Since its launch in 1999,
Cornwall's own orchestra, Cornish Sinfonia, is beginning to establish
a stronghold within the cultural life of the County.
During its first year alone, the Sinfonia was asked
to perform the winning entries of the Cornwall Young Composers' Competition
at the Hall For Cornwall, accompany the premiere of a new opera by local
composer Russell Pascoe, called Charlotte Dymond, under the baton
of David Frost, and, step in at short notice to take over a concert from
the Bournemouth Sinfonietta as a result of its regrettable demise. This
particular concert was widely hailed as a huge success.
In the summer of 2000, Cornish Sinfonia forged a collaboration with Macmillan Cancer Relief, performing with the Duchy Opera Chorus, a scintillating
programme of orchestral and choral classics in the imposing grounds of
Pendennis Castle. This was followed in the summer of 2002 with a concert at the Eden Project to a capacity audience.
The following year the orchestra played live to the animated films of Mousehole
Cat & The Story of Arion & The Dolphin with music by the late Ian Hughes The orchestra also received Arts Council support for a commission of Grasshopper Rhymes, which was performed with William Walton’s Façade and featured Jenny Agutter and Peter Skellern as the soloists.
The orchestra has also played in a performance of the award winning The Armed Man conducted by the composer Karl Jenkins and accompanied the soprano Katherine Jenkins in concerts at the Plymouth Pavillions.
In 2003 the orchestra began an association with the Duchy Ballet and performed
the premiere of an adaptation of The Mousehole Cat by Ian Hughes,
together with Giselle. The resulting artistic success was also
matched by record audiences at the Hall For Cornwall and the composition
was one of three finalists for stage productions at the British Composers
Awards The Sinfonia was used for the premiere of the highly successful ballet by David Frost of The Mermaid of Zennor.
2007 saw a highly praised concert at the Hall For Cornwall featuring Suzanne Manuell, which included a performance of the chamber version of Mahler's 4th Symphony and in November of 2010 the orchestra performed as part of the Hall's International Season.
Members of Cornish Sinfonia also performed at the Hall For Cornwall in View From The Shore with the Jacky Lansley Dance Theatre and took part in a tour of British Cathedrals, in a production of Standing Stones for Ascendance.
The premiere of the acclaimed community production, Giant Bolster by David Frost, was performed at the Hall For Cornwall in 2015.
In 2016 the orchestra appeared again at the Hall with a Valentine's Day Concert and will appear in July
at an open air concert at Lusty
Glaze beach. 2017 sees our second visit to Penlee Park in Penzance, in
a programme featuring soloist Suzanne Manuell.
Right: The Mahler concert poster from January 2007 which featured the world premiere of Richard Pascoe's "Yseult of the White Hands". Read more about Russell and listen to soundtracks of his work here.