The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra have just returned from performing two days at the Cardiff series of Proms concerts. We were conducted on this occasion, as on every appearance at the Cardiff Proms, by the founder and artistic director of the festival, Owain Arwel Hughes.
The concerts were in the wonderful acoustic of St. David’s Hall and consisted of a programme of Russian music, followed the next night by the Last Night Of The Welsh Proms. The weather outside was glorious as the UK is currently in the midst of a heat wave!
The RLPO has been a regular visitor to these concerts over the years and know Cardiff very well. Cardiff is itself well served by two very fine orchestras, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera.
Cardiff is crammed full of fine retail outlets, good restaurants, bars and traditional pubs, so we knew we would have a fine time in this city.
Friday evening saw the birthday celebrations of our orchestra union steward and Associate Principal Horn, David Pigott. Dave received a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday at the start of the rehearsal, a fine meal between the rehearsal and show and a celebratory drink with members of the orchestra after the concert. Happy times.
It is always a pleasure to meet up with the legendary Terry Lax. A student of the great Ernest Hall at the Royal College of Music in London, Terry had graced the Principal Trumpet chair of Welsh National Opera for many years before going into business with Denis Wedgwood (former Principal Cornet of Royal Opera House orchestra, Covent Garden) as trumpet makers and repairers.
Meanwhile, in Liverpool, the giants are visiting again. This time with Grandma…
The giants are huge puppets which first visited Liverpool in 2012. The come over from France and walk around the streets of Liverpool for three days before sailing off.
Next week, the RLPO will be appearing at the BBC Proms in London, where we will be playing a televised concert of music by Richard Strauss and Elgar, including Strauss’ Festival Prelude which features ten trumpets and eight horns. The concert will also be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 next Friday.
After that, the orchestra will be taking the well deserved annual break.
It looks like our hardworking trombone section particularly deserve it!
The trumpet section for the concerts was myself on Principal, Paul Marsden on second, Richard Cowen on third and the legendary Bob Ferriman (former Principal of BBC National Orchestra of Wales and BBC Concert Orchestra) assisting me excellently and playing first trumpet when I played the first cornet parts.
This is the RLPO management team for the trip. Platform managers Ian Doran and Alan Scollins and the orchestral managers for Cardiff, Becky Martin and Collette Astley-Jones. All unsung heroes!