Cambridge Corn Exchange announces new international concert programme

Thursday 15 June 2023

Cambridge Corn Exchange is delighted to announce a new orchestral programme for 2023–2024 featuring three internationally renowned symphony orchestras.

The National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine (NSOU) will be making its first appearance in Cambridge on Wednesday 25 October 2023, as part of its biggest ever UK tour and first time in the country in over 20 years.

Recognised as one of the finest symphony orchestras in Eastern Europe, it is one of Ukraine’s principal orchestras and the musicians have valiantly continued rehearsing and performing at the orchestra’s home at the Lysenko Column Concert Hall, Kyiv, since the outbreak of the war in 2022.

Alexander Hornostai, NSOU managing director and producer, says: “The National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine has been an important part of the country’s culture for over 100 years, and we have been performing and rehearsing in Kyiv since we were first established in 1918. Whilst this war has had a dramatic impact on Ukrainian lives, we took the decision early on that we had an important role to play in continuing to perform, in order to protect and showcase Ukrainian musical culture and show that there is more to our country than just the conflict.

“We are deeply grateful to the UK venues and tour promoters who are working with us to ensure this ambitious tour happens. We can’t wait to return to the UK after more than two decades and have the opportunity to perform to UK audiences all over the country.”

The orchestra’s performance will include specially selected pieces by Ukrainian composer Boris Lyatoshynsky (1895–1968), which many UK audiences won’t have heard before. His works are considered extremely accessible, exciting and well-liked by broad audiences.

The NSOU will also perform the popular Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 and Sibelius Symphony No. 1.

Symphony Orchestra of India

Another debut at the Corn Exchange will be the Symphony Orchestra of India on Thursday 7 December 2023, with a programme that includes something for everyone.

Film lovers will be transfixed by the Star Wars Imperial March by John Williams, whilst Wagner fans will be treated to the dramatic orchestral suite from his last ever opera; Parsifal. The concert will also be an opportunity to hear the rarely-performed Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2, with its technically demanding score, written for a large symphonic orchestra.

Czech National Symphony Orchestra

Finally, returning to the Corn Exchange after previous popular performances will be the Czech National Symphony Orchestra on Wednesday 15 May 2024, performing Czech music in a way only Czech musicians can.

The orchestra will perform The Moldau by Czech composer Smetana, which audiences may recognise as the main theme from an old Peugeot ad, as well as the popular Bruch Violin Concerto.

James Page from Cambridge Corn Exchange said: “We’re excited to be announcing such a fantastic series of orchestral concerts for the Corn Exchange, including two world-class orchestras who have never played here before.

“All of the orchestras will be performing accessible pieces that will suit a wide spectrum of tastes, so we really want this to be an opportunity for new audiences and people who have never experienced a live orchestral concert before to come along. This series is an opportunity to open up orchestral music to everyone and show that it’s not just for a certain audience. As the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine has been demonstrating over the last year or so, orchestral concerts can unite people and create a shared sense of joy and community. Music is most powerful when it’s shared and there is nothing quite like the experience of being part of a big orchestral concert.

“We particularly want to encourage younger audiences to come along and that’s why we’ve launched our special £10 ticket offer for students. We hope people from across Cambridge and beyond will make the most of these concerts and particularly show their support for Ukraine with this first concert.”

Tickets are now on sale starting at just £10 for students, with full price tickets between £17 and £44.