Of all the budding stars to have won the Solent Symphony Orchestra Concerto Award at the Portsmouth Music Festival, Jenny Whitby must be up there with the brightest.
The teenager from the New Forest is Hampshire County Youth Orchestra’s principal flute, and her prize performance of Jacques Ibert’s Flute Concerto showed why she is so highly-rated. It began with a properly French purity of tone and developed through every kind of expressive subtlety into a final romp brimming with technical wizardry.
She was deftly supported by the SSO, who with conductor Steve Tanner won the Guide Award for classical music in January.
Tanner’s direction was also seen at its most skilled in Mendelssohn’s Ruy Blas Overture, with an admirable balance and tension between the dark, fanfare-like theme and livelier sections.