Soloist to take on rarely heard works for Havant

Philip Martin.
Philip Martin.
David Cassidy pictured in 2008. Picture: PA

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After a successful debut with the Havant Chamber Orchestra last season, Robin Browning has been confirmed as guest conductor for all its three concerts in 2013-14 – beginning on Saturday, October 19 (7.30pm).

But the Havant Symphony Orchestra’s search for a replacement for the retired Peter Craddock is continuing.

Already well-known as conductor of the Petersfield Orchestra, Robin successfully stepped into the Havant breach last year.

All three HCO concerts are at Ferneham Hall, Fareham, and will feature music by Mendelssohn, the first beginning with his Hebrides Overture. Philip Martin will be soloist in two rarely-played works for piano and orchestra – Mozart’s Concerto No 5, written when he was 17, and Schumann’s Introduction and Allegro Appassionato – and the concert will end with Mozart’s Symphony No 35, the Haffner.

The HCO returns on February 8 with a programme including Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto (soloist Edward Daniel) and Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony.

Then on May 17 Mendelssohn’s third symphony, the Scottish, will follow Hummel’s Trumpet Concerto (Jon Yates).

Meanwhile , the hunt goes on for a new permanent conductor of the Havant Symphony Orchestra, whose season begins at Oaklands School, Waterlooville (November 30), with new candidate Jonathan Butcher.

He has conducted at all the major London concert halls and regularly works with the Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra.

His HSO programme (November 30) will feature Sibelius’s first symphony and Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole, with Alexander Sitkovetsky returning as violin soloist.

Then at Ferneham Hall on March 29, Tchaikovsky’s Pathetique symphony will be conducted by Levon Parikian, who is not a candidate for the permanent job.

Tom Hammond, a ‘trialist’ last season, returns on July 5 with Chopin’s Piano Concerto No 1 (soloist Karen Kingsley) and Elgar’s Enigma Variations.

The season’s programmes are more mainstream than usual, in the hope of boosting ticket sales, and the HSO also seeks to attract new audiences through a ground-breaking venture at Portsmouth Guildhall on February 22.

Here Colin Jagger, director of music at the University of Portsmouth and another candidate for the conductorship, will direct the premiere of his concert version of The Yeomen Of The Guard, by Gilbert and Sullivan. It will also feature the Portsmouth Chorus, student soloists from the Royal College of Music and a guest narrator.

Ferneham Hall tickets: £20 to £8 (concessions and season tickets available) from (01329) 231942.

Oaklands ticket inquiries to (01243) 377430.

Guildhall ticket details to be announced.

MIKE ALLEN