Alissa Firsove starring with St Albans Symphony Orchestra

TWO great works by a composer whose music has been revered for two centuries will feature in the St Albans Symphony Orchestra’s Spring concert next Saturday, March 5.

As befits the date the orchestra, conducted by Bjorn Bantock, will perform Beethoven’s famous Symphony No 5 and his Piano Concerto No 5 the “Emperor” at the concert to be held at 7.30pm in St Saviour’s Church, Sandpit Lane.

The soloist will be St Albans-based pianist Alissa Firsova who not only performs on the piano but is also a prize-winning composer and conductor who is currently studying at the Royal Academy of Music.

The orchestra will also be giving the first performance of Saturnalia, a specially-commissioned work from North London composer Edmund Jolliffe that evokes the unrestrained spirit of the ancient Roman winter holiday.

A successful classical, film and TV composer whose recent output includes music for TV’s Who Do You Think Your Are and Fantastic Mr Dahl, Jolliffe describes Saturnalia as, “a jubilant piece that everyone can enjoy.”

Bjorn Bantock said that while Beethoven’s Fifth was probably the most famous symphony ever written thanks to its fateful opening notes, there was no substitute for hearing the whole thing live and perhaps experiencing something of the thrill that Beethoven’s audience must have felt when they heard it for the first time.

The concert opens with Brahms’ joyful Academic Festival Overture.

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Tickets are �14 and �10 with under-18s �1 and students �5, available from the ticket secretary on 01727 857422, online at or on the door.