Thrilling violinist for choral society

Nicola Benedetti
Nicola Benedetti

HARROGATE Choral Society is kicking off its new season of concerts with a not-to-be-missed evening of Mozart at the Royal Hall in November.

Bringing the energy, musicality and elegance which has brought her international acclaim will be the violinist, Nicola Benedetti who has been enthralling audiences worldwide since she shot to fame as the winner of the BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2004.

She will be playing Mozart’s Violin Concerto No 5, which has been described as “unsurpassed for brilliance, tenderness and wit”.

Tony Latter, chairman of the Harrogate Choral Society says: “We are absolutely thrilled that a performer of Nicola Benedetti’s stature is going to join us for the opening concert of our 2011/2012 season.”

The choral society will sing Mozart’s Requiem Mass in D minor which the composer wrote in 1791 but died before completing.

Although there remains debate about how much of the piece is Mozart’s own work and how much was finished by his pupil and assistant Franz Süssmayr, what is unquestioned is that the Requiem represents one of the most enduring and best-loved compositions in the choral repertoire.

Marilynne Davies, deputy music director of the Harrogate Choral Society said: “The Mozart Requiem is for singers thoroughly rewarding to perform. The exquisite and memorable melodies coupled with the intensity of choruses like the Lacrimosa and the vividness of the Dies Irae ensure that the religious significance of the Requiem Mass is well expressed and observed. It is a moving experience for both audience and performers.”

The concert will begin with Mozart’s charming and seldom-heard Sancta Maria, setting the tone for what promises to be a sell-out event.

Joining the 170-strong choir will be the splendid soloists Claire Wild (soprano), Frances Bourne (alto), Pascal Charbonneau (tenor) and Jonathan Best (bass).

The orchestra for the concert is the Manchester Camerata, described last year by this paper’s reviewer as “a superb group of players” and whose longstanding association with the Harrogate Choral Society has led to many moving performances.

The programme will be conducted by music director of the Harrogate Choral Society, Andrew Padmore, who is renowned for his perceptive interpretation, vigour and attention to detail.

Other concerts this season include Handel Messiah, Elgar Dream of Gerontius and a Royal Celebration in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Details of all the Harrogate Choral Society’s concerts are available at

l Tickets costing £17-£24 are available from the theatre box office on 01423 502116 or online at