Following the example of major British Orchestras, broadcasters and music establishments, Todmorden Orchestra is joining in the 150th birthday celebration of Richard Strauss at their first concert of 2014 at Todmorden Town Hall on Saturday, March 15 (7.30 pm).
The German composer, was an influential figure with Grand Dukes and The Kaiser during The Great War. He was later wooed by Hitler and his henchman Goebbels before they turned menacingly against him.
Strauss survived a Nazi cat-and-mouse game and was in constant fear for his Jewish daughter-in-law and her two sons. When he died in 1949 at the age of 85, he left a legacy of outstanding music behind, including his acclaimed Lieder, Four Last Songs, one of the selections played by Todmorden Orchestra some years ago.
Strauss wrote his charming Oboe Concert after a meeting with an American Army Officer in 1945, a professional oboe player who suggested the composition. At first he refused then happily changed his mind to produce yet another musical masterpiece in his final years, a period described by many as his “Indian summer”.
The concerto will be performed by the talented young player, Hannah Morgan, who graduated in 2013 with First Class Honours from The Royal Academy of Music. Supported by the Countess of Munster Trust and others, Hannah has played at venues in New York, the Royal Albert Hall and the Wigmore Hall. She is also involved in workshop and outreach programmes encouraging children to develop a love of music, including young patients at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
As is now expected, the Orchestra will start off the evening with a lively opening, on this occasion the Brahms Academic Festival Overture. The Second Symphony is from the pen of Sibelius, a composition rightly included in the repertoire of great world music. The Spring Concert is under the baton of Conductor Nicholas Concannon Hodges with Leader Andrew Rostron.
Tickets, at £10, £8 (concessions) and £1 for children under 16 can be obtained from the orchestra secretary on 01706 817333, from Todmorden Information Centre, or at the door on the night.