Press Release: 19th February 2013

by rob
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Published on: February 21, 2013

The Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra is delighted to announce details of its forthcoming spring concert on Saturday 16th March at Newnham Church. The orchestra will once again be under the musical direction of its energetic young conductor, Thomas Payne, who studied violin and conducting at the Birmingham Conservatoire and will perform Sibelius’s Valse Triste and the Roccoco Variations for Cello and Orchestra during the first half.

The soloist is renowned young cellist, Robert Kurnatowski. As a member of the Bantock Quartet, Robert is currently a Junior Fellow at Birmingham Conservatoire. Initially training as a physicist, Robert was a Music Scholar at the University of Birmingham and graduated in 2010 with a first class honours degree in Physics. He continued his cello studies with Lionel Handy at Birmingham Conservatoire, graduating
in 2012 with distinction on the Master’s programme. During his studies at Birmingham Conservatoire, Robert won places on both the Birmingham Royal Ballet and C.B.S.O. training schemes, and was winner of the Sylvia Cleaver Chamber Music Prize and Derek Young Memorial Award. He was also winner of the strings category of the Symphony Hall Prize, and finalist in the Conservatoire’s Strings Prize, the Delius Prize and the Ambache Prize. In 2012, Robert was invited to perform in the final of the prestigious Muriel Taylor Scholarship competition, and is looking to forward to performing in this year’s final at the end of March 2013. Robert is continuing to study with
Lionel Handy and Richard Lester.

Following the interval the second half will entirely devoted to a performance of Mendelssohn’s third symphony, ‘The Scottish’.

Thomas Payne currently holds the position of Musical Director at both the Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra and The Ludlow Orchestra. He is also Principal Conductor of Asklepios Orchestra and Birmingham Conservatoire Student Symphony Orchestra. From 2009-2012 he was Associate Musical Director of Birmingham Concert Orchestra and Principal Conductor for the City of Derby Youth Orchestra.
Since graduating from Birmingham Conservatoire in 2011 he has conducted a number of ensembles including Milton Keynes City Orchestra, Dartington Festival Orchestra, CBSO Youth Orchestra, Bedworth Symphony Orchestra and Birmingham Conservatoire Composer’s Ensemble. Thomas has also been a regular guest with Charnwood Orchestra, Wyre Forest Symphony Orchestra and Birmingham University Symphony Orchestra. This year he will make his debut with Hereford String Orchestra and Leamington Chamber Orchestra.
Thomas has recently been working with vocal students from Birmingham Conservatoire, conducting the world premier of James Oldham’s ‘Off the Beaten Track’ with Waste Paper Opera at the Crescent Theatre, Birmingham. Thomas has also worked with students on scenes from Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Cosi fan tutte, Die Zauerflote, Zaide, La Finta Giardiniera and Carmen. In February 2013 he conducted a semi-staged performance of scenes from Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes, The Rape of Lucretia, The Turn of the Screw, Owen Wingrave, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Albert Herring at the Adrian Boult Hall.

Thomas has been studying privately with Philip Ellis since 2009 and has participated in masterclasses with Sian Edwards, Steuart Bedford, John Carewe and Michael Seal.

The orchestra is led as usual by distinguished local performer and teacher, Ros Taunton. The concert will start at 7.30pm and tickets are available at the door, £8/£5 concessions with all school children getting in for free, so long as they are accompanied by an adult. The orchestra now has a fully updated website and a facebook page where further details about the orchestra and recruitment can be found.For any further info about the orchestra please contact The Chairperson on 01594 510604.

 

Pictured below, Robert Kurnatowski.

 

 

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