Holst’s The Planets Suite: 100 Years To The Day

Ely Cathedral to host centenary celebration of one of the UK’s best-loved musical works exactly 100 years to the day after the first performance.

One hundred years to the day after its first performance, Gustav Holst’s magnificent Planets Suite will ring out in Ely Cathedral, on Saturday 29th September 2018, when Ely Sinfonia takes to the stage under the baton of its conductor Steve Bingham.  Right from the moment of its world première, conducted by Sir Adrian Boult in the Queen’s Hall, London, The Planets has been Holst’s most popular, influential, widely performed and frequently recorded of all his works, with Jupiter and Mars among some of the most recognised of all English music.

Also on the programme is Holst’s first major orchestral work, his Cotswolds Symphony, described by Classic FM’s Anne-Marie Minhall as “a superb joyful piece with hints of greatness to come.”

The concert starts, fittingly, with the world première of a piece by a modern, local composer. Phil Toms’ Great War Overture will paint a picture of life in the trenches that will echo down the past hundred years:  fitting tribute in the wonderful surroundings of Ely Cathedral.

“We are very privileged to be playing one of the most loved of all British works on the precise day of its centenary,” says the orchestra’s conductor and artistic director, Steve Bingham.  “From the moment of its first performance in the Queen’s Hall, London, on 29th September 1918, the British people took Holst’s The Planets to their hearts.  Its melodies feature in music ranging from the scores of films such as Wallace and Grommit and The Lord of the Rings to the hymn “I Vow to Thee My Country”, played at both the wedding and the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, and the funeral of Baroness Thatcher, as well as many festivals of remembrance.”

“We are also thrilled, 100 years after the end of World War I, to be performing the world première of the Great War Overture by my great friend, local East Anglian composer Phil Toms.  This is going to be a historical and memorable evening.”

Tickets are available from Ely Cathedral Box Office and cost £25, £20 or £15 (reserved) or £8.00 (unreserved); concessions are £15 in the £20 seats.  They can be obtained by calling 01353 660349 or emailing box.office@elycathedral.org, or by booking online from www.elycathedral.org/events.

To find out more about Ely Sinfonia, visit www.elysinfonia.co.uk.  To ask about joining, call 01353 721007 or email publicity@elysinfonia.co.uk.


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