Sheffield Philharmonic Orchestra Blog

Lark Ascending, R Vaughan Williams.
November 18, 2007, 11:39 am
Filed under: Classical Music, Concerts, Podcasts, Uncategorized

Last June the leader of our second violins, Charlotte Pinder, played the Lark Ascending in Doncaster Minster as part of our musical director’s last concert with us. Charlotte writes:-



June feels like a long time ago now, but my memories of the Lark Ascending concerts are certainly ones to treasure. Playing a concerto would have been a dream come true under any circumstance, but to perform it with the orchestra that I had played in for so long was double the honour.

I knew one of the greatest challenges was going to be how to perform such a well-known work with individuality. Progress was generally a steady process – I took the piece to my lessons with Robin Ireland, and worked on it regularly with John, so gradually I felt as though I was getting to know it more intimately. Then there was the small matter of meeting Tasmin Little. I had heard her play the piece in the City Hall several years ago, needless to say, rather well. Scanning her website one day, I just thought, why not? Several emails and phone calls (and pinches) later, lesson arranged for early May. It was great – she was so helpful, both technically, and also in passing on her wealth of experience in playing this piece.

When it came to the concerts, I couldn’t understand why I felt so calm! I was so desperate to play at my best, not only for the audience, and myself but also because it was John’s last concert with us. But I felt totally ready to go for it. After all those months preparing, I fully intended to enjoy every minute, and not succumb to terrible nerves. I knew I had plenty of support in the audience and orchestra for both concerts.

I enjoyed both performances for different reasons, but there was something extra special about the atmosphere at St Marks on Saturday evening. I really want to thank everyone in the orchestra for helping to make the experience so special; for all the encouraging things they said, for accompanying me so sensitively, and simply for applauding so loudly. Having my SPO friends behind me was the icing on the cake.


Click the link below for a clip. Be patient, or go to ‘Our latest Podcast clips’ for a quicker upload. Recording courtesy Rob Goodall.


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