Lucy Galliard reflects back on our 40th Anniversary concert from 4th May

Earlier this month, under the beautiful and emotive Peace Doves installation, Sinfonia Viva celebrated our 40th Birthday at Derby Cathedral along with a near capacity audience. We wanted to make this concert a true celebration of our fantastic orchestra, showcase the talent of some of the people we work with in the community, and provide a nod to the heritage of our hometown of Derby.

As well as marking our 40th year, this was also a concert of firsts for the orchestra. We were delighted to be joined by Delyana Lazarova to conduct the performance, our first time working with her. Sing Viva our choir for carers performed with the full forces of Sinfonia Viva for the first time. And we gave the world premiere of Becoming One, a specially commissioned work co-created with Sing Viva by the inspirational composer Preetha Narayanan.

Click for programme note on the new commission 'Becoming One'

The amazing versatility of Sinfonia Viva’s musicians was also showcased, from an opening fanfare inspired by the Cathedral’s Bells to their joyful and compelling performance of Mozart’s Symphony No. 40. Our wonderful leader, Sophie Rosa, gave a beautiful rendition of Beethoven’s Romance No. 2, and at a post-concert event three of our musicians swopped classical for jazz, creating a wonderful atmosphere of celebration.

This was the first time the orchestra had been able to perform together in Derby Cathedral since 2019, pre-pandemic, making this event even more poignant as our return to live performance after all the challenges of the last two years.

Our 40th Birthday celebrations continue throughout the year, across our many educational and community programmes, but also in our orchestral concerts. So why not help us continue our celebrations by joining us at Darley Park on the 28th August (tickets available here), or consider becoming a friend of Sinfonia Viva (more details here) to help us continue to bring the joy and wonder of live music to thousands of people each year for the next 40 years!

Lucy Galliard, May 2022