Sutton Symphony Orchestra’s spring concert promises a Russian and Armenian extravaganza.

Sutton Symphony Orchestra is back at St Andrew’s URC, Northey Avenue Cheam on 30th March for its spring concert featuring a Russian favourite and some Armenian classics.

First up is Spartacus Suite No. 2 by Khachaturian. Taken from the longer ballet composed in 1954 the suite is based somewhat loosely on the well-known tale of Spartacus, underdog leader of the slave uprising against the repressive Romans in c70BC. Clearly a suitably socialist story and one which Khachaturian had great fun rewriting. There are 4 movements and something for everyone with a love theme, a pirate dance, some manic rhythms and tunes generally inspired by Armenian folk music. You might think you don’t know this piece at all but people of a certain age will recognise part of it as the theme to the Onedin Line.

Next up is Arutiunian’s trumpet concerto with local musician Mikey Ahearn as soloist. Mikey, currently studying music and in his final year at Oxford, is an alumnus of Wilson’s School and Sutton Music Service (SMS), and also won the SMS concerto competition in 2012. This concerto gives the soloist lots of opportunity to show off advanced instrumental techniques as it’s flashy, virtuosic but also lyrical and expressive with yet more Armenian folk influences – overall a real crowd pleaser.

All good symphonies have a “fate” motif and Tchaikovsky’s 4th (which forms the second half of the concert) is no exception.  Tchaikovsky said the opening fanfare signified fate or as he put it “the fatal power which prevents one from attaining the goal of happiness”. Clearly he wasn’t in a great place when he started composing this in 1877 following the end of his short-lived and fairly catastrophic marriage. Although the symphony has its intense and turbulent moments, Tchaikovsky also knew how to write a fabulously over the top tune and there are plenty of these in this piece to wreak havoc with your emotions – all in a good way obviously.

Tickets online from or on the door, £10 for adults, under 18’s free. 7.30pm start.

Sutton Symphony Orchestra (Conductor Philip Aslangul, Leader Annmarie McDade) rehearses on a Tuesday evening and provides an opportunity for local musicians to perform ambitious orchestral works. SSO performs 3 concerts per year. If you are interested in joining, get in touch:

Twitter: @SuttonSymph


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