September 25th 2011 saw the inaugural rehearsal session of the exciting new, and possible first ever, Professional/Pro/Am Symphony Orchestra – the Orchestra of the 19th Century.


The orchestra is the brainchild of Surrey-based conductor Stephen Hope, well known for his work in the south of England, and in particular the Sussex Festival Choir, with whom over the last nine years he has given highly acclaimed performances with star–studded line-ups of soloists at ARUNDEL CATHEDRAL raising in excess of £70,000 for St. Catherine’s and St. Wilfrid’s hospices.


Stephen says: "The orchestra is designed to be an eclectic mix of leading professional players and ‘professional amateurs’, and instrumentalists of grade 8 plus/ diploma standard are warmly invited to contact us – there is NO audition at present!"

There will be a nominal charge , usually about £5 to cover hire of hall and music.


The repertoire explored consists of the large scale symphonic works of Bruckner, Mahler, Strauss, Elgar, Berlioz etc - pieces not often experienced outside the major symphony orchestras – AT LAST, A CHANCE TO PERFORM THE OUTPUT OF THESE GREAT COMPOSERS.


Schedule for 2016 
Venue: St John's, Northdown Road, Belmont, Sutton, SM2 6DY
Time: 12:00 - 18:00 with late lunch break
All dates are Sundays. Please note that Belmont station is not open on Sundays but you can get a bus from outside Sutton station and it's a five minute journey ... or a half an hour walk!

JANUARY 31st        Franck Symphony in D minor
MARCH 20th           Shostakovich 
Symphony No. 5 
MAY 15th                  Mahler Symphony No 5 
JULY 10th                Nielsen Symphony No 1  

Previous  works rehearsed

Mahler 1st, 4th, 5th,6th symphonies
Bruckner 7th, 8th, 9th symphonies
Bartok:  Concerto for Orchestra
Strauss: Till Eulenspiegel, Don Juan
Elgar: 1st symphony
Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique
Prokofiev: 5th symphony

(One or two more may be scheduled by popular demand, on a rehearsal and informal performance basis.)


Rehearsals take place on Sundays from midday until 6 pmand culminate in an informal performance for family and friends who may wish to attend.
A doodle poll will be sent out for each session to all on the mailing list.


All enquiries, please, to Stephen Hope:

Some comments from audiences and musicians about Stephen's concerts:

“An experience never to be forgotten”

“Last night’s concert was the best one that I have attended”


“Congratulations on a FANTASTIC concert yesterday evening.  I absolutely loved it!”

“The orchestra and the choir were absolutely brilliant.  It was quite spine-tingling!”

“I was in total rapture from the very first note right through to the very last! The quality of the sound was just beautiful and it brought a tingle to my spine (and a tear of joy to my eye) as soon as the choir started to sing. The balance of the voices, the tonal quality, the diction and the dynamics were all second to none and the size, balance and quality of the orchestra complemented it perfectly!”