sympathetic of partners in accompanying soloists as demonstrated in the wonderful performance of the Elgar cello Concerto given by Graham Walker. The future is bright for the orchestra, and it is simply a privilege to be able to work with such a committed and talented group of local musicians. Shrewsbury and indeed Shropshire can be very proud to have such a fine Symphony Orchestra in its midst."

Christ Church, Bayston Hill, SY3 OPH - 7.30pm, Wednesday, 17th November 2021


Please do not attend if you have Covid 19 symptoms. We encourage you to wear face coverings.


There will be places available on the door tonight. Please note that we are now able to take payment by credit card. Those paying on the night will be asked to complete a contact form.


The doors will open at 7pm. We will have a list of attendees, you DO NOT need to print or bring tickets.


To minimise movement and congestion we will NOT be providing refreshments, please bring your own. There will be a short interval.


You need to be aware that in line with recommendations and for your safety, the Hall will be well ventilated, so please bring appropriate warm clothing (blanket) to stay comfortable.


Thank you for your support and we look forward to seeing you this evening.


Graham Walker to perform Elgar's Cello Concerto

18th century wreckers picture with concert details

After a stunning concert at the castle this summer, Shrewsbury Symphony Orchestra returns this autumn with a new programme featuring award-winning cellist Graham Walker as soloist playing Elgar’s Cello Concerto.  

Cellist Graham WalkerThe orchestra’s November 17th concert at Christ Church in Bayston Hill (7.30pm) will include the Wreckers Overture, by Smyth, and Brahms’ Symphony no. 2. 

Graham’s parents Gay and Richard have been members of the orchestra for many years and are delighted to be able to play alongside their famous son in their home town!

Graham is Director of Music at Magdalene College, Cambridge, Director of St John's Voices at St John's College, Cambridge and Musical Director of the New Cambridge Singers.

He studied mathematics as a Choral Scholar at St John’s College Cambridge and was awarded a scholarship and bursary to study cello as a postgraduate at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Graham went on to give his debuts on BBC Radio 3 and at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and has performed as a solo and chamber cellist across Europe and North and South America.

His first recording as a choral conductor, made in 1999, featured the music of Jean Mouton, a 16th-century Flemish composer, much of whose music was being recorded for the first time.

Graham has recorded, variously as a cellist, singer and conductor, for Nimbus, Naxos, Chandos and EMI: his most recent recording for Chandos (Hear my Words, with the choir of St John’s College, Cambridge) is regularly to be heard on UK radio stations, and his third album with his Latin-American group Classico Latino (Journey Through Latin America), which was pre-selected for the Latin Grammys in 2013. 

With the group he has toured South America on several occasions, and in 2011 he was awarded a plaque live on Colombian national television in recognition of his “outstanding contribution to Colombian Andean music”.


Tickets for the Shrewsbury Symphony Orchestra Concert at Christ Church, Bayston Hill on Wednesday, November 17th, 2021 at 7.30pm cost £15 or £2 for children, available from TicketSource


Kindly sponsored by Nuffield Health

Nuffield Health logo

Zoe Beyers to perform Sibelius Violin Concerto

Zoe Beyers 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