Orpheus Sinfonia - A New Approach

Orpheus Sinfonia - Enjoying RehearsalsOrpheus Sinfonia – A New Approach

Orpheus Sinfonia is establishing itself as one of the most vibrant, dynamic and inspiring of young orchestras. It was founded as an orchestra to provide opportunity and support for those exceptionally talented young musicians emerging from study out into the profession. The orchestra attracts the very best of music conservatoire graduates, forming an elite group of young professional performers excelling in artistic distinction, with an unrivalled electricity, excitement and passion, and such that stands out from an older and more established entity.

Furthermore, we realise just how much it is within our responsibility to get this out to audiences, to develop and expand the performance opportunities both to make it viable for our musicians, and to enable the experience, benefits and accessibility to such music for the population as a whole. Sub-consciously, known or otherwise, and in so many ways music is incredibly important. For example, author Jill Paton Walsh said recently, we “absolutely need music to resolve the emotion in life” without which the struggle is unresolvable, and carrying out life and work becomes difficult. The need to maintain emotional balance and comprehension is a vital one in today’s world, and one that can be overlooked in the many troubles that are faced, yet perhaps it is not actually far from the centre of these troubles. That is just one of the many unique powers we have the privilege to be able to command through music, and therefore our responsibility is to open this up and use our exceptional musical talent to the support and benefit of others. Classical music does have something for everyone – the world we live in is surrounded by it, but it is enabling people to realise they do have a connection and presenting it in a way that engages with wide appeal, yet not undermining or compromising the very unique and significant value of the music, that is our challenge. It is up to us, the musicians, to develop classical music to meet the needs of our society, so that its wealth of unique and extraordinary qualities can be benefited, utilised, comprehended and engaged with by all.

We have just launched a brand new, very exciting series with Orpheus Sinfonia, “Beneath the Score”, which sees us delve deeper into the music than ever before, but through subjects common and comprehensible to all. The subjects we approach are diverse, including revolution, Shakespeare, love, nature, politics, fairy tales and the universe, amongst others. The thought being a new listener can be drawn to a subject they feel a current understanding and link with, and that is their way in, but at the same time the more experienced musician and concert-goer is also presented with a new and intriguing approach to music they may well already be incredibly familiar with but can discover something afresh, or simply still enjoy what they already do with fresh invigoration. This concept is designed to bring classical music to life by revealing the music, the composers’ lives, emotions and personalities, the times in which they lived, the inspiration and the messages in the music. This is done through music, readings, actors, art, verse and visual images. By exploring what lies behind the notes we can open new doors to those not yet in love with the wonderful and extraordinary power of classical music and at the same time enrich the knowledge and appreciation of those already more familiar. In the next concerts we will explore what Shakespeare's legacy has created in music, engage in the battle of a very human love triangle, see the power of politics and experience the great power of nature.

Alongside projects and valuable developments of this nature, we are also very aware that we are spoilt with the wealth of musical talent that surrounds us on a regular basis, uplifts and inspires our lives and beings, indeed the very meaning of our existence, and in the past months we have also worked to further develop projects of outreach and support to others.

In April 2014 we collaborated with the charity Keys of Change in an extraordinary project with 40 students from Fukushima, Japan, who came over to London. In this project we enabled music to give them the power of hope, purpose, an emotional outlet and comprehension, and a determination to overcome the devastation they had suffered. To see this visibly happening during the course of the project was remarkable, a testament to the incomparable ability of music and the need for it. And alongside this it gave these young people a pathway and means to developing skills for their future in whatever career path they may be able to forge. There are hundreds of students in Fukushima, and subject to raising the necessary support and funds to make this happen, we aim to fulfil our responsibility to use our music to the benefit and help of those suffering there. We hope to go out to Japan in August 2015 to work with the many students in Fukushima whose lives were devastated by the Tsunami a few years ago, which whilst a thing of the past to us, the suffering is still daily life in Fukushima.

Trinity Hospice is an exceptional establishment in Clapham doing the most vital of work with patients and all those associated with cancer sufferers. In the past year Orpheus has developed a partnership to do what little we can to support and help those involved at the Hospice in all areas, be they the patients themselves, but also those relatives and friends, those bereaved, the carers, medical staff, support staff, administrative staff, cleaners and caretakers. It was extraordinary to witness just what ability we have through the power of our music to provide light at such dark times, a moment of relief, a diversion, a resurgence of memories of better times, the re-vitalisation of the mind and a chance to be a part of something. Patients who had barely spoken a word or communicated for many a month, were engaged and excited - smiles actually broke out on their faces. The sheer power and necessity of music experienced at the closest first hand level. We look forward to this continued work, grateful that we have such a skill that we can impart to such a valuable cause.

Our aim and hope is very much to develop Orpheus further in order to provide more work for our musicians, to fulfil our objectives to share and utilise the power of music to the benefit of all, further performances, enable and discover new partnerships, reach new venues and new audiences, establishing ourselves as the artistic presence, excitement and exhilaration that we are becoming associated with.

Rosie Taylor

Deputy Artistic Director

Orpheus Sinfonia Foundation

February 2015