Adrian Davis, our Choir's Musical Director, conducts in Russia
Not long ago Adrian received a Civic Award for his services to music, both here in the community and as an ambassador for English musical traditions abroad. This ambassadorial work has recently taken a new and dramatic turn, with a trip to Russia, in winter, amid snow and freezing conditions; the warm and hospitable welcome that Adrian received was striking contrast.
The story started In March 2015 when Bridgewater Sinfonia took the unprecedented step of inviting Michael Shcherbakov, a famous orchestral conductor from Samara in Russia, to conduct a concert of Russian music in St Peter’s Church in Berkhamsted. His visit was a huge success in all respects. It was always intended that there should be a return match, but these things take some time to organise, particularly when we are talking about a large and well-known orchestra with a programme fixed for years in advance.
However, four years later in February 2019 Adrian made a highly successful trip to Samara where he conducted the Samara Academy Orchestra in a concert of English music: Elgar’s Enigma Variations, Holst’s The Planets Suite and Walton’s Crown Imperial.
The concert took place in Samara’s State Philharmonic Hall, which holds 1,000 people and was sold out. Adrian received a standing ovation and says he thoroughly enjoyed teaching Russian players about English music – an enjoyment that was obviously reciprocated. This confirmed a rather surprising but now flourishing relationship between the orchestra of one of Russia’s largest cities and Adrian’s creation - small Berkhamsted’s own symphony orchestra!