Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra is the resident orchestra at Colston Hall, performing a series of concerts here every year. Since its foundation in 1893 the ensemble has worked with such historic figures as Bartok, Sibelius, Holst, Stravinsky, and Vaughan-Williams, among many others. The orchestra gives over 150 performances each year, collaborating with world-class conductors and soloists keeping them at the forefront of the UK orchestral music scene.
The BSO is proud to serve the communities of South and South West England, as well as appearing on many of the world’s great stages including Carnegie Hall, New York; Concertgebouw, Amsterdam; and Musikverein, Vienna. Since the first pioneering recordings in 1914, the BSO now has over 300 recordings to its name. Recent releases include a critically-acclaimed collaboration with James Ehnes and the top-selling classical recording of 2012 in partnership with Nicola Benedetti.
Away from the concert hall and recording studio, the orchestra is committed to engaging new audiences through their education and community department, BSO Resonate. BSO musicians also take part in an extensive array of community outreach projects.
Bristol Choral Society
Bristol Choral Society is one of the South West’s premier symphony choruses and has been performing at Colston Hall since the choir was founded in 1889. The ensemble has a membership of approximately 180 auditioned singers, and always presents an exciting programme of music, while teaming up with world renowned soloists and professional orchestras under the direction of their conductor, Adrian Partington. In the past the choir has accepted engagements from the Philharmonia Orchestra and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
As a society the ensemble contributes significantly to the Bristol music scene through their ‘come and sing’ events, community outreach and apprentice scheme, which aims to develop the skills of young singers, exposing them to a wide range of music. BCS also regularly stages concerts for children, showcasing classical choral music in an informal and accessible way.
Adrian Partington has had success as a conductor, chorus master, pianist and organist. He is director of music at Gloucester Cathedral, director of BBC National Chorus of Wales and conductor of Bristol Choral Society, among many other things.
Partington studied at the Royal College of Music – with Herbert Howells amongst other fine teachers – and at King’s College, Cambridge, where he was both the Organ Scholar and an Academic Scholar. He has recorded a dozen solo CDs, including the complete sonatas of Gustav Merkel, and the complete works of Basil Harwood.
Alwyn Mellor was born in Lancashire and studied at the Royal Northern College of Music, before heading to continue her studies in Italy and Russia. She has been garnering praise as a soloist ever since, and was hailed by Opera Now as “set to become one of the great Wagnerian sopranos of her generation”.
She began her career at Welsh National Opera, and has since sang with the Canadian Opera Company, English National Opera, Glyndebourne Touring Opera and Opera North, among many others. She has sung Brünnhilde in Die Walküre, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung, as well as an acclaimed début as Isolde for Grand Park Opera. Concert highlights include performances with the BBC Concert Orchestra and BBC Philharmonic, the Hallé, and the London Philharmonic, as well as many international appearances.
Tenor James Gilchrist started his singing career, like many others, in his local church choir. He went on to sing in the choirs of New College, Oxford and King’s Cambridge, and sang with The Sixteen and the Tallis Scholars. Before turning to a full-time career in music he was a doctor, but the lure of the life of a professional musician was just too strong.
James has sung all over the world, and has performed in various world premieres of contemporary works, such as Tavener’s Total Eclipse. Operatic performances include Quint in Turn of the Screw, Ferrando in Cosi Fan Tutte and Purcell’s King Arthur with the English National Opera. James has also appeared on many recordings, most notably Schubert SongCycles with Anna Tilbrook, which was named BBC Music Magazine’s Recording Of The Month.
Born in Dresden, bass-baritone Stephan Loges was an early winner of the Wigmore Hall International Song Competition. In 1995 he began studies with Rudolf Piernay at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, completing the opera course in 1999. Stephan has given recitals throughout the world, including Wigmore Hall, London; Carnegie Hall, New York; and Concertgebouw, Amsterdam.
Stephan’s operatic roles include Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Count in Le Nozze di Figaro, Schaunard in La Bohème, among many others. He has sung Bach Cantatas with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the Passions with the Gabrieli Consort and Paul McCreesh. He made his Proms début in 2002 in St Matthew’s Passion with Trevor Pinnock.