Orchestra bucking the trend

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With tickets in the top price brackets sold out months ago, things are looking good for the Philharmonia Orchestra in Chichester.

In fact, things are looking good for them everywhere.

“As we go through 2011, which is quite a tough year for everyone, there still seems to be an unquenchable thirst for great music,” says managing director David Whelton.

“Whether it is compensation or not, I don’t know, but we are finding a lot of enthusiasm.”

Always a highlight for the orchestra is their annual trip to the Chichester Festivities (this year Wednesday, June 29, 8pm).

“It’s great to come down to the Cathedral. It is just such a lovely venue. For the players to perform there is a great fillip. Concert halls are wonderful, but the great cathedrals are just another dimension. It’s the ambience. It’s the atmosphere.

“With purpose-built concert halls, they are obviously all built around the performing environment which obviously cathedrals aren’t, but simply the sense of history and the soaring arches and the fact that it is all so intrinsically beautiful is the thing. You go into a cathedral and your heart just lifts!”

As ever, the programme has been designed in close collaboration with the Festivities and with the venue very much in mind.

Christian Vasquez is the conductor and Pei-Jee Ng (cello) is the soloist for a night which features: Elgar - Serenade for Strings; Elgar Cello - Concerto; and Tchaikovsky - Symphony No.6 Pathétique.

The Serenade for Strings is the work that Elgar himself cherished, most and his autumnal Cello Concerto, written while the composer was living at Fittleworth, has long since occupied a special place in English musical life. Tchaikovsky’s valedictory Pathétique Symphony completes the programme.

Pei-Jee Ng was born in Sydney and grew up in Adelaide studying at the Elder Conservatorium with Janis Laurs and Barbara Yelland. In 2001 he was Symphony Australia Young Performer of the Year and in 2003 entered the Royal Northern College of Music on a full scholarship, graduating with distinction.