Worthing Symphony Orchestra: celebratory 90th season concludes

Worthing Symphony Orchestra brings its celebratory 90th season to a close on Sunday, May 7 at the Assembly Hall.

Anna Szalucka            Pic by Stephen Goodger
Anna Szalucka Pic by Stephen Goodger

Featuring BBC Young Musician finalist Jess Gillam on saxophone and Polish pianist Anna Szalucka, the programme is packed full of verve and panache, says spokeswoman Jennie Osborne

“Revel in the sonic splendour of John Williams’ Star Wars and his music for the film Catch Me if you Can, performed by the sensational Jess Gillam who Snake Davis describes as ‘one of the best young saxophonists in the UK’ and Melvin Bragg called ‘the sound of the future.’

“Jess, still only 18 years of age, has already established herself as a firm favourite with Worthing audiences, and has previously performed with the likes of Jools Holland and his R & B Orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra, and world-renowned sax players Snake Davis and Courtney Pine.

“Joining Jess in this finale concert is the exciting young pianist Anna Szałucka who made such an impact at the last Sussex International Piano Competition and who has recently appeared on Radio 3’s In Tune.

“Anna plays the hugely-popular Warsaw Concerto by Richard Addinsell and, bringing a distinctly-local flavour to the proceedings, she also plays Maytime in Sussex, a beautiful work by Sir Arnold Bax which he composed while staying at the White Horse in Storrington.

“The Sussex theme continues with the orchestra at full strength under conductor John Gibbons performing A Sussex Overture by Sir Malcolm Arnold, and the afternoon culminates with cannons and bells in Tchaikovsky’s explosively-grand 1812 Overture, which a large orchestra, coupled with the fine acoustics of the Assembly Hall, showcases to its very best advantage.”

Jennie added: “90 years of making music in Worthing is no mean achievement for this professional orchestra that began life at the end of the pier in 1926. The May 7 concert promises to be an epic and fitting finale to a 90th season that has undoubtedly been one of its best yet!”

The concert starts at 2.45pm and tickets are available from the box office on 01903 206206 or online at worthingtheatres.co.uk.

Jess, from Ulverston, Cumbria, began playing saxophone aged seven. In 2016, she made history as the first saxophonist to win the Woodwind Final of BBC Young Musician of the Year.

She then reached the grand final and performed Michael Nyman’s Where the Bee Dances with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at London’s Barbican Hall to critical acclaim.

Jess has a busy performance schedule and upcoming and recent concerto highlights include performances with the BBC Concert Orchestra, Southbank Sinfonia, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Sinfonia Cymru. She recently gave the premiere of a piece written specially for her by Jeremy Holland-Smith on BBC Four’s Choir of the Year.

Ana Szałucka started her musical education at the age of seven.

She completed the bachelor degree at the Stanisław Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdańsk studying with Waldemar Wojtal. In 2013-2014 she continued her studies at the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Wien in piano class of Stefan Vladar. Currently she is studying at the Royal Academy of Music in London under the supervision of Ian Fountain.

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