Concert review: 11th November, 2023

Some Audience feedback on the concert 

Great concert that beat my expectations –  all ends up. Very beautiful playing by all.
I loved it. The performance was magical. It was the second time I’ve been to see this orchestra and I’ve been to a few other classical music events and other music events here as well here.

It was an excellent orchestra!
Lovely staff lovely atmosphere

When we lived in Bristol, we so enjoyed this excellent amateur orchestra, and were pleased to see they had a concert on a weekend we happened to be back visiting.
Yet another enjoyable concert with bhco great atmosphere

Wordcloud for Concert views till June 2023

Concert review: 11th June, 2023

Some Audience feedback on the concert 

A superb orchestra that just keeps getting better. I find it hard to believe that this an amateur orchestra. There commitment is equal to many professional orchestras.

Beautiful sound, wonderful togetherness of the orchestra, great performances by stand out players.

Friendly experience, I was just going to book another event. I didn’t know how long it went on for when we arrived. The parking was good because if you arrive after 6, the parking is six until midnight outside. So the performance set for 7pm is just.

I thought the programme was brilliant, the playing was the usual high standard from BHCO and conductor and soloist were both very special.

It was the best evening of music I have enjoyed since I used to promenade regularly 60 years ago at the Proms!

Superb musicianship

The Barber cello concerto was new to me, and I found the performance hugely impressive. This orchestra is absolutely fabulous!

I came for the Barber Adagio (and you couldn’t have done it better, I had a tear in my eye after the first minute) but stayed for the rest and it was fantastic, I’ll be coming again. See you in November.

Concert review: 12th November, 2022

Some Audience feedback on the concert, courtesy St George’s

The BHCO are always good value for money, enthusiasm is the key, they always enjoy themselves and so does the audience!!

A great concert with vibrant conductor and soloist.

Excellent playing- better than I expected

Great concert

Excellent playing- better than I expected

Excellent performance

Excellent. we loved it. All 3 pieces were excellent and very well played. But we particularly enjoyed the Walton and especially the bravura performance by soloist Jordan Bak who was superb.

Fantastic to hear Jordan play the viola. Perhaps he could come back every year!

Concert review: 7th March, 2020

Some Audience feedback on the concert, courtesy St George’s

Average audience rating for the event: 4.75/5

A fine orchestra and a phenomenal violin soloist!

A small orchestra (although larger than the name “Chamber Orchestra” suggests) tackling large works – and not just going for the best known works by the composers, but lesser know works that allowed them to make a bold statement. The playing was always good, and I have seldom heard the Sibelius Violin Concerto played with such passion from either orchestra or soloist.

A wonderful evening of music at a very high standard. The soloist in the Sibelius Violin concerto was truly outstanding.

Ace concert.

Amazing, really enjoyed the performance.

At the age of 64, this is only the third time in my life I have had a chance to hear Sibelius’s Third Symphony live. It is not only my favourite Sibelius symphony but one of my favourite pieces of music of all time. I was not disappointed in the perfomance.

Engaging conductor,brilliant, violinist.beautiful Sibelius

Entertaining opening piece – with explanations thrown in between movements – helpful to those [like myself] who had no previous knowledge of the music. Superb interpretation of Sibelius’s demanding Violin Concerto, with obvious enjoyment on the part of both soloist & orchestra.

Fabulous and amazing soloist and the orchestra is first class’s in the hands of a creative and inspiring conductor. Thanks for arranging for this special event!

I have never heard such a professional non-professional orchestra. I would have liked to hear more pieces by Rautavaara.

It was a beautiful programme – really exciting and inspiring to watch and listen to. The orchestra felt really alive and the soloist was incredible .

Solo violin was amazing!


Surprisingly good for an amateur orchestra

The BHCO should perform more often!!!

Totally outstanding orchestra, conductor and soloist

Very enjoyable, and completely new to me, first piece by Finnish composer, Einojuhani Rautavaara, described by the conductor, Andres Kaljuste, which was a delightful way to introduce himself and the orchestra to the audience. The Sibelius violin concerto was an inspired performance by a young Polish virtuoso, Maria Wloszczowska.It was quite breath- taking and, in the many years that I have been coming to St George’s, I have never seen such a large and immediate standing ovation. A memorable evening.

What an amazing violinist Maria Wloszczowski is. She blends with her instrument, able to make it sing and evoke countryside, laughter, peace, curiosity or dance whilst singling out orchestral players to communicate with. All the musicians were perfectly aligned in their phrasing of Sibelius’ Violin concerto, giving it new and extended meaning to me. This was like a sandwich filling between more recent work by Finlands composer R…. and Sibelius 3rd symphony: a rare and sumptuous treat.

Concert review: 9th November, 2019

Some Audience feedback on the concert, courtesy St George’s

We have been feeing a little jaded recently and yet we came home (from the concert) feeling totally exhilarated.

James Henshaw, (such a youthful conductor) injected so much joy and energy into each piece. We could have watched and listened for hours more.
James Willshire was totally wonderful, incredible playing and soulful interpretation. He and the orchestra deserved the overwhelming ovation …
A beautiful evening…Thank you!

Concert review: 2nd March, 2019

Some Audience feedback on the concert, courtesy St George’s

About the Event 

Brilliant orchestra and conductor. Fantastic acoustics.

The orchestra was sparkling. The cellist was note perfect. …..deeply passionate….. a little too private in her passion. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the evening. Conductor and orchestral soloists were outstanding. The programme was engaging.

Brilliant cellist Laura van dear Heijden really moving with her interpretation of the music.

Brimful with enthusiasm and energy

It was an excellent evening.

Utterly Exhilarating! A joy to be in the audience.

Concert review: 27th October, 2018

Some Audience feedback on the concert, courtesy St George’s

About the Event 

One of the best and most enjoyable concerts I have ever seen.

Although we were in restricted view seats it was a most enjoyable concert, our first visit was definitely a wow !

Such sensitive musicianship from orchestra and soloists alike

Loved the show.

Fabulously beautiful music, exquisitely performed to honour a wonderful man. Poignant, marvellous, tears in my eyes. Thank you everyone involved.

Although the competency of the performers was not in any doubt, we felt that the programme was a little turgid. As a memorial concert we felt that it was lacking in celebratory music. Looking forward to the next one which looks like a more interesting programme.

Loved the Faure and the Vaughan Williams. The male soloist for the Faure was passed (sic) it but the woman was very good – Pie Jesu so well controlled. The soloists for the Mozart were excellent but I don’t like the music itself.

A beautiful hall with marvellous acoustics. There was crystal clear sound in the gallery. I could identify individual players music whilst enjoying the richness of the whole ensemble. Very friendly, informative staff welcomed us in. The brand new light and airy extension is understated and beautiful. When the cafe opens soon facilities will be perfect except for the lack of a cloakroom. ( So four and three quarter stars really.)

About the Value 

£20 for centre front row seats? Good value?? 5 Stars

£20 doesn’t buy much these days so excellent value for money.

I bought a BB seat. Yes I couldn’t see everything but I was nearer the music than some at the back of the good seats and did not feel deprived at all.

Concert review: 16th June, 2018

Some Audience feedback on the concert, courtesy St George’s

About the Event 

A wonderful concert – great programme, delivered with enormous enthusiasm and panache.

The Brandon Hill Chamber Orchestra must be one of the best amateur orchestras anywhere. Their concert tonight was stunning. Thomas Bowes’ performance of the Beethoven violin concerto was very satisfying. The first movement has one of the longest orchestral introductions, but it was worth waiting for the soloist’s entry! The cadenza in the first movement was particularly exciting. The orchestral accompaniment was beautifully played. Shostakovich’s tenth symphony was simply exhilarating: it makes great demands on all sections of the orchestra and they certainly rose to the challenge. Andrew Shulman is a sensitive conductor who communicates exactly what he wants, and his contribution to this barnstormer was stupendous. Small wonder that even after his exertions in the Beethoven, Thomas Bowes should choose to sit in with the violins as they played this most stirring of works!

It was an outstanding concert, the orchestra played extremely well. Thomas Bowes playing of the Beethoven violin concerto was outstanding. Andrew Shulman’s conducting was great as always, with such energy and feeling. A very uplifting concert.

Actually, in truth, a much, much higher number – the kind of Experience that is Inspirational, profoundly creative and wonderfully hopeful … Aged 82, I’ve come late to SHOSHTAKOVICH; thank God in time as I cram for my Finals.

Violin concerto was superb.

About the Value 

Yes, cheap @ five times the price …

Concert review: 4th March, 2017

Some Audience feedback on the concert, courtesy St George’s

Wonderful concert. Excellent performance.

A sparkling performance by both soloist and orchestra

Wonderful evening. Superb performances. Conductor, soloist Andriescu and staff were of world class. Disappointing though to see members of the audience old and young dressed up as if they went shopping. Lack of respect or indifference? Shame. 

Value for money

Absolutely. I would have paid more.

Great programme. Superb playing.

Concert review: 22nd October, 2016

Some Audience feedback on the concert, courtesy St George’s

A most interesting programme, handled with great ability and vivacity by orchestra and conductor.

First class performance, Beautiful music and fantastic soloist

Lovely to hear the full chamber orchestra and a wonderful soloist. 

I thought the Brandon Hill Chamber Orchestra were outstanding!! You would have thought it was a professional orchestra.


Concert review: 21st May, 2016

Review from audience member, Jonathan Lane

Some thoughts on last Saturday’s Brandon Hill Chamber Orchestra concert at St Georges’s: we heard Mozart’s Overture to ‘Il Re Pastore’, Brahms’s Violin Concerto and Mendelssohn’s ‘Scottish’ Symphony No 3. All were despatched with professional ability and polish, under expressive and well-measured direction from conductor Eduardo Portal, totally belying the amateur origins of this ensemble. They infused Mozart with a spirit of freedom and simplicity, displaying crisp rhythmic articulation with a sense of joy in the many melodies. Mozart is one of the few composers who composed with unalloyed happiness (despite his often insufferable personal circumstances) and this innocent fun shone through. The Brahms Concerto came next, with Thomas Bowes giving a broad but not over earnest interpretation of this repertoire standard, sprinkled with several moments of unselfconscious expressive gestures, and including a passionate account of the challenging Kreisler cadenza. Brahms’s beautifully full textures were coloured with some lovely blended sectional sound and a wonderful balance, with Mr Portal favouring the horns and low woodwind in the sympathetic warmth of the St Georges acoustic. Mr Bowes coaxed a sumptuous sound from his 17th century Amati instrument, particularly remarkable in his full bodied low register. Under his very able fingers its broad woody tone matched the orchestra note for note in a superb balance. The orchestral playing was exemplary in every section with wonderful ensemble, save for a very few hesitant entries, consistently good intonation, and near perfect response to every moment of directed placement and flexed tempi to follow the solo line.

In the second half, Mendelssohn’s ‘Scottish’ fared perhaps slightly less well, having been deprived I suspect of its full share of rehearsal, with a lot of time having very probably gone into the superb presentation of the Brahms. The sound, balance, tempi and sense of musical interpretation convinced, measuring up to the first half, but on occasion detail and ensemble were a little smudged, However, those few moments never detracted from the overall span of Mr Portal’s reading. His attention through the whole concert showed sometimes great dynamic contrasts, but always sensitive, with the players producing with confidence and good tone every dynamic from the quietest to the loudest. He sustained also a sense of structure in the interleaved themes of this complex work, but drawing still a Mendelssohnian elegance and elfin lightness from the orchestra whenever it was needed. This was a superbly played (and well-attended) concert which did not disappoint. The BHCO is a very capable orchestra, and I suspect that the enthusiastic and well-considered direction of an excellent conductor led them to produce more than they knew they had in them. I look forward to their next outing.