The FINAL visit to the ANVIL, Basingstoke for the Current season is on Friday May 10th to hear the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. I am very pleased to say that since I sent my 'pleading' email, a number of names have been added to my list and fast approaching the requisite twenty. Should the interest exceed twenty, I will be able to obtain further seats from the Anvil so don't be shy!! Why not come and listen to REAL LIVE MUSIC and give Classic FM a rest.

Ravel: Le tombeau de Couperin **.....Please note change to previous information!
Prokofiev: Piano Concerto no.5.........Yuja Wang-Piano
Brahms: Symphony no. 2
Conductor - Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla

Details of this concert are displayed on a poster in the Community Centre
As all concerts have to be paid for in advance, I must receive your payment of £35, ONE MONTH at the latest before the Concert date!

Cheques payable to ALTON U3A,and sent to Steve Barnes at 35 Vicarage Road, Alton, GU34 1NZ or pay by BAC's in which case please let me know that you have done so! Details in Blue Book page 8.
NOTE Cheques will not be cashed until it is certain that the concert will take place!

Our seats, which have proved popular, are easily accessible situated in the Choir area directly behind the Orchestra offering an excellent view of the Orchestra and Guest Instrumentalists. There is a Lift available from street level to the Auditorium to avoid the stairs!.


Report on our latest Classical Concert excursion.

For our March 7th Concert visit we were entertained by the magnificent Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra performing Ravel: Suite Mother Goose, Rachmaninov Piano Concerto no.1 and Stravinsky: Petrushka

This truly wonderful orchestra has a remit to serve the South and South West of England and was founded in 1893. It has developed a reputation as one of the UK's major orchestras working with many of the world's leading composers, conductors and performers.

Tonight they were under the baton of Ion Marin a Romanian born (1960), Austrian conductor who is internationally renowned both in operatic and symphonic domains. He gave an extremely energetic performance using his baton, body and facial expressions to full effect bringing out the full capabilities of the entire orchestra.

Due to last minute ill health, the soloist for the Rachmaninov Piano Concerto had to withdraw, replaced by a rather young man whose name I regret I didn’t record! (Did anyone?). As a last minute substitute, he didn’t disappoint and gave a very full blooded performance of an obviously difficult score. He even treated us to a beautiful encore, hugely welcomed as always by the large audience.

For the Stravinsky, the BSO filled the podium with just about every instrument possible to give an ear bending performance of Petrushka which sent us all home with ears ringing from this superb composition by one of the most important and influential composers of the 20th century.

For details of our final visit of the season to hear the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, see above.


Our Classical Concert group visited the Anvil concert hall on January 23rd to hear a performance given by the renowned Philharmonia Orchestra.

The audience, (pleasingly larger than our December concert attendance!) enjoyed a magnificent programme of music from two composers, namely Sibelius and Ravel.

The large orchestra under the baton of young Finnish conductor, Santtu-Matias Rouvali, played Sibelius “Finlandia”. A rousing composition boisterously performed and readily recognisable as a staple of concert orchestras and brass bands alike.

The Ravel Piano Concerto in G was beautifully played by Alice Sara Ott, a very delicate looking young German pianist.
As the programme so aptly stated the Concerto consisted of ‘Two vivacious outer sections framing a slow movement of still and crystalline beauty’, which allowed the young virtuoso to demonstrate most ably the full range of her keyboard mastery.

The evening concluded with two more Sibelius compositions.
‘Valse Trieste’, first performed in 1904 is a short but hauntingly beautiful piece which proved popular with audiences and became one of Sibelius’s signature compositions along with Finlandia.

Finally we were treated to the quite lengthy Sibelius Symphony no.1. Written in the late 1890’s and said to be influenced by Tchaikovsky, it is a very powerful composition which allowed every section of this wonderful orchestra to make their own contributions.

The entire concert was conducted by young Santtu Matias Rouvali dressed in black drainpipe trousers and black silk jacket, in a most flamboyant manner with much extravagant waving of arms and facial expressions.

After a thoroughly enjoyable evening we look forward to our next visit on March 7th when the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra will be performing Ravel: Suite Mother Goose
Rachmaninov Piano Concerto no.1
Stravinsky: Petrushka.

Why don’t you come along? I have few places left and am sure you would enjoy the experience of seeing a wonderful, large orchestra enjoying themselves! Contact Steve on 89116


Report of the Concert on December 1st

Twenty two members of the U3A Classical Concert Group travelled to the Anvil in Basingstoke on December 1st, to attend a Concert consisting of works by Stravinsky, Walton and Shostakovich given by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

Sadly the concert hall was less than half full, (the worst attendance I have seen in the several years that I have been going! SB). Possibly the programme was not to everyone’s taste and the nearness of Christmas were factors.

Those that did attend however were treated to a splendid evenings music given by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra – possibly one of the best in the country and conducted with the passion and skill by Kirill Karabits who is in his Tenth year as their Conductor whilst only 41 years of age.
A highlight of the evening was the Walton Cello Concerto with Johannes Moser as the masterful young German/Canadian soloist.

The highlight of the evening for me was the Symphony no.1 by Shostakovich which really demonstrated the complete mastery of the orchestra with particular reference to the large percussion section – Wonderful!.

The ‘goodnight special extra’ was a delightful rendition of Tahiti Trot, Op. 16, which is Dmitri Shostakovich's playful 1927 orchestration of an arrangement of "Tea for Two" from the musical “No, No, Nanette”.