Fabulous Firebird tickets now on sale!

We are thrilled to be able to welcome you all back to Firebird’s fabulous concerts at St.George’s Hanover Square this Autumn for a feast of spectacular music performed by the finest soloists and orchestral players… 

Cellist Jamal Aliyev

Beyond Fingal’s Cave

Tuesday 28 September 2021, 7:30 pm
£35, £25, £15
Now with a free digital programme

Inspired by his stormy visit to the isle of Staffa in 1829, a youthful Mendelssohn was to popularise Fingal’s Cave for evermore in his overture ‘The Hebrides’. After this lively opening we welcome the young Turkish cellist, Jamal Aliyev, to perform Haydn’s delightful cello concerto. And we finish with an ‘unfinished’ work by Schubert: his ever popular two-movement eighth symphony.

Mendelssohn Hebrides Overture in B minor, Op. 26
Haydn Cello concerto in C, Hob. VIIb:1
Schubert Symphony no. 8 in B minor, D. 759 ‘The Unfinished’

London Firebird Orchestra
Conductor George Jackson
Cello Jamal Aliyev


From the Germanic Lands

Thursday 28 October 2021, 7:30 pm
£35, £25, £15
Now with a free digital programme

Violinist Emmanuel Bach

Fantastic music from Austria and Germany brings this vibrant programme to our favourite London venue. We dive headlong into this concert with Mozart’s overture to his opera The Marriage of Figaro followed by Mendelssohn’s concerto for violin – one of the most popular and frequently performed violin concertos in history. We conclude with Beethoven’s more light-hearted symphonies which he fondly referred to it as ‘my little Symphony in F’.

Mozart Overture to Le Nozze di Figaro
Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64
Beethoven Symphony no. 8 in F, Op. 93

London Firebird Orchestra
Conductor Michael Thrift
Violin Emmanuel Bach


Rest assured, the latest government Covid guidelines will be in place for these events. Please read our COVID-19 POLICY. 


Tickets are only online and when you book you will need to confirm your agreement to follow this policy. This will ensure all members of the audience can enjoy this marvellous music safely with Firebird and your friends once again. 


Appalachian Awakening – WATCH ONLINE NOW

For the latest addition to our collection of free online concerts we are delighted to share with you Firebird’s performance of Appalachian Awakening from 24 June.

Throughout this pandemic Firebird has strived to find a safe and viable path to ensure our valuable orchestral concerts can continue to be staged and shared with our audiences.

Last autumn our orchestra performed twice, in October to a socially-distanced audience and in November without a live audience. Both concerts focused on music for strings.

Then in May we started to play again, on a similar basis, but with wind, brass and percussion. And in June we are delighted to be able to present our second concert of the calendar year now that COVID restrictions are gradually easing.

Featuring fabulous music by Copland and Haydn you can view the video of our latest fantastic concert and also download the programme notes – all for free!

AARON COPLAND (1900-1990)
Suite from Appalachian Spring
Original version for 13 piece chamber ensemble

FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN (1732 – 1809)
Symphony no. 60 in C Il Distratto

i Adagio – Allegro di molto
ii Andante
iii Menuetto – Trio
iv Presto
v Adagio di Lamentatione
vi Finale: Prestissimo


MICHAEL THRIFT conductor

Filmed live on Thursday 21 June 2021 by Europik Music

We are currently putting the finishing touches to the next season of Firebird concerts. We look forward to announcing these soon!

We are committed in our support of Firebird’s wonderful musicians and providing essential opportunities for them to perform – especially in these challenging times.

Clearly, without an audience to offset some of our costs through ticket sales we do need to asking for donations to support this essential lockdown project and to ensure we continue this valuable work.

Welcome the Spring: WATCH ONLINE NOW

Throughout this pandemic Firebird has strived to find a safe and viable path to ensure that our orchestral concerts can continue to be staged.

On Tuesday 18 May we were able to present our first live concert of 2021 – and we have made this wonderful video of the event which we want to share with you…

WELCOME THE SPRING
Filmed live on Tuesday 18 May 2021

Frederick Delius (1862-1934)
On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring

Richard Wagner (1813 – 1883)
Siegfried Idyll WWV 103

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Symphony no. 36 in C, K.426 Linz 
I Adagio – Allegro spiritoso
II Andante
III Minuetto
IV Finale (Presto)

Conductor George Jackson

Filming & Editing by Europik Music

We are committed in our support of Firebird’s wonderful musicians and providing essential opportunities for them to perform – especially in these challenging times. Clearly, without an audience to offset some of our costs through ticket sales we do need to asking for donations to support this essential lockdown project and to ensure we continue this valuable work.

Throwback Thursdays: Elgar’s Serenade

Discover more about the music we have performed with Firebird in this special lockdown series…

Today we explore the beautiful Serenade for Strings by Edward Elgar (1857 – 1934). 

This was filmed at St George’s Hanover Square on Thursday 22 October 2020 with George Jackson conducting the London Firebird Orchestra.

Conductor George Jackson tells us more about the fabulous central movement – the Larghetto …

Elgar composed his famous Serenade for Strings in E minor Op. 20, in March 1892. The composer conducted the first performance in private at the Worcester Ladies’ Orchestral Class. It was to be another four years before the first public performance took place in Antwerp in Belgium. He dedicated the work to the organ builder and amateur musician Edward W. Whinfield. 

However,  it is thought that the Serenade was a reworking of a suite from many years earlier and may even be part of one of the very first works ever written by Elgar.

Maybe that is why the work has a certain youthful charm with the central Larghetto generally regarded as containing some of Elgar’s most enduring writing and among the most frequently performed of all his music.

Did you know…

Elgar was not the only famous composer to write a Serenade for Strings. Both Tchaikovsky and Dvořák had written works with the same title in 1880 and 1885 respectively. Both of these also remain some of the most popular work for this genre to this day.

Watch the complete concert performed by the London Firebird Orchestra conducted by George Jackson. Elgar’s Serenade starts at 17:14

Throwback Thursdays: Firebird, Tchaikovsky, & me

Conductor Michael Thrift explores the music of Tchaikovsky which he last conducted in Firebird’s filmed concert in November 2020…

The beautiful Serenade for Strings in C major Op.48 by Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky 1840-1893 (pictured) was performed as part of From London to St Petersburg. 

This was filmed at St George’s Hanover Square on Thursday 19 November 2020 with London Firebird Orchestra.

Tchaikovsky had rediscovered Mozart’s Magic Flute in the summer of 1880. He said that the Serenade, written shortly after, was inspired by Mozart’s graceful style, in particular in the elegant first movement, though the music is very original and not mere Mozart imitation.

The second movement, a waltz, is a popular piece in its own right and contains one of the composer’s best-loved melodies.

i Pezzo in forma di sonatina: Andante non troppo Allegro moderato

ii Valse: Moderato – Tempo di valse

iii Élégie: Larghetto elegiaco

iv Finale (Tema russo): Andante – Allegro con spirito

The deeply felt third movement elegy begins with the same ascending scale that launched the waltz tune.

The finale draws on two folk songs, one featuring in the introduction, and the other as the main theme in the allegro.

Watch the complete concert: Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings starts at 46.39

B Minor With Love

Conductor Michael Thrift
Cello Aleksei Kiseliov

Thursday 10 June 2021
St.George’s Hanover Square 

This concert will feature Dvorak Cello Concerto in B minor, the world premiere of new work from the winner of the Firebird Young Musician of the Year, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony no. 6.


Performer profile: Ruth Hallows

Welcome to our new monthly series where we profile some of Firebird’s performers. This month we meet cellist Ruth Hallows…

Watch one of Ruth’s solo lockdown performances: 

‘I have been a cellist with the London Firebird Orchestra since 2017 and have enjoyed every moment with them. I have been a part of some incredible concerts, performing some truly stunning works such as Dvořák’s Symphony no. 9, Brahms Symphony no. 1 and my personal favourite, Schumann’s cello concerto in A minor with soloist Raphael Wallfisch.’

Says Ruth

British cellist Ruth Hallows graduated from the Royal College of Music and was winner of both the Pendle Young Musicians Bursary Competition and the Reuben Burton Foundation Scholarship. Ruth has studied with famous cellists including Raphael Wallfisch and Gregor Horsch.

A keen orchestral musician, she completed a Professional Placement Scheme with the English Chamber Orchestra. Ruth performs with players of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Royal College of Music Chamber Orchestra and London Firebird Orchestra.

As a chamber musician, Ruth has performed on BBC Radio 3 In Tune, collaborated with the award-winning Sacconi Quartet and played at UK venues including the Wigmore Hall and the Royal Albert Hall. ​​

Ruth believes that Firebird provides a pivotal part in the transition from education to career for its players, often being the constant in what can be a time of great change for musicians. 

“The pandemic has been tough for all freelancers, especially those in the critical beginnings of their career. For me personally, as well as providing an opportunity to explore the online possibilities for music making, it has also given me a chance to write further about the issues tackling young musicians in the classical music world, through my blog: From a Cellist’s Perspective.

Ruth

Ruth was delighted when Firebird came back in October 2020 providing some much needed hope for a return to normal life. She has no doubt that when this latest lockdown lifts, Firebird will be back stronger and better than ever!

Throwback Thursdays: Mahler’s Adagietto

In a new series during lockdown we invite you to discover more about the music we have performed with Firebird… 

Today we explore the exquisite Adagietto for Strings by Gustav Mahler (1860 – 1911). 

This was filmed at St George’s Hanover Square on Thursday 22 October 2020 with London Firebird Orchestra conducted by George Jackson.

George Jackson explains more about the music…

Gustav Mahler wrote his monumental Symphony No 5 throughout 1901 and 1902. The symphony, in five movements, takes over an hour to perform and its scope and emotional landscape are vast. 

The fourth movement of it, the Adagietto, is often performed as a standalone piece – in fact it was performed for the first time in Britain 36 years before the first British performance of the entire symphony.

The Adagietto is perhaps Mahler’s most famous composition and is the most frequently performed of all his works. It is based on a love poem that the composer wrote for his new wife, Alma:

Wie ich Dich liebe, Du meine Sonne,

ich kann mit Worten Dir’s nicht sagen.

Nur meine Sehnsucht kann ich Dir klagen

und meine Liebe, meine Wonne!

In which way I love you, my sunbeam,

I cannot tell you with words.

Only my longing, my love and my bliss

can I with anguish declare.

Mahler marked the score “very slow”, “soulful” and “with the most heartfelt sentiment”.

It is music of great delicacy, reducing the orchestra down to harp and strings. Beginning very quietly, this music is quickly enthused with longing.

Arching, graceful melodies unfold with a bittersweet intensity, rise gradually to a soaring climax, and finally fall back to a peaceful close.

Watch the complete performance…

Happy New Year from Firebird

Firebird would like to thank everyone for their kind and loyal support in 2020, and to wish all of our Friends, Benefactors and Supporters a healthy, happy and prosperous 2021.

Most recently, we were delighted to be able to perform two concerts from our season at St George’s Hanover Square in the Autumn. Although we were very restricted with audience, both of these were filmed. And you can still enjoy these fabulous concerts here…

STRING FLING

Filmed live on Thursday 22 October 2020 by Europik Music

Vaughan Williams 
Elgar
Mahler
Grieg


Principal Guest Conductor
George Jackson


FROM LONDON TO ST PETERSBURG

Filmed live on Thursday 19 November 2020 by Europik Music

Vaughan Williams 
Corelli 
Holst 
Tchaikovsky 

Principal Guest Conductor
Michael Thrift


Looking ahead, our Young Composer of the Year Competition is now well underway. The winning piece will be given its World Première as part of our concert B Minor with Loveon Thursday 10 June. 

We all hope that the vaccines will offer hope and light at the end of the current darkness – so that we can look forward to us all being together again for a musical 2021.

From London to St Petersburg: WATCH ONLINE NOW

We are delighted to present the film of Firebird’s latest concert from Thursday 19 November with From London to St Petersburg:

FROM LONDON TO ST PETERSBURG
Filmed live on Thursday 19 November 2020

Corelli Concerto Grosso op. 6 no. 4
Holst St Paul’s Suite in C, Op. 29 no. 2
Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings in C, Op. 48

Principal Guest Conductor Michael Thrift

Filming & Editing by Europik Music

DOWNLOAD THE PROGRAMME NOTES FOR FREE

We are committed in our support of Firebird’s wonderful musicians and providing essential opportunities for them to perform – especially in these challenging times.

Clearly, without an audience to offset some of our costs through ticket sales we do need to asking for donations to support this essential lockdown project and to ensure we continue this valuable work.

WE HOPE YOU ENJOY THIS FABULOUS CONCERT

PLEASE MAKE A DONATION

From London to St Petersburg

We are delighted that the Firebird Strings will still be able to perform on Thursday 19 November with our musical journey From London to St Petersburg…

… but with a difference

Due the current Covid-19 lockdown, it will unfortunately not be possible for us to welcome an audience for this concert. However, this does give us an important opportunity to film the concert and professionally produce a video of the event which we shall release shortly after the concert for online viewing, via our website and social media.

© Copyright Huw Jennings

We are committed to support our wonderful musicians as always and provide essential opportunities for them to perform – especially in these challenging times. However, without an audience to offset some of our costs through ticket sales we are asking for donations to support this lockdown project and help us continue our valuable work:

From London To St Petersburg really does promise to be a special concert with the sumptuous sounds of the Firebird Strings. 

Our Principal Guest Conductor Michael Thrift will guide us through this musical journey from the English pastoral world of Vaughan Wiliams and Holst through the baroque splendour of Corelli’s Italy to the splendour of 19th century Russia and Tchaikovsky’s magnificent Serenade for Strings.

And to help you navigate your way through this fabulous music you will also be able to download the colourful and informative programme notes for free.

FROM LONDON TO ST PETERSBURG
Filmed live on Thursday 19 November 2020

Vaughan Williams Fantasia on Thomas Tallis
Corelli Concerto Grosso op. 6 no. 4
Holst St Paul’s Suite in C, Op. 29 no. 2
Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings in C, Op. 48

Principal Guest Conductor Michael Thrift

And don’t forget you can still watch the video of last month’s concert String Fling With the audience capped at just 40 invited guests – this was the first Firebird performance since March.