Firebird 2022 tickets now on sale

Tickets for Firebird’s concerts for 2022 are now on sale with a fantastic programme of your favourite Classical Music…


Eroica!
Tuesday 1 February 2022

St George’s Hanover Square, London W1S 1FX

Mendelssohn Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage, Op. 27
Beethoven Symphony no. 3 in E flat, Op. 55 Eroica

London Firebird Orchestra
Conductor Michael Thrift

Eroica

From the New World
Sunday 13 March 2022

SJE Arts, Oxford OX4 1EH

Arvo Pärt Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten
Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16
Dvořák Symphony No. 9 in E minor, From the New World, Op. 95

London Firebird Orchestra
Conductor Michael Thrift
Piano Marc Corbett-Weaver

Generously sponsored by the Morris-Venables Charitable Foundation


Firebird for Schools
Thursday 19 May 2022

St George’s Hanover Square, London W1S 1FX

London Firebird Orchestra
Conductor Michael Thrift


European Classics
Tuesday 14 June 2022

St George’s Hanover Square, London W1S 1FX

Ravel Tombeau de Couperin
Bruch Violin Concerto no. 1 in G minor, Op. 26
Schubert Symphony no. 1 in D. 82

London Firebird Orchestra
Conductor George Jackson
Violin Yury Revich


Season’s Greetings!

And a sneak peak at Firebird’s programme for 2022…

Despite a challenging year we’ve had some great achievements in 2021 with some terrific live concerts and a series of filmed concerts which can be watched for free on YouTube:

Now we are planning a great series of concert for 2022 – and into 2023 – with beautiful music, amazing conductors, talented soloists and of course our wonderful orchestra. Make sure you put these dates into your diary and we look forward to seeing you at our fabulous concerts in the year ahead.

Dates for your Diary 2022

Tuesday 1 February 2022
St George’s Hanover Square

Sunday 13 March 2022
SJE Arts Oxford

Thursday 19 May 2022
Firebird for Schools 2022
St George’s Hanover Square

Tuesday 14 June 2022
St George’s Hanover Square

Tuesday 27 September 2022
St George’s Hanover Square

Tuesday 25 October 2022
St George’s Hanover Square

Tuesday 7 February 2023
St George’s Hanover Square

Everyone at Firebird wishes you a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year. We all look forward to seeing you again in 2022.

Don’t miss Thursday’s Violin Virtuoso

Virtuoso of the violin Emmanuel Bach will be with us this Thursday 28 October in From the Germanic Lands as the soloist in Mendelssohn’s famous Concerto in E Minor…

Emmanuel is thrilled to finally be able to perform this great work with Firebird. We caught up with him last year when the planned performance of this work had to be cancelled due to lockdown and learned more about his musical activities:

Tell us a little about yourself as a musician…

Growing up with music in the home, I found my feet through having a pianist mother, taking lessons with a Russian teacher Natasha Boyarsky, for many years, including studies at Oxford, Royal College London, and later studying with Radu Blidar. My mission is communicating through music and to bring music to wider audiences. Symphony, opera, chamber music, and other art genres have long brought me interest and helped me to develop as a musician.

Can you identify some career highlights to date?

Winning the Royal Over-Seas League String Competition and working in performances and masterclasses with Anne-Sophie Mutter and Vengerov.

Do you see yourself as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral musician or all three?

Emmanuel Bach

My focus is solo and chamber music, which presently involves performing concertos, giving recitals and playing in duos.

What about your future ambitions in music?

To maintain interest in and support for the arts, by bringing music to wide audiences and communities who can benefit. To that end, I aim to perform more internationally, and hope to support interest in some more unusual composers. I also look forward to more work encouraging music-making in young people and communities here and abroad.

What is the value of London Firebird to younger professional musicians like yourself?

Firebird offers a fantastic opportunity for soloists to play with an orchestra of young professionals and students in a prominent venue, working together to perform for a committed audience.

From the Germanic Lands
Thursday 28 October 2021, 7:30 pm
St George’s Hanover Square, 2A Mill Street, London W1S 1FX

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

From the Germanic Lands

Firebird’s next concert on 28 October brings us a programme of fantastic music from Austria and Germany…

We dive headlong into this concert with Mozart’s vivacious overture to his opera The Marriage of Figaro followed by Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto – one of the most popular and frequently performed violin concertos in history. We conclude with one of Beethoven’s more light-hearted symphonies which he fondly referred to it as ‘my little Symphony in F’.

Mozart, Mendelssohn and Beethoven – the three composers features in ‘From the Germanic Lands’

Did you know…
Mendelssohn also wrote another virtuoso violin concerto when he was between the ages of just 12 and 14 – at the same time he also produced 12 string symphonies! This violin concerto was ‘rediscovered;’ by Yehudi Menuhin in 1951.


Emmanuel Bach
Michael Thrift, conductor


Virtuoso soloist Emmanuel Bach (left) describes his mission as communicating through music and to bring music to wider audiences. He will be doing just that on 28 October when he brings Mendelssohn’s famous Violin Concerto to life.

Australian-British conductor Michael Thrift (right) continues his long-standing relationship with the London Firebird Orchestra, having conducted them during the past several seasons. 

From the Germanic Lands

London Firebird Orchestra
Conductor Michael Thrift
Violin Emmanuel Bach

Thursday 28 October 2021, 7:30 pm
£35, £25, £15

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

Now with a free digital programme

Please note: Tickets can only be purchased online for this event – there will be no door sales. In the interests of safety we also request that when you book you follow our COVID-19 POLICY.

Beyond Fingal’s Cave

Discover the magic of a secret cave on a Scottish island, steeped in legend, this Tuesday in Firebird’s next concert…

Please note: Tickets can only be purchased online for this event – there will be no door sales. In the interests of safety we also request that when you book you agree to follow our COVID-19 POLICY.

The 19-year-old Felix Mendelssohn visited Britain with his friend, Karl Klingemann in 1829. Their journey took them to the Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland and to the isle of Staffa.

It was here that they were drawn to the basalt sea cave known as ‘Fingal’s Cave’, renowned for its natural acoustics, eerie sounds produced by the waves, and its cathedral-like atmosphere. 

Staffa Island

We are told that the composer immediately jotted down the opening theme for his composition after seeing the island. He originally called it To the Lonely Island or Zur einsamen Insel. But in 1834, the German publishers, Breitkopf & Härtel produced an edition with the name Fingalshöhle (Fingal’s Cave) – and this title stuck.

Jamal Aliyev

Did you know…
Just three years later, Fingal’s Cave was visited by the artist J.M.W Turner who immortalised ‘Staffa Fingal’s Cave’ in one of his most famous canvases (pictured at the top). A few years later it was also visited by Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and Dr. David Livingstone.

Also in this exciting programme with be the work which Joseph Haydn composed in the 1760’s for his longtime friend Joseph Franz Weigl, principal cellist of Prince Nicolaus’s Esterházy Orchestra:

Haydn’s first cello concerto will be brought to life by Jamal Aliyev who, earlier this year was selected by Classic FM as one of the ‘30 most brilliant young classical musicians playing today’.

George Jackson

And we conclude the programme with an ‘unfinished’ symphony by Franz Schubert. He began composing his 8th symphony when he just 25 years old in 1823. Nobody knows why Schubert never completed it, but the Unfinished breaks new musical ground, and has been described as the first distinctively Romantic symphony.

We are delighted to welcome back conductor George Jackson for this concert who is renowned for the authority and eloquence of his music-making. Following his work at Grange Park Opera he was described in a review as ‘a young conductor to watch’.


Beyond Fingal’s Cave

London Firebird Orchestra
Conductor George Jackson
Cello Jamal Aliyev

Tuesday 28 September 2021, 7:30 pm
£35, £25, £15

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’

Now with a free digital programme

Prize-winning cellist takes centre stage

Turkish cellist Jamal Aliyev will take the solo spot at the next Firebird concert on Tuesday 28 September: Beyond Fingal’s Cave…

Haydn composed his first cello concert in the 1760’s for his longtime friend Joseph Franz Weigl who was principal cellist of Prince Nicolaus’s Esterházy Orchestra.

This wonderful piece will be brought to life by Jamal Aliyev who, earlier this year, was selected by Classic FM as one of the ‘30 most brilliant young classical musicians playing today’.

Jamal has performed at festivals across Europe including Switzerland, Germany, Romania, Turkey and the UK. He made his solo debut live on radio and TV in 2017 at the BBC Proms with the BBC Concert Orchestra.

In 2019 composer Sir Karl Jenkins composed his ‘Appassionata’ for cello and orchestra for Jamal which he premiered in Wales.

His biography lists over 25 prestigious international awards and prizes.

These include winner of the following: 2014-2017 Royal College of Music Concerto and Violoncello Competitions; 2016 Musicians Company Concerts Award; 2017 Sir Karl Jenkins Music Award and 2017 Kronberg Academy Award.

Jamal also plays on a remarkable instrument made in 1756 – a few years before Haydn composed his cello concerto.

It was made by the leading 18th-century Florentine maker of his day, Giovanni Battista Gabrielli.

Beyond Fingal’s Cave

London Firebird Orchestra
Conductor George Jackson
Cello Jamal Aliyev

Tuesday 28 September 2021, 7:30 pm
£35, £25, £15

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’

Now with a free digital programme

The latest government Covid guidelines will be in place for these events. Please read our COVID-19 POLICY. 

Tickets are only available 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 music safely with Firebird and your friends once again. 

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