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A short history of Bristol Orchestral Players

Bristol Orchestral Players was started in 1963 by medical staff at Southmead Hospital - a group of friends who wanted to meet up purely for the pleasure of playing together and working on the orchestral repertoire.   Originally called the 'Southmead Orchestral Society', the orchestra changed its name to Bristol Orchestral Players to reflect that its musicians are now drawn from the wider area of Bristol and environs. 


The philosophy remains the same!  We meet monthly; two sessions are allocated to each set of music -  typically a symphony plus either an overture or some other shorter piece. For our annual concert (friends and family are welcome, but we don't sell tickets), we usually include a concerto in our programme, and have the pleasure of playing with a local soloist.  We hold a couple of additional rehearsals in the run up to the concert.


We are very lucky to have Julian Dale as our conductor:  Julian is brilliant at discovering unusual pieces of music and arranging them to suit the orchestra.  Sue Burdock heads up our 1st violins, as the Leader of the Orchestra.


In the last few years we have played:



Bach CPE Symphony in D

Beethoven  Nos.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,8 & 9

Bizet No 1

Borodin No 2

Brahms  Nos. 1, 2,3 & 4

Dvorak Nos 6, 7, 8 & 9

Haydn Nos 94 (Surprise), 96, 97, 99, 100, 101, 102, 104 103 (Drumroll)

Kalinnikov No.1

Mendelssohn: Nos. 3 (Scottish) & 4

Mozart: Symphonies Nos. 31 (Paris), 35 (Haffner), 38, 39, 40 & 41

Nielsen: No.1

Prokofiev: No.1 (Classical)

Schubert Nos.2, 3, 4, 5 & 8(Unfinished)

Schumann Nos.2, 3 & 4

Sibelius No.2

Tchaikovsky Nos. 2, 4 & 5



Balakirev: On Three Russian Themes

Beethoven: Coriolan, Egmont

Berlioz: Beatrice and Benedict, Roman Carnival

Brahms: Academic Festival, Tragic

Bruckner: Overture in G minor

Dvorak: Carnival 

Humperdinck: Hansel and Gretel

Mendelssohn: Hebrides, Midsummer Night's Dream, Athalia, Fair Melusine

Mozart: Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail, Don Giovanni Idomeneo, Marriage of Figaro

Rossini: Barber of Seville, Cinderella, The Thieving Magpie

Strauss: Die Fledermaus



Beethoven Triple concerto (piano, violin, cello)

Beethoven: 3rd Piano concerto 

Beethoven Violin concerto

Bruch: 1st Violin concerto

Haydn: Trumpet concerto

Mendelssohn: Violin concerto

Rietz - for oboe and orchestra

Saint Saens: Cello concerto in A minor

Assorted composers (arr Dale): Concertino Suite


Other pieces 

Bartock (arr.Dale) Four Pieces for classical orchestra

Beethoven: Ballet Music from Prometheus

Beethoven (arr. Dale): Scherzo and Fugue

Borodin: In the Steppes of Central Asia

Brahms: Variations on a Theme by Haydn

Dvorak: Romance in F Minor (with solo violin), Slavonic Dances 

Dvorak: The Noon Witch

Dvorak: Slavonic Dances Op.46

Elgar: Enigma Variations

Faure: Masques et Bergamasques

Grieg: Peer Gynt Suite No.1

Handel (arr Dale): Two laments from Acis and Galatea

Liszt: Les Preludes

MacCunn: Land of Mountain and Flood

Monti (arr. Dale): Czardas (with solo violin)

Mozart (arr Dale) Divertimento in G

Mussorgsky (arr. Dale): Pictures at an Exhibition

Rachmaninov (arr.Dale): Vespers and Matins - from the All Night Vigil

Rebel (arr.Dale): Chaos

Schubert (arr.Dale): Allegro in D minor

Smetana: Vltava

Soler (arr Dale): Fandango

Strauss: Blue Danube Waltz

Vaughan Williams: Folk Song Suite


If you like the look of the music we play, please get in touch to enquire about vacancies.  We always have room for good string players; other vacancies arise from time to time.

Rusty players are welcome but some sight reading ability is desirable.



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