Support for Leicester Symphony Orchestra’s spectacular return

The University of Leicester is delighted to support the Leicester Symphony Orchestra (LSO) as it prepares its 100th season of music in the same year the University celebrates its own Centenary.

Founded in 1922 by Dr (later Sir) Malcolm Sargent, the LSO enjoys a long tradition of recruiting talented local players, and in bringing soloists of international calibre and fame to the city in order to give the people of Leicester symphonic music of the highest possible standard.

Each year it performs three concerts at its regular venue, De Montfort Hall, close to the University campus.

Now, the University is proud to support the LSO’s spectacular return to performance alongside the Leicester Philharmonic Choir and the Leicester Cathedral Children’s Choir, after nearly 18 months of lockdown restrictions, to perform Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana on Saturday 23 October at the city venue.

Jenny Hand, cellist and chair of Leicester Symphony Orchestra, said: “We are absolutely to be delighted to be back playing again and very much look forward to a live audience. We are thrilled that we have been able to work with the University of Leicester on this concert which launches both our centenaries.

“We chose to celebrate our 100th year in De Montfort Hall with a wide range of music written and performed in the past 100 years. Carmina with its two choirs and triple wind is certainly going to be a rousing start.”

As well as Carmina Burana, the programme will include Shostakovich piano concerto No 2, with soloist Antonina Suhanova, plus a piece by local Leicester composer Ruth Martin which celebrates the legacy of King Richard III.

Ruth, who gained a PGCE from the University and now teaches at Forest Lodge Academy in the city, was writing the piece around the time that the last Plantagenet King’s remains were discovered by Leicester archaeologists in 2012.

A private drinks reception will be held at the Attenborough Arts Centre ahead of the performance, hosted by patron Michael Attenborough CBE and University President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nishan Canagarajah.

Professor Canagarajah said: “We are thrilled to support the Leicester Symphony Orchestra in our Centenary year, as they prepare to mark a very special milestone of their own, in 2022/23.

“That the links between our two institutions can be traced back to the 1920s is something of which we are enormously proud.

“The LSO is a cultural pillar of our city, and so it is only right that we champion their return to performances after almost 18 months away. I have no doubt their rendition of Carmina Burana is set to be a spectacular celebration.”

Sir Malcolm, founder of the LSO, was appointed in 1921 head of the fledgling music department of the newly-formed University College Leicester, which would later develop into the University of Leicester.

He went on to become one of the most famous and well-loved classical musicians of the 20th Century, and was close friends with the late actor and theatre director Richard, Lord Attenborough, who grew up on the Leicester campus, and father to Michael.

Many musicians have served both institutions over the years, with Benjamin Burrows one of the best-known lecturers in music – of more than 30 years – who also lent his skills to the LSO as an organist, pianist and composer. Read more on the Leicester Symphony Orchestra website.