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At Close Quarters with the BBC Philharmonic

We are fortunate to have a very talented group of young musicians in our current Third Year Music Option sets and we have been using the BBC’s excellent ‘Ten Pieces for Senior Schools’ initiative to help them engage with classical music.

So when an opportunity arose to hear the pieces performed live by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra in the exciting surroundings of their Media City studio we jumped at the chance.

The first thing that struck us was the brilliant immediacy of the orchestra to us in the small audience, because even in the Bridgewater Hall the orchestra can seem quite remote up on stage. The programme was accompanied by projections and imaginative lighting, and the presenter managed to make the concert entertaining without being patronising.

Some of the highlights included orchestra members acting as soloists in Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto and Vaughan-Williams’ ‘The Lark Ascending’, and a contemporary twist was provided by Gabriel Prokofiev’s Concerto for Turntables and Orchestra, which received a technically brilliant performance from DJ Mr Switch. The Third Years returned full of enthusiasm for their own compositions and performances.

Mr Millinchip