St Cecilia Society shows why Requiem still matters


Herts Advertiser critic John Manning praises the St Cecilia Festival Society’s performance of Dvorak’s rarely-heard Requiem Congratulations to all concerned in the St Albans St Cecilia Festival Society’s presentation of Dvorak’s rarely-heard Requiem. Few who heard it…
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Bjorn’s swansong delights audience


John Manning, music critic for the Herts Advertiser, found  SASO on top form for its ‘Best of Britain’ concert, providing a fitting farewell for Principal Conductor Bjorn Bantock For four seasons conductor Bjorn Bantock has…
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Orchestra’s all-Scandinavian Success Story


Geoff Ward, writing in the Herts Advertiser, suggests that SASO has “improved immeasurably under their dynamic conductor, Bjorn Bantock” St Albans Symphony Orchestra presented an all-Scandinavian programme in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the…
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"Beethoven symphony raises roof"


Herts Advertiser critic John Manning found SASO’s March 7th Beethoven concert “exciting and inspirational” With members of the Hertfordshire Chorus and other local choirs as well as a team of top class soloists, the orchestra…
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Oh those Russians…


Pianist Alissa Firsova and the St Albans Symphony Orchestra received further critical praise from critic John Manning for their New Year 2015 performance of Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini: “Although Alissa Firsova has…
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Russian violinist expands her repertoire with concerto


John Manning, music critic of the Herts Advertiser, was “dazzled” by the Korngold Violin Concerto at SASO’s autumn concert Although only 25, Russian-born violinist Adelia Myslov already has a substantial repertoire. But on Saturday she…
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"…it was generally impossible to tell that it wasn’t a fully-professional orchestra…"


Critic Jim Pritchard, writing for  the ‘Seen and Heard International’ website, was bowled over by  the concert performance of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in Saffron Walden on September 14th – including SASO’s impressive playing.  “This…
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"Rarely can I remember being so excited and…so emotionally drained"


Herts Advertiser critic John Manning was bowled over by Alissa Firsova’s thrilling performance of Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto Rarely can I remember being so excited and at the same time so emotionally drained as I…
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"The whole concert was a delight…"


Geoff Ward, writing in the Herts Advertiser, awarded top marks to SASO’s ‘Orchestral Colours’ concert in May. The dynamic and enterprising conductor of the St Albans Symphony Orchestra, Bjorn Bantock, chose to showcase the various…
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Grand scheme of things for Symphony Orchestra


Herts Advertiser critic John Manning was “completely dazzled” at SASO’s Mendelssohn and Strauss concert on March 8th. When it comes to doing things on a grand scale German composer Richard Strauss certainly knew how. His tone…
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