Classical Music Picks

Our Classical Music columnist Liz Leatherdale, founder and owner of Colchester Classics, brings you her pick of July’s Classical Music events in, and around, Colchester.

July 2015

This month hear the Colchester Symphony Orchestra under Chris Phelps perform an important early Romantic work: Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique or Fantastic Symphony. This was the first music to use over 90 orchestral players and history suggests Berlioz may have written some of the music under the influence of opium. Berlioz’s gentler masterpiece the song-cycle Les Nuits d’Ete with soprano soloist Verica Grmusa and the orchestral  Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, without doubt Debussy’s most famous work, will be performed at 7.30pm on Saturday 11 July 2015 in St Botolph’s Church, Colchester.

Tickets: £14 (01206 271128)


On 4 July the Hervey Benham Young Soloists concert offers some of our gifted local musicians the opportunity to perform with an orchestra. Soloists include Sam Marde (Organ), Kerenza Newcombe (trumpet) and Zachary Kleanthous (tenor). Zachary, a former pupil of Colchester Royal Grammar School, starts a chorister scholarship at Chelmsford Cathedral in September. St Botolph’s Music Society Orchestra conducted by Jonathan Abbott.Tickets: Saturday 4 July 2015 in St Botolph’s Church, Colchester at 7.30pm.

Tickets £12.50


The Harwich Festival ends on Sunday 5 July 2015 with the Royal College of Music  Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir performing exhilarating period favourites such as Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’, Purcell’s ‘Come Ye sons of Art’ and Handel’s Zadok the Priest. Sunday 5 July at 6.30pm, St Nicholas Church, Harwich.

Tickets: £12.00


The weekend of 3 – 5 July, the Roman River Festival has its first mini-festival: a Schubertiade with three concerts, bringing James Gilchrist and other distinguished musicians to the idyllic villages of Wivenhoe, Boxted and Fingringhoe.

Tickets: £15. Telephone (01206 729356 for details on both the mini and also main festival)


Colchester Town Hall’s majestic Edwardian organ in the magnificent setting of the Moot Hall has been recently renovated to its former glory. This month sees the launch of Organ Fest on Tuesday 21 July with a concert by Gillian Ward-Russell and the following week a concert by Colchester’s Borough Organist, Ian Ray.


The Thaxted Festival is held each summer in the magnificent setting of the church at the heart of this small medieval town. The festival includes concerts by Red Priest, the wild and extraordinary interpreters of Baroque and early music, a family concert with the Brandenburg Sinfonia and closes on July 12 with Tenebrae performing some beautiful choral works from Allegri to John Tavener.

Telephone: (01371 831421)


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Liz Leatherdale

Liz Leatherdale