Past Events

2017/2018 Concert Season

Sat 12 May 2018 "Inspired by Love "

Guest Conductor: Jonathan Bloxham

Hertford Theatre, Hertford 7:45pm

Mendelssohn Overture ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

Brahms Concerto for Violin and Cello Soloists: Rhys Watkins and Rowena Calvert

Schumann Symphony No. 2

Sat 17 Mar 2018 "English Gems"

Conductor: Tom Hammond

Hertford Theatre, Hertford 19:45

Hubert Parry Lady Radnor's Suite

Purcell Sonata for Trumpet Soloist: Ellie Lovegrove

Haydn Trumpet Concerto Soloist: Ellie Lovegrove

Elgar Symphony No. 2

Sun 28 Jan 2018 "All at Sea" Robert Kiln Concerts for Children

Hertford Theatre, Hertford 14:30 and 16:15

Conductor: Tom Hammond

Sun 10 Dec 2017(Cancelled) ‘MERRY CHRISTMAS’

Sat 11 Nov 2017"Last Songs"

Conductor: Tom Hammond

Drill Hall, Ware 7:45pm

Wagner Prelude and Liebestod from ‘Tristan und Isolde’

Strauss Four Last Songs and Ruhe, meine Seele Soloist: Susana Gaspar

Sibelius Symphony No.7

2016/2017 Concert Season

Saturday 1st July 2017 'Celebrating Viennese Classics'

Guest Conductor: Jonathan Mann

Hertford Theatre, Hertford 7:45pm

Schubert - Symphony No.5

Brahms - Symphony No.2

Saturday 13th May 2017 'This Sceptred Isle'

Conductor: Tom Hammond

Vaughan Williams - Five Variants of “Dives and Lazarus”

Walton - Viola Concerto Soloist: Sarah-Jane Bradley

Elgar - Sospiri

Saturday 18th March 2017 'A Gala Concert with Stephen Hough'

Conductor: Tom Hammond

Will Handysides - A New Work commissioned by HSO

Beethoven - Piano Concerto No.4 Soloist: Stephen Hough

Tchaikovsky - Symphony No.5

Sunday 29th January 2017 'The Knight Who Took All Day' -The Robert Kiln Concerts for Children

A Commission by HSO - 'The Knight Who Took All Day’ a book by James Mayhew. Music written by composer Bernard Hughes and narrated and illustrated by James Mayhew

Music about knights, dragons and princesses

Sunday 11th December 2016 'A Merry Christmas!'

Guest Conductor: Jonathan Mann

Drill Hall, Ware 3pm

Guest choir – ‘Melodic Minors’ from Simon Balle School, Hertford

Programme to include excerpts from Tchaikovsky Sleeping Beauty; White Christmas and other seasonal favourites.

Sunday 13th November 2016 'Love and Destiny'

Conductor Tom Hammond

Drill Hall, Ware 7:45pm

Beethoven Overture - 'The Ruins of Athens'

Wagner - Siegfried Idyll

Mahler - Symphony No. 5

2015/2016 Concert Season

Saturday 25th June 2016 - 'Inspirational Classics'

Guest Conductor: Jonathan Mann

Hertford Theatre, 7:45pm

Mendelssohn Hebrides Overture

Beethoven Violin Concerto in D major Op61

Soloist: Rhys Watkins

Dvorak Symphony no. 8

Saturday 14th May 2016 - 'The Bard: A Celebration of Shakespeare and Sibelius '

Conductor: Tom Hammond

Hertford Theatre, 7:45pm

Tchaikovsky Fantasy Overture ‘Romeo & Juliet’

Sibelius Violin Concerto in D minor Op. 47 Soloist: Efi Cristodoulou

Sibelius The Tempest (Music from suites 1 & 2) Narrator: Actor - Scott Brooksbank

Saturday 12th March 2016 – ‘Classic Fantastic’

Conductor: Tom Hammond

All Saints’ Church, Hertford, 7:45pm.

Prokofiev Classical Symphony

Mozart Piano Concerto in D minor K.466 Soloist: Christopher Guild

Nielsen Flute Concerto Soloist: Jane Rose

Mozart Symphony No. 31 'Paris'

Sunday 31st January 2016 - The Robert Kiln Concerts for Children 'Little Monsters'

Conductor: Tom Hammond

Hertford Theatre, 2:30pm and 4:15pm

Programme to include:'Not now, Bernard', by Bernard Hughes, narrator: Andy Cording.

Sunday 13th December 2015 - ‘A Fairytale Christmas’

Guest Conductor: Chad Kelly

Drill Hall, Ware, 3:00pm

Sunday 15th November 2015 -'In Memoriam'

Conductor: Tom Hammond

Stravinsky Symphonies of Wind Instruments

Dvorák Cello Concerto in B minor Op.104 Soloist: Matthew Sharp

John McCabe Six Minute Symphony

2014/2015 Concert Season

Sunday 16th November 2014 - 'Merry Pranks'

Conductor: Tom Hammond

Rossini Overture to ‘The Barber of Seville

Strauss Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche

Stravinsky Petrushka

Sunday 14th December 2014 - 'Christmas Extravaganza'

Guest Conductor: Andrew Morley

'Puppets Jokes and Tricks' The Robert Kiln Concerts for Children Sunday 1st February 2015

Conductor: Tom Hammond

Saturday 21st March 2015 - 'Musical Blockbusters'

Conductor: Tom Hammond

Vaughan Williams Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis

Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.2 (Soloist - Andrew Zolinsky)

Tchaikovsky Symphony No.6 ‘Pathétique’

Saturday 16th May 2015 - 'Dreams and Deeds'

Conductor: Tom Hammond

Beethoven Leonore Overture No.3

Brahms Violin Concerto (Soloist - Kristine Balanas)

Nielsen Symphony No.5

Saturday 27th June 2015 - 'Musical Riddles'

Guest Conductor: Mark Austin

Beethoven Overture 'Egmont'

Beethoven Symphony no. 8

Elgar Enigma’ Variations

2013/2014 Concert Season

Saturday 21st June 2014: Iconic Symphonies

Guest Conductor Mark Austin

Schubert Symphony No. 8 'Unfinished'

Beethoven Symphony No. 3 'Eroica'

Review: The last concert of Hertford Symphony Orchestra’s season, with guest conductor Mark Austin, took then to Vienna at the beginning of the 19th century with music by Schubert and Beethoven.

The two movements of Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony are full of contrasting emotions, and the performance realised them to the full. The plaintive clarinet and oboe melodic lines at the opening were most beautifully played, and throughout the piece there were some outstanding solo contributions from the wind. The strings were also in fine form, producing a mixture of hushed mystery and sonorous resonance. It was a memorable and evocative performance.

From the opening chords this was an ‘Eroica’ Symphony that had taut rhythmic control, with crafted and shaped melodic lines. The first movement built tremendous tension, whilst the second movement’s Funeral March had pathos and a disturbing sense of darkness. The strings produced some of the best quality of the season, with the Double Basses being in excellent form, and the principle oboe, Catherine Wild, wove her magic into the melodic threnody. The scherzo had a ‘leggiero’ quality with all its rhythmic conundrums, and the joyous horns in the Trio were a ‘Tour de Force’. The last movement’s variations had a real clarity and balance as the opening theme was passed throughout the orchestra, and the rousing coda brought the symphony and the orchestra’s season to a triumphant finish.

The occasional lapse in ensemble did not detract from the stature of the performance. To be able to perform and communicate these difficult works to such a high standard brings credit to the orchestra, and especially to the conductor Mark Austin for his musical insight and expertise.

David Smith

Saturday 10th May 2014: American Greats

Guest Conductor Tom Hammond

Copland Rodeo Ballet suite

Copland Clarinet Concerto (with James Manwaring)

Gershwin four pieces from Catfish Row (suite from Porgy and Bess)

Gershwin (orch Grofé) Rhapsody in Blue (with Veronica Shoot)

Saturday 15 March 2014: Masterworks

Rachmaninov Vocalise

Chopin Piano Concerto No.1 (with Lara Melda)

Sibelius Symphony No. 1

November 2013

Debussy: Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune

Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 2

Rimsky-Korsakov: Sheherazade

2012/2013 Concert Season

May 2013

Sibelius Finlandia

Elgar Cello Concerto

Beethoven Symphony no. 7

March 2013

Bach Chaconne for Solo Violin orchestrated and conducted by Maxime Tortelier

Devienne Flute concerto no. 8 in G major

Soloist: Jane Rose

Saint-Saens Symphony no. 3 'Organ'

Soloist: Jeffrey Howard

Sunday 11th November 2012 - Dark Russia

Rachmaninov The Isle of the Dead

Arutunian Trumpet Concerto

Soloist: Chris Avison

Tchaikovsky Symphony no. 4

2011/2012 Concert Season

Sunday 24 June 2012 - A Musical Olympiad

Review from the Hertfordshire Mercury

Musical Olympiad' at Hertford Theatre

This Family Concert offered a programme demanding a high energy orchestra. John Williams’ scores ‘Olympic Fanfare’ and ‘Summon the Heroes”(a fine trumpet solo from Richard Salthouse)were stunning pieces to start each half of the concert. “Chariots of Fire” was a certain favourite.

Staying power was what Olympics are about and in orchestral terms that means Ravel’s famous ‘Bolero’. For no less than fifteen minutes the orchestra built confidently up to the climactic moments at the musical finishing post.

It was good to hear descriptive music in contrast to the Hollywood model, and the London Cameo suite showed Haydn Wood to have been in the same league as Eric Coates of “Dambusters March” fame.

Two young opera soloists, Katie Lowe (soprano) and Jung Soo Yun (tenor) showed no fear of the dauntingly dry acoustics of the Hertford Theatre – something that will need attention in any future renovation works. The tear-jerking excerpts from Puccini’s “La Boheme” and “ Manon Lescaut “ as well as World Cup famous ‘Nessun Dorma” from “Turandot” were neatly followed by the glorious duet from La Traviata by Verdi.

Finally, a concert at this season is incomplete without Land of Hope and Glory by Elgar and Parry’s Hymn ‘Jerusalem’ , and we all joined in singing lustily, rounding off a concert as full of musical sunshine as the sky at last was for the Carnival around the town.


Saturday 12 May 2012: ‘Mozart and Mahler’

Mozart Magic Flute Overture

Mozart Clarinet Concerto (Soloist: Colin Eldred)

Mahler Symphony No.1

"The Mahler symphony began with a magically sustained note underlying woodwind bird calls. A dramatic musical painting of country life, this work uses the large forces of an enhanced orchestra in short thematic sound bites, and demands complex control over all the elements, which occasionally come together, but are often at odds with one another. Directed in masterly fashion by Jonathan Mann, the orchestra sustained intense concentration throughout this long piece. The audience were thrilled with the interpretation and gave it the ovation it deserved.

Bravo HSO!"

Felicity Sandell - Hertfordshire Mercury

17 March 2012: Hertford Theatre, 7-45pm. ‘Central European Masterpieces’

Beethoven Coriolan Overture

Beethoven Violin Concerto (Soloist: Kristine Balanas)

Dvorak Symphony No.9

Sunday 11 Dec 2011: Drill Hall, Ware, 3pm. ‘HSO Christmas Extravaganza’

Sunday 13 Nov 2011: Drill Hall, Ware. ‘Great Russian Classics’

Liadov Kikimora

Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto (Soloist: Rhys Watkins)

Rachmaninov Symphony No.2

2010/2011 Concert Season

Sunday 3rd July 2011 - Drill Hall, Ware

Carnival Time! works by Shostakovich, Coates, Walton, MarquezSaturday 14th May 2011 - Hertford Theatre

Shostakovich A spin through Moscow (from Cherymushki)

Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E minor soloist Michael Foyle

Sibelius Symphony No.2

Sunday 13th March 2011

Saint-Saens Bachanale from Samson and Delilah

Rachmaninov arr.Basford Four Preludes

Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5

Sunday 30th January 2011

Children's Concert - A ride on a magic carpet