Every year, the weekend of William Shakespeare’s birthday is celebrated with a series of events including music, parades and even a birthday cake.
This year, NSO are joining in and are presenting a programme of music exclusively chosen for its relevance to Shakespeare and his works.
2016 is an especially important year for the Bard as it also marks 400 years since his death.
Shakespeare is thought to have died on the same date he was born, April 23rd, and this year will feature even more festivities than usual.
The orchestra will be joined by actor Graham Padden to perform the scenario taken from William Walton’s score for the 1944 film Henry V. Padden expertly narrates the piece, giving all of the most important speeches and soliloquies to bring the music to life.
Audiences who don’t know the play need not worry – the speeches have been carefully chosen to give the story complete clarity and will be accompanied by programme notes to guide listeners through the piece.
NSO will also be performing The Magic Island by Northampton-born composer William Alwyn. The piece is based on Prospero’s island from The Tempest.
Also featured in the programme are selected movements from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet suite. This will include the ever-popular Dance of the Knights which has enjoyed plenty of fame in the world of television, most notably in Gotham and The Apprentice.
Founded in 1893, Northampton Symphony Orchestra are approaching their 125th anniversary.
The ensemble is made up of a dynamic group of talented musicians from the local area and neighbouring counties, who come from all walks of life. They are lucky enough to have professional musicians amongst them and are led by violinist Stephen Hague, who played in the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House for a number of years.
John Gibbons became musical director in 2015 and is conducting the orchestra for his first full season, having already made a name for himself with the Worthing Symphony Orchestra and various other ensembles.
The concert takes place at Spinney Theatre, Northampton School for Girls on Saturday April 23.
Tickets are available online at www.nso.org.uk as well as on the door. Prices are £14 for adults and £12 for concessions. Two children can enter free with each paying adult and then £7 each thereafter.