Past Events

2017/2018 Concert Season

Sat 17 Mar 2018
 "English Gems"

Hertford Theatre, Hertford 19:45
Conductor: Tom Hammond

Hubert Parry

Lady Radnor's Suite


Sonata for Trumpet

Soloist: Ellie Lovegrove


Trumpet Concerto, 13’

Soloist: Ellie Lovegrove


Symphony No. 2

Sun 28 Jan 2018
 "All at Sea"
Robert Kiln Concerts for Children
Hertford Theatre,  Hertford 14:30 and 16:15
Conductor: Tom Hammond

Sun 10 Dec 2017(Cancelled)
Drill Hall, Ware  15:00 
Guest conductor: Jonathan Mann

With Simon Balle School choir

Sat 11 Nov 2017
"Last Songs"
Conductor: Tom Hammond
Drill Hall, Ware  7:45pm


Prelude and Liebestod from ‘Tristan und Isolde’


Four Last Songs and Ruhe, meine Seele

Soloist: Susana Gaspar


Symphony No.7

Tickets: £17 adults, £14 concessions, £6 children/students on the door or from Hertford Tourist Information or buy tickets on line or ring 01992 584322

2016/2017 Concert Season


Saturday 1st July 2017

'Celebrating Viennese Classics'

Guest Conductor: Jonathan Mann

Hertford Theatre, Hertford  7:45pm 

Schubert  -   Symphony No.5

Brahms  -   Symphony No.2

Saturday 13th May 2017  'This Sceptred Isle'

Conductor: Tom Hammond

Vaughan Williams -  Five Variants of “Dives and Lazarus”

Walton -  Viola Concerto       Soloist: Sarah-Jane Bradley

Elgar  -  Sospiri

Saturday 18th  March 2017   'A Gala Concert with Stephen Hough'

Conductor: Tom Hammond

Will Handysides -  A New Work commissioned by HSO

Beethoven - Piano Concerto No.4  Soloist: Stephen Hough

Tchaikovsky - Symphony No.5

Sunday 29th January 2017   'The Knight Who Took All Day' -The Robert Kiln Concerts for Children

A Commission by HSO - 'The Knight Who Took All Day’ a book by James Mayhew. Music written by composer Bernard Hughes and narrated and illustrated by James Mayhew

 Music about knights, dragons and princesses

Sunday 11th December 2016 'A Merry Christmas!'

Guest Conductor: Jonathan Mann

Drill Hall, Ware 3pm

Guest choir – ‘Melodic Minors’ from Simon Balle School, Hertford

 Programme to include excerpts from Tchaikovsky Sleeping Beauty; White Christmas and other seasonal favourites.


Sunday 13th November 2016 'Love and Destiny'

Conductor Tom Hammond

Drill Hall, Ware 7:45pm

Beethoven Overture - 'The Ruins of Athens'

Wagner - Siegfried Idyll

Mahler - Symphony No. 5

                2015/2016 Season Programmes


    Saturday 25th June 2016 - 'Inspirational Classics'

    Guest Conductor: Jonathan Mann

    Hertford Theatre, 7:45pm

    Mendelssohn Hebrides Overture

    Beethoven Violin Concerto in D major Op61

    Soloist: Rhys Watkins

    Dvorak Symphony no. 8



       Saturday 14th May 2016 - 'The Bard: A Celebration of Shakespeare and   Sibelius '
        Conductor: Tom Hammond

        Hertford Theatre, 7:45pm

        Tchaikovsky Fantasy Overture ‘Romeo & Juliet’

        Sibelius Violin Concerto in D minor Op. 47  Soloist:  Efi Cristodoulou

        Sibelius The Tempest  (Music from suites 1 & 2) Narrator: Actor - Scott Brooksbank

            Saturday 12th March 2016 – ‘Classic Fantastic’

            Conductor: Tom Hammond

            All Saints’ Church, Hertford, 7:45pm.

            Prokofiev Classical Symphony

            Mozart Piano Concerto in D minor K.466 Soloist: Christopher Guild

            Nielsen Flute Concerto Soloist: Jane Rose

            Mozart Symphony No. 31 'Paris'

            Sunday 31st  January 2016 - The Robert Kiln Concerts for Children 'Little Monsters'             
             Conductor: Tom Hammond
             Hertford Theatre, 2:30pm and 4:15pm           
            Programme to included:'Not now, Bernard', by Bernard Hughes, narrator: Andy Cording.

            Sunday 13th December 2015 - ‘A Fairytale Christmas’
            Guest Conductor: Chad Kelly

            Drill Hall, Ware, 3:00pm

             Sunday 15th November 2015 -'In Memoriam'

            Conductor: Tom Hammond

            Stravinsky Symphonies of Wind Instruments

            Dvorák Cello Concerto in B minor Op.104      Soloist:  Matthew Sharp

            John McCabe Six Minute Symphony

2014/2015 Season Programmes

Sunday 16th November 2014 - 'Merry Pranks'

Conductor: Tom Hammond

Rossini Overture to ‘The Barber of Seville

Strauss Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche

Stravinsky Petrushka


Sunday 14th December 2014 - 'Christmas Extravaganza'  

Guest Conductor: Andrew Morley


'Puppets Jokes and Tricks'   The Robert Kiln Concerts for Children Sunday 1st  February 2015

 Conductor: Tom Hammond


Saturday 21st March 2015 - 'Musical Blockbusters'

Conductor: Tom Hammond

Vaughan Williams Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis

Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.2  (Soloist - Andrew Zolinsky)

Tchaikovsky Symphony No.6 ‘Pathétique’


Saturday 16th May 2015 - 'Dreams and Deeds'

Conductor: Tom Hammond

Beethoven Leonore Overture No.3

Brahms Violin Concerto   (Soloist -  Kristine Balanas)

Nielsen Symphony No.5


Saturday 27th June 2015 - 'Musical Riddles'

Guest Conductor: Mark Austin

Beethoven Overture 'Egmont'

Beethoven Symphony no. 8

Elgar Enigma’ Variations

2013/2014 Season Programmes
Saturday 21st June 2014: Iconic Symphonies - Guest Conductor Mark Austin 
Schubert Symphony No. 8 'Unfinished'
Beethoven Symphony No. 3  'Eroica'

Review: The last concert of Hertford Symphony Orchestra’s season, with guest conductor Mark Austin, took then to Vienna at the beginning of the 19th century with music by Schubert and Beethoven.

The two movements of Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony are full of contrasting emotions, and the performance realised them to the full.  The plaintive clarinet and oboe melodic lines at the opening were most beautifully played, and throughout the piece there were some outstanding solo contributions from the wind.  The strings were also in fine form, producing a mixture of hushed mystery and sonorous resonance.  It was a memorable and evocative performance.

From the opening chords this was an ‘Eroica’ Symphony that had taut rhythmic control, with crafted and shaped melodic lines.  The first movement built tremendous tension, whilst the second movement’s Funeral March had pathos and a disturbing sense of darkness.  The strings produced some of the best quality of the season, with the Double Basses being in excellent form, and the principle oboe, Catherine Wild, wove her magic into the melodic threnody.  The scherzo had a ‘leggiero’ quality with all its rhythmic conundrums, and the joyous horns in the Trio were a ‘Tour de Force’.  The last movement’s variations had a real clarity and balance as the opening theme was passed throughout the orchestra, and the rousing coda brought the symphony and the orchestra’s season to a triumphant finish.

The occasional lapse in ensemble did not detract from the stature of the performance.  To be able to perform and communicate these difficult works to such a high standard brings credit to the orchestra, and especially to the conductor Mark Austin for his musical insight and expertise.

David Smith

Saturday 10th May 2014: American Greats -  Guest Conductor Tom Hammond
Copland Rodeo Ballet suite
Copland Clarinet Concerto (with James Manwaring)
Gershwin four pieces from Catfish Row (suite from Porgy and Bess)
Gershwin (orch Grofé) Rhapsody in Blue (with Veronica Shoot)

Saturday 15 March 2014: Masterworks
Rachmaninov Vocalise
Chopin Piano Concerto No.1 (with Lara Melda)
Sibelius Symphony No. 1

November 2013
Debussy: Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune
Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 2
Rimsky-Korsakov: Sheherazade
        2012/2013 Season Programmes
 May 2013
Sibelius Finlandia
Elgar Cello Concerto
Beethoven Symphony no. 7

March 2013
Bach Chaconne for Solo Violin orchestrated and conducted by Maxime Tortelier
Devienne Flute concerto no. 8 in G major
Soloist: Jane Rose
Saint-Saens Symphony no. 3 'Organ'

Soloist: Jeffrey Howard

Sunday 11th November 2012 - Dark Russia
Rachmaninov The Isle of the Dead
Arutunian Trumpet Concerto
Soloist: Chris Avison
Tchaikovsky Symphony no. 4

Sunday 24 June 2012 - A Musical Olympiad

Review from the Hertfordshire Mercury

Musical Olympiad' at Hertford Theatre

This Family Concert offered a programme demanding a high energy orchestra. John Williams’ scores ‘Olympic Fanfare’ and ‘Summon the Heroes”(a fine trumpet solo from Richard Salthouse)were stunning pieces to start each half of the concert. “Chariots of Fire” was a certain favourite.

Staying power was what Olympics are about and in orchestral terms that means Ravel’s famous ‘Bolero’. For no less than fifteen minutes the orchestra built confidently up to the climactic moments at the musical finishing post.

It was good to hear descriptive music in contrast to the Hollywood model, and the London Cameo suite showed Haydn Wood to have been in the same league as Eric Coates of “Dambusters March” fame.

Two young opera soloists, Katie Lowe (soprano) and Jung Soo Yun (tenor) showed no fear of the dauntingly dry acoustics of the Hertford Theatre – something that will need attention in any future renovation works. The tear-jerking excerpts from Puccini’s “La Boheme” and “ Manon Lescaut “ as well as World Cup famous ‘Nessun Dorma” from “Turandot” were neatly followed by the glorious duet from La Traviata by Verdi.

Finally, a concert at this season is incomplete without Land of Hope and Glory by Elgar and Parry’s Hymn ‘Jerusalem’ , and we all joined in singing lustily, rounding off a concert as full of musical sunshine as the sky at last was for the Carnival around the town.

Saturday 12 May 2012: Hertford Theatre 7-45pm ‘Mozart and Mahler’
Mozart Magic Flute Overture
Mozart Clarinet Concerto (Soloist: Colin Eldred)
Mahler Symphony No.1
"The Mahler symphony began with a magically sustained note underlying woodwind bird calls. A dramatic musical painting of country life, this work uses the large forces of an enhanced orchestra in short thematic sound bites, and demands complex control over all the elements, which occasionally come together, but are often at odds with one another. Directed in masterly fashion by Jonathan Mann, the orchestra sustained intense concentration throughout this long piece. The audience were thrilled with the interpretation and gave it the ovation it deserved.

Bravo HSO!"

Felicity Sandell - Hertfordshire Mercury

17 Mar 2012: Hertford Theatre, 7-45pm. ‘Central European Masterpieces’
Beethoven Coriolan Overture
Beethoven Violin Concerto (Soloist: Kristine Balanas)
Dvorak Symphony No.9
Sunday 11 Dec 2011: Drill Hall, Ware, 3pm. ‘HSO Christmas Extravaganza’ 

Sunday 13 Nov 2011: Drill Hall, Ware. ‘Great Russian Classics’
Liadov Kikimora
Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto (Soloist: Rhys Watkins)
Rachmaninov Symphony No.2 

Sunday 3rd July 2011 - Drill Hall, Ware
Carnival Time! works by Shostakovich, Coates, Walton, Marquez
Saturday 14th May 2011 - Hertford Theatre
Shostakovich A spin through Moscow (from Cherymushki)
Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E minor soloist Michael Foyle
Sibelius Symphony No.2

Sunday 13th March 2011
Saint-Saens Bachanale from Samson and Delilah
Rachmaninov arr.Basford Four Preludes
Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5

Sunday 30th January 2011
Children's Concert - A ride on a magic carpet