Nottingham Philharmonic: Royal Concert Hall Nottingham: 25/1/20: 4****. William Ruff



Nottingham Philharmonic Orchestra


January 25 2020


Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham




Review: William Ruff



The Nottingham Philharmonic goes global with their 2020 Family Concert


If the very thought of airport security makes your blood pressure rise and gives you nightmares involving hats, jackets, belts, loose change, iPads and body scanners, then you may have wondered if there might not be an easier way to travel.  Well, there is…or at least there was on Saturday night when the Nottingham Philharmonic gave their annual Family Concert.

The NPO are masters of the art of pitching a concert at the nine months to ninety age range.  There was something for everyone and when the youngest audience members woke up from time to time and decided to join in, it didn’t matter a jot.

This year’s theme was Around the World in 80 minutes, not quite accurate for an event which finished 140 minutes after it started, but it wasn’t the sort of occasion when pinpoint precision was paramount.  In fact, this year’s presenter, Michaela Strachan, welcomed the audience (twice) to Nottingham’s ‘Royal Opera House’ and she admitted that the world of classical music wasn’t exactly her natural habitat.  But she was a bubbly, enthusiastic guide to the programme and seemed to be having the time of her life.

The NPO once again proved just how versatile they are and created an impressive sound, especially when playing at full throttle with all the extra guitars, drum kits etc thrown in.  They gave vivid performances of classical pieces which took us from McCunn’s Scotland to Grieg’s Norway and then on to the Mexico of Arturo Marquez via Rimsky-Korsakov’s Spain.  There was film music too: Out of Africa, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Lion King, Lord of the Rings, Slumdog Millionaire.  And Bohemian Rhapsody and Riverdance too.

Yes, it really was a rich and varied mixture but conductors Mark Heron and Melvin Tay ensured everything flowed smoothly and no one got seasick on the way.



Nottingham Philharmonic Orchestra

Mark Heron and Melvin Tay, conductors

Michaela Strachan, presenter


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