Violinist back in UK for orchestra date

SALISBURY Symphony Orchestra will be welcoming the internationally renowned violinist and viola player Rosemary Furniss on November 24.

Rosemary, who combines a career as soloist and teacher with that of artistic director of the Charlotte Orchestra in the USA, was also leader of the orchestra at the 2011 Royal Wedding in Westminster Abbey.

Although she now lives in the US, she is returning to England especially to perform with the SSO and to catch up with family a n d friends.

A protégée of the late L o r d Menuhin, Rosemary has appeared as a soloist with orchestras all over the world and will be performing the Concerto for Viola by William Walton during the concert at City Hall, her second engagement with the SSO.

Orchestra chairman Ross Mallock, who is a member of the horn section, said: “We are thrilled to have Rosemary performing for us again, following her recent move to America. She has long been a favourite with us and is one of the world’s foremost viola players whose performance of the Walton Concerto is sure to light up the City Hall.”

The symphony orchestra was founded as the Salisbury Orchestral Society in 1917 by Sir Walter Alcock, organist of Salisbury Cathedral, and had Sir Edward Elgar as its first president.

Originally comprising only string players, it expanded to a full symphony orchestra in 1933, and all organists or assistant organists at the cathedral have successively been its conductors.

In 1963, its regular concert venue was changed from the Guildhall to the newly opened City Hall, and the orchestra expanded rapidly to its present membership of around 65 core players, to which additional players are added as required for the works being performed.

The orchestra attracts players from a wide radius, including neighbouring counties. It promotes two regular concerts a year in the City Hall, usually in March and November and also performs annually in the cathedral with the Salisbury Musical Society, the city’s choir.

Its core repertoire includes major works for full symphony orchestra from the Romantic era and 20th century although earlier works are often included in concert programmes.

SSO conductor for the past 17 years has David Halls, and the current leader is Rosamund Bromley.

Mr Mallock said: “We shall also be helping to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Inspire Foundation, a charity based in Salisbury District Hospital.

“The audience will have a chance to learn about Inspire’s work in research into the treatment of spinal injury, and there will be an opportunity to chat with the charity’s supporters.”

Tickets are £7.50 to £16 (selected concessions) from the City Hall box office on 01722 434434.

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