News & Reviews

Musical Giants Take Centre Stage At Final Twilights Concert

Musical Giants Take Centre Stage At Final Twilights Concert

Dutch conductor Frank Zielhorst will make his concert debut with East Midlands orchestra Sinfonia Viva at Derby Cathedral on Friday March 3.

The concert, entitled ‘A Little Symphony in F’ is the final stage of the four-date Twilights series, with late afternoon and early evening performances which has proved to be extremely popular with audiences.

Twilights has been a partnership between Sinfonia Viva and Derby Cathedral and has been a key element in the Cathedral’s two-year cultural audience development programme which has been supported with a £80,000 Arts Council England grant. 

The concert, starting at 7.30pm will feature work by classical music ‘giants’ Haydn, Strauss and Beethoven and Frank Ziehorst explained that this varied programme would appeal to a wide range of classical music fans.

He said: “I am so looking forward to returning to Derby to conduct Sinfonia Viva in Derby Cathedral which is a truly magnificent building with wonderful acoustics.

“This will be my second time with the Orchestra in as many months having worked with the musicians and composer James Redwood for the performance of the education residency ‘Mechanical Advantage’ at Derby Theatre in early February.

“This is the first time that I will be conducting the full Orchestra and the programme that we have selected is perfect for my debut.

“We start with Haydn’s Symphony No 90 which always leaves the audience guessing as Haydn was a real joker – taking the music off into different directions to keep us all on our toes.

“Strauss’ Horn Concerto No. 1 is a beautiful piece and he is the master of the horn which is a wonderful instrument to take centre stage.

“We finish the programme with Beethoven’s Symphony No 8 which is a very charming and exciting score. 

“Described by the composer as ‘a little symphony in F’, in my opinion this is not played enough despite it being one of the Beethoven’s best symphonies and I am delighted that we will be sharing this with the Derby audience.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed working so closely with Viva over the past few weeks – joining their education residency and then preparing for the Twilights concert in early March.

“Although the two performances have been very different, they share the same ethos of creating high quality music that resonates with audiences.”

Frank Zielhorst studied orchestral conducting with Jac van Steen and Kenneth Montgomery at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague and the Conservatoire of Amsterdam, after studying viola with Ferdinand Erblich.

In June 2013 he received his Master’s degree “cum laude” following a concert with the Brabants Orchestra (Eindhoven). From September 2014 until August 2016, Frank held the position of Leverhulme Young Conductor in Association at the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

From the moment he started conducting, Frank received opportunities to work with professional orchestras. Early engagements included for example the première of Hochzeiten by Stockhausen at the Radio Kamerfilharmonie and Charles Ives’s Universe Symphony with the Noord-Nederlands Orkest (Groningen).

Being the first student to graduate from the National Master Orchestral Conducting, he has been a guest with almost all orchestras in the Netherlands, either to conduct them in concert or to receive master classes.

Since his graduation, he has been invited to work with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the The Hague Philharmonic and the Prague Symphony Orchestra.

Apart from symphonic conducting, Frank has a special love for stage works. He conducted amongst others performances of Madama Butterfly, Eugene Onegin, L’elisir d’amore and Victor Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis at different companies.

He also assisted for productions of Turandot, Orfeo ed Euridice, L’enfant et les sortilèges and Intermezzo. With his own ensemble in coproduction with the National Youth Orchestra of the Netherlands, he produced a staging of the modern one-act opera “Death Knocks” by Christian Jost and Woody Allen.

In November 2013, Frank received the prestigious Kersjes Foundation conducting scholarship, enabling him to continue developing his conducting skills.