WSO Chair, Marion Friend MBE talks about our 2018-2019 season

The natural world dominates the season which features new local collaborations with Wimbledon Community Chorus, Sonoro and National Opera Studio

I am delighted to introduce Wimbledon Symphony Orchestra’s 2018-19 season and what better way to open it than with Gaspard the Fox, the handsomest fox in London! We’re thrilled that the author and BBC Radio 4 broadcaster Zeb Soanes is returning to WSO for the third time to read extracts from his recent book and he will be signing copies after each Foxtrot concert (Saturday 13 October 2.00pm and 4.00pm). The programme opens with Rossini’s The Thieving Magpie and ends with Poulenc’s Baba the Elephant so be prepared for an adventure!

The celebrated violinist Jennifer Pike also makes a welcome return to WSO on Saturday 08 December to perform Korngold’s stunning violin concerto filled with lyrical melodies and virtuosic writing for the soloist. Korngold gained an iconic reputation as a Hollywood film composer and you may hear references to some of the film scores he incorporates in the work.  With Mahler and Beethoven in the programme too, this is a concert not to be missed.

WSO has been supporting Macmillan Merton for over twenty years and our annual concert at St Paul’s Church SW19 6DA is always a special occasion for both organisations. As well as the popular programme we are always treated to the most delicious refreshments made by the Macmillan committee, all in aid of this vital charity.  On Saturday 02 March 2019 we shall feature WSO’s talented principal clarinet Richard Stockall in a performance of Finzi’s clarinet concerto and Brahms Symphony no.1, not forgetting Suppé Light Cavalry Overture which will take you back to those Disney Mickey Mouse cartoons!

And now to two new collaborations: firstly we are delighted to be partnering with Wimbledon Community Chorus and the professional choir Sonoro in a performance of Mozart Requiem on Saturday 30 March 2019. This is an exciting opportunity for WSO to meet and perform with local amateur singers and professional singers, some of whom will also be performing Mozart Exultate Jubilate and other well-known masterpieces in the first half of the concert.

Our final concert of the season is another new venture, an Opera Gala on Saturday 22 June 2019 featuring talented young professional singers from National Opera Studio, a prestigious training organisation based in Wandsworth. They will perform famous solo arias and duets by Puccini, Verdi and Wagner, many of which are likely to be familiar to audiences including  ‘Vissi d'arte’ and 'E lucevan le stelle' from Puccini’s Tosca. This is perfect entertainment for a summer’s evening, and you never know, there might even be a glass of Pimms!

WSO is grateful to our regular professional conductors Andrew Morley and Leo Geyer, who help us to bring these imaginative concert programmes to fruition, to the Friends of WSO and Humphrey Richardson Taylor Trust who support us, and to the WSO committee who work with great commitment throughout the season.


Marion Friend MBE

Chair WSO