Review: Havant Symphony Orchestra at Hayling Island Community Centre

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Both conductor and soloist in the HSO’s annual Hayling concert were community-based, yet both could boast an international pedigree – and it showed.

So it is not difficult to see either Colin Jagger or Valentina Seferinova, or both, having a long-term future with a community organisation needing to find a new direction after ill-health forced founder-conductor Peter Craddock into retirement.

Bulgarian-born Valentina Seferinova, now living at Waterlooville, had to work hard to try to secure the depth of tone she sought from the community centre’s piano in the Grieg concerto, but nothing could disguise the freshness of her phrasing or depth of her musical instincts. Colin Jagger, director of music at the University of Portsmouth, showed his experience in working with both amateurs and professionals in leading unfussy accounts of Offenbach’s Orpheus In The Underworld overture (with rollicking can-can) and Beethoven’s Symphony No 5.

He drew energetic and well-balanced playing from all sections.