This is an exciting year for Fortismere Music Centre.
As we approach our ten-year anniversary in 2019, the scale and reach of the Centre grows at every level. Our two ensembles are playing music of greater diversity and ambition than ever before, while our instrumental lessons continue to provide high-quality tuition to people of all ages and backgrounds.
This year we have added chamber music to the opportunities on offer at our Saturday Centre (with our newly formed Jazz Band and String Quartet), as well as reintroducing Sharing Concerts as a way of building confidence, and gently introducing our learners to performance as an element of being a musician.
For the first time in the Centre’s history, this year we have launched a full season of concerts, programmed across an entire year. It is an exciting opportunity to have an impact beyond a concert-to-concert basis, and we’re looking forward to taking our audience on a journey over five dynamic evenings between November 2017 and June 2018.
We start in the wintry depths of Europe and Russia, as Fortismere Community Symphony Orchestra is joined by the “superb” (Guardian) Fidelio Trio to play Beethoven’s ‘Triple Concerto’, before Rachmaninoff’s ‘Symphony No. 2’. It is always a pleasure to invite soloists to perform with our ensembles: it is an inspiring experience for those playing alongside them, and a great opportunity for our audiences to hear world-class music in a local venue.
Throughout the year we will welcome a diverse range of musicians, from the “captivating” (Telegraph) Manuela Schütte, singing Monteverdi, to the internationally awarding-winning Kamila Bydlowska, playing Sibelius, as well as many more along the way.
For Christmas we have a treasure-trove of festive music, old and new, themed around the Virgin Mary. Fortismere Community Choir sings a diverse array of sublime carols, motets and extracts from classic crowd-pleasers, including Monteverdi’s ‘Vespers’ and Handel’s ‘Messiah’. A wonderful introduction for those who aren’t used to live classical music, or just want to join in singing the carols, we welcome all to our friendly and warm-hearted concert.
The new year brings with it a first for the Centre, as Fortismere Community Symphony Orchestra performs the world première of Rohan Stevenson’s ‘Cinematic Overture’. The opportunity to support local contemporary composers is a key part of our community mission, and this evening promises to be a joy, as old masters Vaughan-Williams and Sibelius sit alongside a sparkling new piece.
Fortismere Community Choir and Symphony Orchestra come together in Spring for an epic performance of Haydn’s secular masterwork, ‘The Seasons’. The centrepiece of the Choir’s year, this dramatic oratorio showcases a tradition of non-religious choral music on a large-scale, written instead as an adventure into nature and an exploration of our relationship with the world.
As a finalé to our season of concerts, Fortismere Community Symphony Orchestra prepares a final flight into the fantastical imagination of fin-de-siècle decadence. We’ll see out the year with the dazzling ‘Firebird Suite’ as well as a host of other turn-of-the-century delights from the world of theatre, ballet and opera.
Our concerts are bound together by a belief that community music-making should be bold and ambitious, tackling the most exciting themes and composers, with a flair for the theatrical and a sense of fun. This season aims to be entertaining and engaging for both audiences and performers alike. Above all else, this music invites everyone to join in. We believe that it is in such an experience of joining in, either as an instrumental student or a singer, as an orchestral player or an audience member, that the truest sense of our community flourishes.