THE Academy of St Olave’s round off their 2021-22 season with a Summer Concert on June 25 in aid York Against Cancer.
The York chamber orchestra’s 8pm programme at St Olave’s Church, Marygate, begins with Beethoven’s tempestuous Coriolan Overture, followed by The Unanswered Question by American composer Charles Ives, who splits the orchestra into three instrumental groups to consider “the perennial question of existence” posed by a solo trumpet.
The Academy’s principal oboist, Alexandra Nightingale, then performs Richard Strauss’s Oboe Concerto two years later than originally planned! Considered by many to be the 20th century’s finest oboe concerto, Strauss composed the work in 1945 during his “Indian Summer”, at the suggestion of an oboe-playing American soldier serving in Bavaria at the end of the Second World War. The finale will be Mozart’s much-loved Symphony No. 39 in E flat.
Soloist Alexandra Nightingale grew up in Oxfordshire and studied Classics at Pembroke College, Cambridge, before moving to Yorkshire to teach Classics in 1993. Past solo engagements have included the Vaughan Williams Concerto with the Pembroke College Orchestra and the Mozart Oboe Concerto in F with the Academy of St Olave’s in 2011.
Alexandra, who also plays oboe for the York Guildhall Orchestra, volunteers as a fireman on the narrow-gauge Bala Lake Railway in North Wales in her spare time.
The Academy’s guest conductor, John Bryan, says: “I am delighted to have the chance to work again with this fine orchestra – and an outstanding soloist – on such a varied programme. Audience members are sure to enjoy two lesser-known masterpieces by Ives and Strauss, alongside old favourites such as the Beethoven overture and Mozart symphony.”
The concert will benefit York Against Cancer, the independent charity that offers practical help and support to patients and their families living with cancer in York, North Yorkshire and East Yorkshire. The charity also funds vital research and education to prevent and cure cancer in the future.
Ticket cost £15 or £5 for accompanied children aged 18 and under at academyofstolaves.org.uk; booking in advance is recommended strongly. Any remaining tickets will be sold on the door from 7.15pm.