Brighton Phil musicians’ highlights of the new season

Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra  (11th October 2018)

We asked our musicians which pieces of music they were particularly looking forward to playing this season:

“This season is offering several things that are new to me, and that in itself is a rare treat. In the first concert, the Parry and the Elgar Bavarian Highlands are both going to be pieces that I have never heard, let alone played, as will the Glière in February.

The Berlioz in March won’t be a new piece to me, but it never fails to get me excited for two reasons – it’s very difficult to play, and it’s wonderful music! The rest of that programme seems to have been stolen from my private list of Desert Island Discs. The Chabrier Joyeuse Marche is wonderful stuff, and I always enjoy any Rachmaninov.”

John Elliott (Principal Tuba)


“The Beethoven 3rd Piano Concerto is significant as it was the first piece I played professionally in an orchestra when I went to play in Caracas straight after college! I had no idea where I was and felt a little homesick so when we started to rehearse the piano concerto I suddenly felt much better!”

Rachel Benjamin (Viola)



“I’m looking forward especially to the concert on December 2nd. Beethoven’s 7th Symphony was the very last piece Leonard Bernstein performed with the LSO in Sapporo Hokkaido, North Japan in August 1990. He died just two months later. The great thing was, he didn’t rehearse the piece. He mentioned the quote of Weber saying that with the opening chords Beethoven was ripe for the mad house. So we played the opening chords and he wished us well for the concert….we played the piece for the first time with him in the concert. A revelatory experience, especially as I was sitting on the 2nd desk of the 1st violins and could hear every grunt of the great man.”

Robin Brightman (First Violin)

“The piece that I’m really looking forward to playing is Four Last Songs by Richard Strauss on February 10th. The movements of this piece contain the most amazing and beautiful music which, however many times I play them, never fail to touch something deep inside.”

Ian Fasham (Principal Bass Trombone)



“I think that the programme I am most looking forward to is the Glière and Strauss. The Four Last Songs in particular have very special significance and hold many memories for me. Not least, on our honeymoon last year we attended a performance in Vienna.”

John James (Principal Horn)


Brighton Philharmonic