It's all change at Huddersfield Philharmonic Orchestra with both a new conductor and a new president in place, as the orchestra heads for its first concert of the season.
Newly appointed principal conductor Robert Guy will be in charge for this season’s opener at Huddersfield Town Hall on Saturday, November 9.
The orchestra will play Rossini, Tchaikovsky and Elgar and its soloist is top young cellist Laura van der Heijden.
It’s a great way for the orchestra to start the season and a really positive start for Graham Smelt, who has just taken over as the orchestra’s president.
Graham plays cello in the orchestra – though not in this concert – and also sings with Huddersfield Choral Society. He welcomed Robert’s appointment and said he hoped next Saturday’s concert will be “an auspicious start to a long and fruitful relationship".
Robert was born in Wrexham North Wales and is artistic director and co-founder, with his brother Jonathan Guy, of NEW Sinfonia which is based in North Wales.
He is principal conductor to the Orchestra of Square Chapel and musical director of Cantorion Rhos Choir.
Robert made his debut at St David’s Hall, working with trumpet virtuoso Allen Vizzutti and the Cardiff Sinfonietta, in the gala concert of the Arcomis International Brass Festival.
Last month, he was invited to conduct at the International Masterclasses Berlin where he worked with Michail Jurowski and the Berlin Sinfonietta.
Robert is also committed to contemporary music and was recently assistant conductor to the contemporary ensemble‘Size Zero Opera Company, who performed at the Tête-à-Tête Opera Festival and Grimeborn Festival in London.
In addition to his career as a conductor, Robert plays viola and has worked for the Orchestra of Opera North, Northern Ballet and Sinfonia Cymru.
Next week’s soloist, Laura van der Heijden, has been widely applauded as a bright new musical talent.
She was last year’s BBC Young Musician of the Year and joins the orchestra in a performance of the Elgar Cello Concerto. A much loved piece played by an exciting soloist.
Laura was born in 1997, the youngest daughter of a Dutch father and a Swiss mother.
She began playing the recorder when she was four and by the time she was 10 had grade 8 distinctions on both cello and piano.
In 2005 Laura joined the Junior Department of the Royal College of Music, where she learns piano with Emily Jeffrey and plays in many ensembles.
Since 2008 Laura has been a student of the renowned British-Russian cellist Leonid Gorokhov.
They are performing together in the UK and in Germany.
Laura was just 15 when she won the BBC Young Musician title and her repertoire is already wide-ranging. But this is seen as a rare performance of this concerto by her in the north of England and one not be missed.
The programme is completed by Rossini's Overture to The Barber Of Seville and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 (Pathétique), music full of excitement and melody.
Tickets on-line at www.huddersfield-phil.org.uk or from Kirklees box offices.