Dorset ensemble hits all the right notes

Dorset Echo: Dorset Sinfonia Dorset Sinfonia

A LEADING Dorset ensemble will be giving a delightful summer concert in Weymouth next week.

The Dorset Sinfonia was formed last year out of the ashes of Weymouth Arts Centre Orchestra which itself evolved from the arts centre Music Group that was founded in 1958.

In 1962 the name was changed to the Weymouth Arts Centre Orchestra and played under the musical direction of Harvey Easton for eight years and then the late Angela Nankivell stepped up and conducted her first concert with the orchestra in May 1980.

Under her direction the orchestra prospered and concerts were given twice a year in many and various locations.

In January 2010 David Ansell took over the baton as conductor and musical director and because the orchestra expanded its catchment area, it changed its name to The Dorset Sinfonia.

For the concert on July 13, the programme will include Vaughan Williams’ Concerto for Bass Tuba with soloist Matthew Blunt, Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony, Beethoven’s Fidelio overture and other items.

Matthew Blunt grew up in Weymouth, and attended All Saints School.

He started his musical education at the age of six and took up the tuba when he was ten.

At the age of 11 he started tuition at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama where he won a place in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, later becoming principal tuba.

After All Saints School, Matthew moved to Manchester to continue his studies at Chetham’s School of Music and he won a full scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music in 2008, and started his degree in 2009.

Now a second year student, Matthew has had a wide experience of brass playing, playing for such conductors as Sir Colin Davis, Sir Mark Elder, Vassily Petrenko, Antonio Pappano and Semyon Bychkov.

He has performed in many ensembles, including the Gabrielli Consort, the Royal Academy Concert Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet, at prestigious venues like The Sage-Gateshead, Symphony Hall-Birmingham, Bridgewater Hall-Manchester, The Royal Albert Hall, St Paul’s Cathedral, and closer to home, The Lighthouse-Poole and Bournemouth International Centre.

Matthew has won many awards since he started playing tuba, winning local music competitions when young, becoming the Bournemouth Young Musician of the Year in 2007.

His recording career is quite full, as he has recorded music for BBC documentaries, played on Huw Stephen’s latest CD release and recorded with Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason.

You can see Dorset Sinfonia at All saints School, Wyke regis near Weymouth on July 13 at 7.30pm. Tickets £8 on door, £6 in advance from 01305 775642.

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