Young ‘cellist makes SASO spring concert a family affair

A prize-winning ‘cellist from a famous family of local musicians will make his solo debut with the St Albans Symphony Orchestra (SASO) on Saturday March 13th playing the much-loved concerto by Dvorak (7.30pm, St Saviour’s Church, Sandpit Lane, St Albans).

Michael Wigram, 26, since graduating with distinction in his Master’s studies at the Royal College of Music, has been nominated by the London Philharmonic Orchestra to the Foyle Future Firsts apprenticeship scheme. He previously won a major performance prize while studying music at Royal Holloway, University of London. Last year he was a member of the Southbank Sinfonia, London’s leading orchestra for young professional players and he has recently finished performing at the National Theatre in Tom Stoppard’s Every Good Boy Deserves Favour.

Michael’s appearance with SASO will be a family affair since his mother, violinist Jennifer Wigram, is leader of the orchestra in which his father, Tony, plays viola. Brothers Robert and David have also played with the orchestra – the latter as saxophone soloist in 2007.

Dvorak’s ‘Cello Concerto was mostly written during the composer’s two-year stay in America in the 1890s. It abounds with memorable tunes; although unlike his ‘New World’ symphony the melodies were seemingly prompted by heartfelt longing for his Czech homeland.

Red-blooded romanticism will continue to run through the concert, conducted by James Ross with a performance of Tchaikovsky’s fiery Fourth Symphony. Though driven by the power of fate, expressed in a recurring ‘motto’ theme, the music becomes progressively more joyful until reaching a triumphant conclusion.

Another great Russian composer, Rimsky-Korsakov, is represented through a relative musical rarity, the tuneful overture to his opera May Night that opens the concert.

Tickets, price £14 and £10 (Under-18s, £1, Students £5) are available from the SASO Ticket Secretary (01727 857422) or on the door.

For further information, contact:

David Utting (SASO Press Officer)
01727 762855 / 07930 31379