Suffolk Philharmonic gets £15k Arts Council grant

Leslie Olive, founder and artistic director of the Suiffolk Philharmonic
Leslie Olive, founder and artistic director of the Suiffolk Philharmonic

Suffolk Philharmonic Orchestra has been awarded a grant of £15,000 from Arts Council England to support its Spring Programme, “Spring into Summer 2015.”

Leslie Olive, artistic director of Suffolk’s fully professional orchestra, from Rattlesden, said: “This is a huge vote of confidence in the Suffolk Philharmonic Orchestra by our national arts development agency.

Soloist Thomas Gould

Soloist Thomas Gould

“Fewer than half the applications are successful and the fact that we have been awarded this grant speaks well for the way our work and our programme of activity in our community are regarded.”

“Our Spring into Summer Programme has three elements; a series of free, informal community concerts held during the day in village halls in Exning, Trimley, and Holbrook.

These are specially designed for people who might not otherwise get to hear fine music played live, and we have had fabulous feedback from audiences proving that these events are really highly valued.

“Then there is the first of our Town Concerts, presented in one of the smaller towns with a celebrity solo performer and small orchestra.”

This programme is being launched with the world-famous trumpet player Crispian Steele-Perkins and the Suffolk Philharmonic Strings in a concert of Baroque music on Sunday April 21 at St Peter’s in Sudbury, from 4pm.

Mr Olive added: “The climax of this programme comes on Saturday May 23 as part of the Bury Festival, when the Suffolk Philharmonic in its full glory, plays a spectacular concert in St Edmundsbury Cathedral, featuring the stunning young violinist Thomas Gould playing the Beethoven Violin Concerto.

“This concert celebrates three years of the Suffolk Philharmonic Orchestra, and takes place three years to the day since Thomas Gould helped launch the orchestra by playing Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending in the Cathedral.”

The second half of the cathedral concert is a performance of the Organ Symphony by Camille Saint-Saens, which is one of the relatively small number of pieces which combines the glory of the full symphony orchestra with the magnificence of the cathedral organ.

Mr Olive said: “Programmes of this scale, performed by some of the Country’s finest orchestra musicians, are simply not possible without financial support, and this grant, which is funded from the National Lottery, secures this programme and makes it accessible to as many Suffolk people as possible.

“Together with funding from a number of grant-making trusts, from our own fund-raising, and from our business sponsor St Edmundsbury Financial Services Ltd, who have been with us from the beginning three years ago, this Arts Council grant underpins our continually developing programme of music at the very finest level for the people of Suffolk.”