220312 CUMS CUS


Apostolis Koutsogiannis - Healing (world premiere)

Maurice Ravel - Piano Concerto in G major

Florence Price - Symphony No.1 in E minor


Cambridge University Sinfonia

Jess Hoskins - conductor

Ellis Thomas - piano

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The Cambridge University Sinfonia return to West Road Concert Hall for their first concert of 2022, conducted by 2021-22 Conducting Scholar Jess Hoskins and joined by pianist Ellis Thomas, Concerto Competition 2020 prize winner.

The concert opens with the world premiere of Healing by Apostolis Koutsogiannis, winner of the CUMS 2020 Composition Competition. The orchestra is then joined pianist Ellis Thomas, current Downing College undergraduate, for Ravel's ever popular G major Piano Concerto. Influenced by an eclectic range of styles and idioms, from Jazz to Basque folk music, this work is sure to delight!

The second half is dedicated entirely to Florence Price's Symphony No.1 in E minor. Completed in 1932, the premiere in 1933 by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra was the first symphony by a Black woman to be performed by a major American orchestra. The opening movement has melodies and rhythms typically found in Afro-American folk music, and recalls Dvorák's New World Symphony, while the following slow movement features a moving hymn tune. Both concluding movements are fast and influenced by the Juba dance, an Afro-American style of dance involves raucous stomping. They contain hints of fiddles and banjos, slide whistle effects, and a recurring three-against-two melody which end this work on a whimsical and lively note!