Review: Cracking stuff from Warwickshire Symphony Orchestra

Warwickshire Symphony Orchestra with Callum Smart, Guy Nelson Hall, Warwick, October 19.

Warwickshire Symphony Orchestra
Warwickshire Symphony Orchestra

To open their 74th season, Warwickshire Symphony Orchestra (WSO) brought together the dream line-up of Richard Laing as guest conductor, with Callum Smart to play the Sibelius Violin Concerto, Opus 47.

Supporters of WSO will have keenly watched the progress and growth of the 16-year-old Callum since he made his debut with the orchestra soon after winning the strings category of the 2010 BBC Young Musicians Competition. Now standing close to six foot, he is an assured, confident performer and played the Sibelius for the first time in public with great aplomb.

Richard Laing brings the very best from the musicians of Leamington Sinfonia as their regular conductor. I understand members of WSO appreciated being ‘worked hard’ by Richard; and he clearly successfully mentored Callum to produce an extremely sensitive second movement adagio before embarking on a truly Scandinavian-sounding final movement. Cracking stuff.

Beyond the interval, WSO embarked on a ‘tour de force’, Stravinksky’s Petrouchka. They do love challenges and most frequently pull them off. Thanks to some astonishing trumpet playing - Peter Wain’s efforts were duly acknowledged – and support from the glorious bassoons and flutes, plus the efforts of harpist, Dilys O’Driscoll, and a massive percussion contribution, they pulled this one off too.

Clive Peacock