Derby debut for Viva conductor

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Sinfonia Viva’s new principal conductor makes his Derby debut in a concert there on Saturday, January 10.

The Derby-based regional professional orchestra will perform for the first time with Duncan Ward as its new principal conductor in Derby Cathedral.

Duncan Ward (25) is an accomplished conductor and composer and the highlight of the concert will be a new commission which he has composed especially for Viva.

Duncan Ward has had a meteoric rise in the classical music world since winning the 2005 BBC Young Composer of the Year.

His new commission for Viva is entitled Resounding Vaults, inspired by the decision to move the orchestra’s Derby performance home to the cathedral, following the temporary closure of the nearby fire-damaged Assembly Rooms.

He said: “Derby Cathedral is a majestic, resonant space with great potential for the antiphonal placement of instrumental groups. Ever since playing Gabrieli as a young horn player, I have been enchanted by the musical possibilities such a setting can create. In Gabrieli’s case, brass choirs calling to each other from the opposing balconies of St Mark’s, Venice.

“I therefore leapt at the chance to compose a work showcasing the wind, brass and percussion sections of the orchestra.”

Viva will also be joined by acclaimed soprano Rebecca Bottone for a performance of Benjamin Britten’s Les Illuminations. The climax of the evening is Beethoven’s Symphony No.4.

The concert starts at 7.30pm. Call 01332 255800 for ticket details.