News 3 October 2023

News Story

On arrival in London, the Orchestra will visit the Houses of Parliament at the invitation of the Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle.

Young Musicians from the Yamaha Music School will then benefit from an exclusive educational session ahead of the Gala concert at Fairfield Halls.

Fairfield Halls and BH Live, in partnership with This is Croydon, are pleased to welcome the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine (NSOU) on Wednesday 18 October on their first tour of the UK in 20 years, as part of This is Croydon, The Mayor of London’s Borough of Culture 2023.

Before launching the London leg of its tour in Croydon that evening, the Orchestra will visit the Houses of Parliament at the invitation of the Speaker of the House of Commons, The Rt. Hon. Sir Lindsay Hoyle.

Then, in a gesture that underscores the NSOU’s commitment to the next generation, members of the Orchestra will lead an educational workshop with Croydon young musicians in partnership with the London’s first Yamaha Music School (YMS), based at Fairfield Halls. From 5pmOn 18 October, before their gala concert at the venue, orchestra members will deliver a workshop for YMS participants, including an introduction to the instruments of the orchestra and how to pronounce their Ukrainian names, followed by demonstrations from instrumentalists of key sections of the evening’s repertoire which the young people have been studying in class in the lead-up to the event. The young people will be invited to watch the orchestra rehearse from 5.30pm and receive complimentary tickets for the evening’s 7.30pm concert, along with an exclusive discount for accompanying adults.

The workshops offer young people an inspiring insight into one of the world’s finest orchestras, along with practical insights to accompany their theoretical knowledge of the repertoire. The sessions are a key part of the venue’s ongoing and wide-ranging work to increase participation and interest in arts and culture across South London.

The gala concert that evening will see them perform music from across Europe, including Symphony No. 2 from one of Ukraine’s premier composers, Borys Lyatoshynsky. They will also perform Strauss’s Don Juan, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 and Sibelius’Finlandia.

Comprising over 100 instrumentalists, the orchestra has remained in residence in Kyiv and continues to play a central role in Ukrainian cultural life since the full-scale invasion in the spring of 2022.

Speaking from Kyiv, where the Orchestra is preparing for the tour, Alexander Hornostai, Managing Director and Producer, said, "We are fighting the war against Russia on the cultural front, and our UK tour is an opportunity to tell UK audiences about our culture and traditions through our music. "If you have never experienced orchestral music before, this is your opportunity to be part of something really special and important.”

Speaking about the venue—which celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2022— Andrew Jamieson, Head of Touring for IMG Artists, said: “There is no doubt that (Fairfield’s) Concert Hall has the finest acoustics of any in London and all of our distinguished international orchestras who have previously visited the venue always commented on these wonderful acoustics and the tremendous, enthusiastic audiences.”

Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries, Justine Simons said: “It is wonderful to welcome the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine to London with their first performance in the capital at Fairfield Halls as part of the Mayor’s London Borough of Culture. The orchestra will inspire Londoners and the next generation of musicians, demonstrating the power of music to provide hope and comfort in even the darkest of times. By uniting communities through music we are able to build a better London for everyone.”

Jason Perry, Executive Mayor of Croydon said: “I’m delighted that the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine is starting the first leg of their first UK tour in 20 years in our world-class Concert Hall at Fairfield Halls. This is Croydon is about bringing people together, celebrating communities and uniting them through culture, so we are honoured to share this moment with the people of Ukraine and stand in solidarity with them."

“Alongside their concert the orchestra will take part in a workshop with the venue’s Yamaha Music School - the only one in London - to provide some of Croydon’s young musicians with insights into what it is like to be part of a word-class orchestra. As well as bringing the best artists from the UK and beyond to the borough, through This is Croydon we are creating an inspiring culture to encourage and promote the wealth of young talent we have in Croydon.”

The gala concert, part of the venue’s 2023-24 International Orchestra Series, will be the flagship contribution of Fairfield Halls to a diverse roster of events marking Croydon’s year as London Borough of Culture.

Tickets for all events are now on sale. For more information and to book tickets click here.

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