Sinfonia Viva Principal Conductor Makes Debut Performance at Derby Cathedral

Dutch conductor Frank Zielhorst will make his debut concert performance as Sinfonia Viva’s new Principal Conductor at Derby Cathedral on Wednesday March 14.

The concert, entitled Masters and Maestros, features a tantalizing programme based on dances from the ballroom and theatre stage to the pub and village hall.

The programme starts with a whirlwind of Dionysian ballet music from Mozart’s opera ‘Idomeneo’ highlighting the wonderful virtuosic qualities of the members of Sinfonia Viva.

Britten’s ‘Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge’ are affectionate variations based on the music of fellow British composer and Britten’s mentor Frank Bridge.  The piece reflects musical admiration, with each variation acting as a nod to a specific quality in Bridge’s personality.

This contrasts wonderfully with the finale of folk music that Haydn wove into his London symphony (Symphony No.104) evoking the bagpipes rolling over the hills and the boorish menuet which makes everyone jump on the wrong foot.

Mr Zielhorst said the concert programme was full of energy and contrast – taking the audience on a musical journey.

“I started planning this programme around Haydn’s Symphony No.104 which he wrote in London and is so full energy and different emotions.

“This brought me to think about further English connections and I love the contrast between Haydn and Britten’s piece.

“Finally Mozart’s composition is again a wonderful contrast – taking the audience to the glitz and glamour of the ballroom.”

Mr Zielhorst continued that Masters & Maestros reflected his love of creating a programme that an audience would enjoy and likened his approach to a Michelin starred chef.

“When you go to a fancy restaurant, you may not know what to expect and may not recognise the dishes on the menu but you trust the chef’s skills and impeccable taste to serve you something delicious.

“My aim is that audiences see Sinfonia Viva in the same light. A piece of music or a composer on the programme might be unknown to you, but you wouldn’t reject an exquisite six-course meal, because you don’t know a dish inside it.

“You trust that what the chef makes is going to be good and that he or she has put a lot of thought into how and why to combine certain ingredients and dishes.

“I want the audiences to trust me as they would trust a Michelin star chef. We are going to bring “Michelin-star-quality” programmes to Derby and East Midlands.”

He relishing the opportunity make his debut at Derby Cathedral in his new role.

“I worked with the orchestra as guest conductor both at Derby Cathedral and at Derby Theatre last year and was very impressed both with the quality of work and with the reception from the Derby audiences.

“Sinfonia Viva is one of the top regional orchestras with an amazing reputation. It is multi-talented orchestra with an excellent band of players, incredible versatility and a great management team to support the activities.

“Taking on the role as Principal Conductor gives me the opportunity to develop my artistic vision and to embed Viva even further into the artistic fabric of the city and region.

“I want to give more people greater opportunities to enjoy a wide range of classical music and particularly to reach out to people who have had limited chances to experience live classical music.

“My particular passion is to create a narrative through concerts and to take audiences on journeys throughout a season – creating different experiences with each performance complementing each other.”

Masters & Maestros is the latest concert in the Twilights series – produced by Sinfonia Viva in partnership with Derby Cathedral.

Tickets cost between £11 and £26 and are available from the online box office  or by calling 0333 666 3366.

Also, visit youtube to see an interview with Frank Zielhorst about the concert: and a trailer at

For information about future Sinfonia Viva concerts around the region, please visit

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