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Llangollen with Rolando Villazón

In July 2019 we returned to the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod for two evening concerts. We have been providing professional musicians to the festival regularly since 2012.

The first concert was an opera gala, featuring the Mexican Tenor Rolando Villazón  along with Sopranos Rhian Lois and Charlotte Hoather  James Hendry was conducting. Highlights were broadcast on both BBC 2 and S4C.

The second concert was a celebration of Welsh composers, featuring music by Arwel Hughes, William Mathias, Paul Mealor and the festival’s new Music Director Edward-Rhys Harry  who also conducted the orchestra.

Both concerts featured the British Sinfonietta  consisting of professional musicians contracted by Absolute Music Services, along with Celesta Hire, Percussion Hire and Synth Hire.

Company

In June 2019 we provided the band for Canolfan Berfformio Cymru's production of Stephen Sondheim's ‘Company' at The Gate Arts Centre in Cardiff. The production featured MA Perfformio, MA Musical Theatre and BA Musical Theatre students, all of whom are studying their craft at under-graduate and post-graduate level.

As well as the band of professional musicians, we provided percussion hire and equipment hire (including music stand lights and a drum screen).

Director: Angharad Lee
Musical Director: David Laugharne
Orchestral Management: Dave Danford for Absolute Music Services

The Creation

We provided the British Sinfonietta for two performances of Haydn’s 'The Creation' in the first half of 2019.

On Saturday 13 April the orchestra performed the original full orchestra version with Swansea Philharmonic Choir at the Brangwyn Hall in Swansea.

On Saturday 1 June the orchestra performed a new edition with The Athenaeum Singers in Warminster, published by Carus, which includes a reduced wind and brass orchestration by Joe Hickman. This reduces the standard double wind and large brass section to two Flutes, one Oboe, one Clarinet, one Bassoon, two Horns and one Trumpet. Reduced orchestrations for major works such as this can be hit and miss, but we are pleased to report that this version was very effective.

Full Scores and orchestral parts for both concerts were provided by our in-house Orchestral Hire Library, with additional equipment (such as music stand lights and Percussion Hire) provided for the second concert.

St Davids Cathedral Festival 2019

At the end of May 2019 we provided professional musicians for three performances at St Davids Cathedral in the space of two days. This was the fifth consecutive year we have provided musicians for St Davids Cathedral Festival, with memorable occasions in the past including a large-scale performance of Verdi’s Requiem, and a performance of Gilbert & Sullivan’s 'HMS Pinafore' with more than a little audience participation.

One of the concerts this year required a Brass Ensemble, so we provided the British Sinfonietta Brass Ensemble, consisting of four Trumpets, three Trombones, Tuba, Timpani and Percussion.

St Davids Cathedral has become something of a regular venue for us, with no fewer than seventeen engagements there since May 2015, including an evening with Sir Karl Jenkins conducting 'The Armed Man' as part of Milford Haven Music Festival in May 2017.

Bach’s Mass in B minor

May 2019 saw the first of the year’s two performances of Bach’s Mass in B minor by the British Sinfonietta. Widely hailed as one of the Baroque period’s choral masterpieces, on this occasion the orchestra was joined by Cardiff Bach Choir and their conductor Luke Spencer, with soloists Gail Pearson, Guy Withers, Keiron Connor Valentine and Philip Lloyd Evans. The venue was BBC Hoddinott Hall, at Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff.

The orchestra’s second performance of the Mass in B minor will take place at the Brangwyn Hall in Swansea, on Sunday 8 December 2019. This special concert will mark the 60th anniversary of Swansea Philharmonic Choir, and will be conducted by Jonathan Rogers.

Multiple Orchestras

We are regularly asked to provide orchestras for more than one client on the same day, and this has never been a problem. Our pool of first-class professional musicians covers the whole of the UK, so we are never stuck for players.

A recent example was on Saturday 6 April 2019, when we provided one orchestra for Brockham Choral's performance of Dvorak’s Stabat Mater near London, and another for Swansea Bach Choir's performance of Fauré’s Requiem in South Wales.

Just one week earlier, on Saturday 30 March 2019, we provided one orchestra for Bracknell Choral Society's performance of works by Bruckner and Mendelssohn in Reading, and another for Woking Choral Society's performance of Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony in Woking.

Cathedral concerts in March 2019

In March 2019 the British Sinfonietta performed Mozart’s Requiem at two of the UK’s finest Cathedrals.

On Saturday 9 March 2019 the orchestra joined forces with Bristol Choral Society and conductor Hilary Campell at Bristol Cathedral, for a programme which also featured Handel’s Dettingen Te Deum.

On Saturday 23 March 2019 the orchestra joined forces with Cumbria Rural Choirs and conductor John Butt at Carlisle Cathedral, for a programme which also featured Haydn’s Seven Last Words.

On both occasions the musicians were contracted by Absolute Music Services. We also provided Percussion Hire, music stand lights, and all of the full scores and orchestral parts through our in-house Orchestral Hire Library.

Summer Holiday

In March 2019 we provided the band for Musicality Academy's production of Summer Holiday, at the Princess Royal Theatre in South Wales. We worked with the organisation for the first time in January 2013, for a production of Copacabana, and have provided professional musicians for various productions since.

Director: Amanda Murphy
Musical Director: Eleri Thomas
Conductor: Joe Morgan
Orchestral Management: Dave Danford for Absolute Music Services

Corau Rhys Meirion

In January 2019 we provided professional musicians for a television series featuring the Tenor Rhys Meirion. The sessions took place at the Tŷ Cerdd StudioWales Millennium Centre in Cardiff. Each of the four sixty-minute episodes featured Rhys performing with a different choir, from various parts of Wales.

Client: Cwmni Da
Ensemble: Welsh Session Orchestra 
Orchestral Contractor: Dave Danford for Absolute Music Services

Home Alone in Concert

Our final project of 2018 was contracting the musicians for two performances of Home Alone in Concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London. We provided the 83-piece Cinematic Sinfonia along with percussion hire, synth hire and orchestral management.

Client: Royal Albert Hall Productions
Ensemble: Cinematic Sinfonia
Conductor: Ben Palmer
Orchestral Management: Dave Danford for Absolute Music Services

War Requiem in Swansea

On Sunday 2 December 2018 we provided the British Sinfonietta for a performance of Benjamin Britten’s epic War Requiem at the Brangwyn Hall in Swansea. 

A total of 72 professional musicians were contracted, with a smaller chamber orchestra on-stage alongside the main orchestra.

Jonathan Rogers was tasked with conducting the large number of performers, which also included Swansea Philharmonic Choir and a children’s choir.

The Last Five Years - theatre tour

In November 2018 we provided the musicians for a professional theatre tour of Jason Robert Brown s musical ‘The Last Five Years’. The tour opened with a week at Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff, with a review in The Stage describing it as ‘visually and musically compelling’ and awarding it five stars.

Director: Angharad Lee
Musical Director: David Laugharne
Orchestral Management: Dave Danford for Absolute Music Services

Video Games Live - UK tour

In October and November 2018 we provided the musicians for Video Games Live on tour in the UK.

We have been the sole provider of orchestras for Video Games Live dates in the UK since 2015, which has included performances in Glasgow, London and Manchester.

As well as providing the British Sinfonietta orchestra we also provided Percussion Hire,  Synth Hire, and music stand lights.

Client: SJM Concerts
Conductor: Bryan Deans
Orchestral Contractor: Dave Danford for Absolute Music Services

Annie

In October 2018 we provided professional musicians for Colburn Performance Academy's production of Annie, at Camberley Theatre in Surrey.

Client: EntertainArts
Musical Director: Joe Wilson
Orchestral Management: Dave Danford for Absolute Music Services

The Dream of Gerontius

On Saturday 13 October 2018 we contracted a total of 73 professional musicians for Gloucester Choral Society's performance of Elgar’s ‘The Dream of Gerontius’.

The venue was Gloucester’s glorious Cathedral, and conducting was the Cathedral’s Director of Music Adrian Partington.

As well as the orchestra, we also provided Percussion Hire, music stand lights, and orchestral scores and parts through our in-house Orchestral Hire Library.

Anfonaf Angel : Côr Rhys Meirion

On Monday 24 September 2018 we provided musicians for a recording session at Sain Studios in Caernarfon. The session involved recording a new version of the Welsh song ‘Anfonaf Angel’ by Robat Arwyn  for a television programme celebrating the song’s tenth anniversary. 

Client: Cwmni Da
Ensemble: Welsh Session Orchestra 
Orchestral Contractor: Dave Danford for Absolute Music Services

Mumbles Festival of Music 2018

In September 2018 we provided musicians for this year’s Mumbles Festival of Music and the Arts, on the beautiful Gower Peninsula near Swansea in South Wales.

The highlight of the festival was a performance of Sir Karl Jenkins’ ‘Stabat Mater’, featuring the original vocalist Belinda Sykes. As well as the standard orchestral instruments we also provided a solo percussionist, and an ethnic woodwind specialist (covering Cor Anglais and Duduk).

Llandeilo Festival of Music 2018

In July 2018 we provided professional musicians and music hire for the closing event of Llandeilo Festival of Music. The British Sinfonietta was conducted by Eilir Owen Griffiths, alongside a handpicked group of singers and soloist Robyn Lyn Evans.

Cheltenham Music Festival 2018

In July 2018 we contracted 99 musicians for a performance of Berlioz’ epic Requiem for Cheltenham Music Festival  This was the British Sinfonietta's first appearance at the festival, and the venue was Gloucester Cathedral.

As well as musicians we provided Percussion Hire, music stand lights, and sheet music hire from our Orchestral Hire Library.

Client: Cheltenham Music Festival
Ensemble: British Sinfonietta
Orchestral Contractor: Dave Danford for Absolute Music Services

St Davids Cathedral Festival 2018

In July 2018 we provided musicians for St Davids Cathedral Festival for a fourth consecutive year. The Festival’s Artistic Director Oliver Waterer led the British Sinfonietta and Côr Dyfed Choir in a performance of Haydn’s ‘The Creation’.

As well as musicians we provided Percussion Hire, music stand lights, and sheet music hire from our Orchestral Hire Library.

Client: St Davids Cathedral Festival
Ensemble: British Sinfonietta
Orchestral Contractor: Dave Danford for Absolute Music Services

Into the Woods

In March 2018 we provided the band for Canolfan Berfformio Cymru s production of Stephen Sondheim's ‘Into the Woods' at The Gate Arts Centre in Cardiff. The production featured BA Perfformio students, all of whom are studying their craft at university level.

As well as the band of professional musicians, we provided percussion hire and music stand lights.

Director: Brock Roberts
Musical Director: Eilir Owen Griffiths
Orchestral Management: Dave Danford for Absolute Music Services

Karl Jenkins’ Requiem in Penrith

In March 2018 we performed Karl Jenkins’ Requiem with Cumbria Rural Choirs at St Andrew’s Church in Penrith. This massed choir comprises singers from Wigton Choral SocietyKeswick Choral Society, Ullswater Choir, together with singers from all over Cumbria. They perform one large-scale concert per year. The concert was conducted by Ian Wright.

As well as booking the professional musicians comprising the British Sinfonietta we also provided music stand lights and percussion hire, including a number of specialist instruments. We also provided a Sakuhachi soloist.

Sweeney Todd

In December 2017 we provided the band for Canolfan Berfformio Cymru's production of Stephen Sondheim's ’Sweeney Todd' at The Gate Arts Centre in Cardiff. The production featured BA Perfformio students, all of whom are studying their craft at university level.

As well as the band of professional musicians, we provided percussion hire and music stand lights.

Director: Angharad Lee
Musical Director: Eilir Owen Griffiths
Orchestral Management: Dave Danford for Absolute Music Services

The Addams Family in Concert

On Thursday 26 October 2017 we contracted 78 professional musicians for the world premiere of ‘The Addams Family in Concert’ at the Royal Albert Hall in London. This was the third large-scale concert at the Royal Albert Hall we contracted the orchestra for in the space of less than a week.

The Cinematic Sinfonia was conducted by Jessica Cottis.

Client: Royal Albert Hall
Orchestral Contractor: Dave Danford for Absolute Music Services

James Horner: A Life in Music

On Tuesday 24 October 2017 we contracted 95 professional musicians for a celebration of the life and music of James Horner at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The Cinematic Sinfonia was conducted by Ludwig Wicki, who was a personal friend of the late composer.

Client: Royal Albert Hall
Orchestral Contractor: Dave Danford for Absolute Music Services

Michael Giacchino at 50

On Friday 20 October 2017 we contracted 88 professional musicians for a special concert at the Royal Albert Hall celebrating Academy Award winning composer Michael Giacchino’s 50th birthday.

The Cinematic Sinfonia was conducted by Ludwig Wicki and Michael Giacchino, and there were numerous special guests appearing on stage, including J. J. Abrams.

Client: Royal Albert Hall
Orchestral Contractor: Dave Danford for Absolute Music Services

Thoroughly Modern Millie

In July 2017 we provided the band for Musicality Academy's production of Thoroughly Modern Millie, at the Princess Royal Theatre in South Wales. We worked with the organisation for the first time in January 2013, for a production of Copacabana, and have provided professional musicians for various productions since.

Director: Dan Phillips
Musical Director: Eleri Thomas
Conductor: Joe Morgan
Orchestral Management: Dave Danford for Absolute Music Services

St Davids Cathedral Festival 2017

In 2017 we provided musicians for St Davids Cathedral Festival for a third consecutive year, for four separate events:

27/05/2017 Fauré - Requiem
28/05/2017 Haydn - Missa brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo
30/05/2017 Come & Sing Gilbert & Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore
15/07/2017 Verdi - Requiem

As well as musicians we provided Percussion Hire,  music stand lights, and sheet music hire from our Orchestral Hire Library.

Client: St Davids Cathedral Festival
Ensemble: British Sinfonietta
Orchestral Contractor: Dave Danford for Absolute Music Services

Llanelli Proms 2017

On Saturday 24 June 2017 we contracted the orchestra for the Llanelli Proms for a fifth consecutive year. The programme featured orchestral classics, choral classics and all of the usual Last Night of the Proms repertoire. The British Sinfonietta was conducted by John Hywel Williams.

As well as musicians we provided Percussion Hire, music stand lights, and sheet music hire from our Orchestral Hire Library.

Client: Hywel Girls’ Choir and Hywel Boy Singers
Ensemble: British Sinfonietta
Orchestral Contractor: Dave Danford for Absolute Music Services

Deuawdau Rhys Meirion

In April and May 2017 we provided professional musicians for a television series featuring the Tenor Rhys Meirion  The sessions took place at the Tŷ Cerdd StudioWales Millennium Centre in Cardiff. Each of the six thirty-minute episodes featured Rhys performing duets with some of Wales’ most popular musical artists.

Client: Cwmni Da
Ensemble: Welsh Session Orchestra
Orchestral Contractor: Dave Danford for Absolute Music Services

An Evening with Sir Karl Jenkins

On Saturday 6 May 2017 we contracted the orchestra for a concert at Milford Haven Music Festival, with Sir Karl Jenkins conducting an evening of his own music in the majestic surroundings of St Davids Cathedral.

A total of 71 professionals were contracted for the British Sinfonietta  along with a great deal of Percussion Hire.

Client: Milford Haven Music Festival
Ensemble: British Sinfonietta
Orchestral Contractor: Dave Danford for Absolute Music Services

Rock Choir

On Sunday 5 March 2017 we contracted the orchestra for a day of workshops organised by Rock Choir at BBC Hoddinott HallWales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay.

Client: Rock Choir
Ensemble: Welsh Session Orchestra
Orchestral Contractor: Dave Danford for Absolute Music Services

Joe Leader - Rite of Passage

On Monday 20 February 2017 we contracted orchestral string players for a recording session at RAK Studios in London. The repertoire being recorded was for a new album featuring Saxophonist Joe Leader.

Client: Leading Note Ltd.
Orchestral Contractor: Dave Danford for Absolute Music Services