Described as one of the country's finest non professional orchestras and founded here in Leicester in 1986, the Bardi Orchestra is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary this winter.
Orchestral Director Rober Calow said: 'This special anniversary season sees the Bardi perform landmark concerts with local choral societies, a dance group and a film presentation; all of which show the dynamic forward looking nature of an ensemble that regularly pushes the boundaries of music making in Leicester, Leicestershire and beyond'.
Established by Dr Andrew Constantine, the orchestra started off as a small chamber orchestra with most of its initial concerts played at Leicester University.
Named after Count Giovani Bardi (1534-1612), a Florentine nobleman who incidentally was a contemporary of William Shakespeare, Count Bardi was patron to a group of musicians and scholars. This group interestingly included Vincenzo Gallilei, the father of the famous astronomer Gallileo.
Here in Leicester, the Bardi Orchestra and the Bardi Wind Orchestra have gone from strength to strength, performing regularly at De Montfort Hall. This year the wind orchestra broke new ground with the first Open Air Proms performed in Bradgate Park in front of a 500 strong audience.
Now in his ninth season as music director of the Bardi is Danish born Claus Efland. The programme for the orchestra's 30th anniversary concert included works by Wagner, Beethoven and Rahmaninov with Nikolai Demidenko on piano.
The players come from an intriguing range of backgrounds. Having studied music to the highest levels, many have chosen to pursue careers outside music but relish the opportunity to come together and play at a professional level.
With tours all over the UK and Europe the Orchestra offers
great opportunities for local musicians and the Bardi also runs a prestigious
Young Musician of the year award.
Roger BlackmoreMore information from www.bardi.org.uk