Guide Awards 2013 Best Classical: Solent Symphony Orchestra

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After receiving the Best Classical award on behalf of the Solent Symphony Orchestra, conductor Steve Tanner declared: ‘This is for the guys and girls in the band , they deserve this really.

‘I just conduct them and it’s those guys that bring it off. It’s fabulous recognition for us all.

Peter Rhodes (left),  head of performing arts at South Downs College, presents the Best Classical award to Steve Tanner.

Peter Rhodes (left), head of performing arts at South Downs College, presents the Best Classical award to Steve Tanner.

‘It’s wonderful to see more people recognise what great work they do in such a short space of time.

‘Sometimes we have just two or three rehearsals before the concerts.’

The SSO was founded in 1992 and consists of professionally-trained musicians playing for reduced expenses only.

Many new works by local composers have been premiered by the orchestra alongside classics of the symphony orchestra repertoire as well as material composed by the SSO’s composer-in-residence Paul Weston.

Guide Awards judges cited in particular a Portsmouth concert where higher standards than ever were attained in Stravinsky’s 1945 Firebird Suite.

That programme also featured another outstanding young talent from the Portsmouth Music Festival as solo pianist, and Steve, 61, said: ‘The link is important to us and we definitely want to keep it going.’

A former Royal Marines bandsman, Steve is now a senior figure in Portsmouth Music Service, and busy as teacher and instrumentalist. This is the first time the SSO has won a Guide award – Steve won Best Classical Music Act in 2009.

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