Philharmonic Orchestra at Chichester Cathedral

Pupils stun crowds at capital fundraiser

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Young British conductor Nicholas Collon has been widely tipped as ‘the next big thing’ – and he certainly galvanised the Philharmonia on its annual visit to the Chichester Festivities.

He is all-action, sometimes even to the point of distraction, but he achieves results in terms of crisp attack and energetic, polished and colourful playing, and above all a sense of music being made in the moment.

Mendelssohn’s Hebrides overture can seem enervating but bristled with life here, before achieving an apt sense of a glowing smile at the end, and those same qualities marked the second symphony by Brahms.

There was no meandering, never a moment for the orchestra to slip into a sense of routine. Strings and woodwind glowed, and the brass injected energy and expressiveness even into their quietest playing.

Young Russian soloist Mikhail Nemtsov phrased sensitively throughout Dvorak’s Cello Concerto. Maybe others have played this richly nostalgic music with riper expressiveness, but less can be more in such music.

The long horn solo in the first movement was played with magical lyricism and control.

MIKE ALLEN