Peninsula Arts Sinfonietta prepares for inaugural concert in Plymouth

Peninsula Arts Director of Music Simon Ible

A new ensemble bringing together a selection of the South West’s most talented musicians will be giving its first concert in Plymouth on Saturday 12 November.

The Peninsula Arts Sinfonietta comprises players from across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset and will be performing at a range of events during the coming year, including Peninsula Arts’ own Contemporary Music Festival and Words and Music Festival.

But its first engagement will be at the Minster Church of St Andrew, where it will play works by Bach, Boyce and Haydn as part of an exploration of the musical passions of Gerald Finzi.

The new Sinfonietta will feature up to 30 players, and its repertoire will range from traditional classical works to more contemporary new pieces.

Its Artistic Director is Simon Ible, Director of Music at Peninsula Arts, the public arts programme at Plymouth University. He said:

“The Sinfonietta is in essence a flexible chamber orchestra, which allows it to be very versatile in terms of its programming. So while many of our performances will feature traditional classical works, it can also explore innovative and experimental pieces borne out of the University’s world-leading research.”

The concert is part of a series for which Peninsula Arts has brought together a talented team of curators, artists and academic advisers to present a line-up of exhibitions, films, talks, performances and music events that all respond to the theme of ‘searching’.

It will focus on the works and inspirations of Gerald Finzi (1901-1956), who was born of Jewish and German parents but is remembered as a quintessentially ‘English’ composer influenced by folk music. However, he also held a passion for masters of the German and English Baroque music, particularly JS Bach and William Boyce.

Conducted by Simon Ible, and with soloist Elaine Cocks on clarinet, the Sinfonietta will play Finzi’s Clarinet Concerto and Romance for String Orchestra as well as Boyce’s Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No.3 in D major and Haydn’s Symphony No.44 in E minor ‘Mourning’.

Dr Sarah Chapman, Director of Peninsula Arts, said:

“Over the past 11 years, Peninsula Arts has built a reputation for promoting outstanding contemporary art, from music to murals, photography to fine art. The Sinfonietta reinforces our commitment to promoting high quality music in Plymouth and across the region, supporting emerging and established talent and attracting quality national and international artists.”

The concert will begin at 7.30pm and tickets, costing £10 (£7 concessions) are available from the Peninsula Arts Box Office on +44 (0) 1752 585050. Discounts are also available via the Artory App.

Soloist Elaine Cocks (Clarinet)

Elaine Cocks has performed with the London Sinfonietta, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra of St John's Smith Square, English Chamber Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, London Mozart Players and English National Opera, as well as regional orchestras such as BBCNOW, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Northern Sinfonia.

Music at Peninsula Arts

From cutting-edge contemporary classical music to the magnificent live performances of the Peninsula Arts Sinfonietta, there is a musical experience for everyone.

Through the commissioning and development of new music, alongside supporting new talent and bringing world-class musicians to Plymouth, Peninsula Arts is pivotal to the growing music scene across the South West; this includes our programme of participatory community music partnership activities.

The ‘new music’ flagship event is the annual Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival, promoted in partnership with Plymouth University’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research (ICCMR).