Classics from three centuries
The Royal Tunbridge Wells Symphony Orchestra’s (RTWSO) 2022/23 season opens with a classical flourish, performing three musical giants from the past three centuries in their first concert next month.
From the earliest of the three composers, the 18th century Mozart, the ‘Piano Concerto No. 27 in B Flat Major’ gives orchestra and pianist time and space alone with the music.
Fittingly for a season premiere, the pianist is Martin James Bartlett, who first came to fame through the BBC Young Musician of the Year award.
Despite performing with the likes of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, the young pianist returns again and again to Tunbridge Wells to play, and he is very much an audience favourite.
The two other pieces on the programme prove the power and longevity of the Classical Tradition by coming from the pens of two extremely different composers.
Both Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev were born in the Russian Empire and overlapped by two years, but their lives spanned over a century of revolutions and regime change.
There were challenges to the Western Classical Tradition and themes in music, even in Tchaikovsky’s day, with the rise of the ‘Mighty Handful’ of Russian composers.
Yet Tchaikovsky’s music is recognisably Classical, represented on the programme by the ‘Orchestral Suite No. 3 in G major, Op. 55’.
Meanwhile, although he is well known as an avant-garde composer, Prokofiev’s ‘Symphony No. 1, Op. 25’ somehow also tapped into the Classical tradition at the very moment of cultural fracture in Russia.
Writing between 1916 and 1917, as two revolutions brewed in Petrograd, Prokofiev drew on the heritage of Haydn and Mozart for a work he dubbed his ‘Classical Symphony’.
The Royal Tunbridge Wells Symphony Orchestra 2022/23 season opens on Sunday, October 2 at 3pm at The Assembly Hall Theatre.
On Stage & Screen
WATCH Steven Spielberg masterpiece ‘Jaws’, dubbed the original summer blockbuster, from the edge of your seat this weekend (September 9-11). The Oscar-winning shark flick unleashes chaos, drama and thrills, so grab some tickets and get a place in the popcorn queue. Tunbridge Wells Odeon.
For the funniest comedians in the business, all guaranteed to raise your spirits and leave your ribs tickled, head over to Trinity Theatre on September 10. The ‘Good Ship Comedy Show’ features Edinburgh Festival and BBC star Ninia Benjamin and multi-award winning Funmbi Omotayo in this evening packed full of infectious humour and side-splitting comedy.
Is it ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ – or is there a dark undercurrent? There are always more elements to Shakespeare, so why not revisit this comedy with The National Theatre’s Live Screening at Trinity Theatre this Thursday (September 8) at 7:30pm.
INTERNATIONAL DJ and producer Tim Cullen brings his house and tech brand SWiTCH back for its third instalment of 2022 at The Forum this Saturday (September 10) at 7:30pm, featuring a line-up of upcoming talent. Expect smoke, lasers, strobes, and chunky house grooves. Age 18 and older.
The world’s premier tribute to Diana Ross and The Supremes takes the Assembly Hall Theatre by storm on September 10 at 7:30pm. Prepare to be taken on a spellbinding cruise through a history of hits. From ‘Where Did Our Love Go’ to ‘Upside Down’, international performers Cheri Jade (The Supremes) and Tameka Jackson (solo career) will showcase one of the greatest musical stories ever told.
The Tunbridge Wells Jazz Club features the Windy City Weatherbirds, a remarkable young group making their way in the jazz world. Friday, September 9 at The Masonic Centre, St John’s Road, 7:30-10pm.
Jazz on The Pantiles takes place on the bandstand in the centre of The Pantiles every Thursday night throughout summer, and returns tomorrow night (September 8). So far this year, performers have included The Skatonics, Spice Fusion, and Derek Nash, so make an evening of it by booking a table at one of the participating restaurants including La Casa Vecchia and The Kirthon.
HEAD to Hever Castle on September 8-11 for a contemporary autumn craft fair organised by Craft In Focus. Over the four days you will be able to purchase direct from around 180 of the UK’s finest professional craft makers and artists all chosen specifically for their individuality and innovation in contemporary design. Pre-book your tickets online to save 10 per cent.
The famous Dragon Boat Race returns to Bewl Water on September 10 and the reservoir are encouraging spectators to come down for a fabulous, family, fun day out. Watch up to 60 teams with crews of 16 paddlers (plus a drummer) race over a 250-metre course as they raise money for local, national, and international charities.
Get your pulse racing – Bewl Water will also be hosting a SwimRun this Sunday (September 11). Catering for varied abilities and distances, emphasis is on adventure as pro and aspiring athletes navigate woods, paths and trails using naturally-occurring swim entry and exit points. Participants can choose to race in a selection of solo 6k, 10k, and 21k courses as well as teaming up for the latter.