A clever programme, led by BSO Conductor Laureate Andrew Litton, cheered us into the long Greenwich-Mean-Time nights and pointed the way towards a happy and musical Christmas.

Rather than pick a couple of numbers from Tchaikovsky’s eternal seasonal favourite The Nutcracker, Mr Litton elected to perform the whole of Act Two as the second half of this evening at Lighthouse, Poole. Lyrical themes cascaded from the Tchaikovsky’s pen and here they seemed to gain weight from appearing in their intended sequence and context. Above all, the players and conductor evidently enjoyed providing such merry entertainment. Mr Litton, who is Music Director at the New York City Ballet, brought the depth of his wide experience to shaping this iconic dance score.

The heart of the first half of the concert was Georges Bizet’s Symphony in C – an early piece from the composer’s student days, bursting with youthful energy and charm. It provided the epitome of fun through four dancing movements which were dashed off with crisp, smiling aplomb by this charismatic orchestra. It does not sound an easy score to play, and the hugely appreciative audience delighted in the expertise of the instrumentalists.

The opening work had been Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune by Debussy. A favourite of many listeners, it was given a dreamy, nerveless performance, especially featuring some wonderful woodwind playing. Principal flute, Anna Pyne, was called for richly-deserved thanks.

Here is what music can do: turn a gloomy, cold evening, with the winter stretching out before us, into a smiling and happy memory to hold against whatever hardships lie ahead!

At the start of the second half, CEO Dougie Scarfe came to the platform to thank two long-serving members of the team who are retiring – Janice Thorgilson (second violin) who has played in the BSO for 40 years, and Marion Aston who has clocked up 49 years in the concerts department of the administration. There were long, loud and emotional ovations for them both.

Thank you, Tom! 

We also recieved these reviews from national and local press:

**** “Bravo Bournemouth!” Arts Desk

The BSO were on fire in an absolute stunning couple of hours”  Bournemouth Echo 

Check out the highlights video from the concert below! To see what else we’ve got coming up click here