Feast of folk with Sinfonia Viva at the Guildhall

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Derby-based Sinfonia Viva – the East Midlands’ only professional orchestra – will perform at this year’s Derby Folk Festival with a classical music programme inspired by folk heritage.

Forever Folk at the Guildhall Theatre on Friday, October 5, at 7.30pm, will be directed by orchestra leader and principal violin Benedict Holland (pictured).

The toe-tapping programme starts with the raw energy of Bartok’s Romanian Dances, inspired by the traditional music played in villages across Transylvania which the composer used to record on wax cylinders.

Arutiunian’s Violin Concerto, with Benedict Holland as soloist, was composed as a reaction to the devastating Spitak earthquake in 1988 and combines high energy with sombre reflection.

St Paul’s Suite by Gustav Holst brings the audience back to traditional English folk music, weaving the well-loved Greensleeves into the score. Holst named the suite after St Paul’s School for Girls in London where he was director of music from 1905 to 1934.

The programme comes to a climax with Grieg’s Holberg Suite, which has its roots firmly laid in popular 18th century dance forms including folk.

Benedict Holland said: “We are delighted to be returning to be part of this year’s Derby Folk Festival which is set to be bigger and more popular than ever.

“This programme is a celebration of generations of folk music and dance across the world and takes the audience on an emotional journey from melancholy grief to joyful fun.

“It illustrates just how folk music has influenced some of our best loved composers and is guaranteed to get everyone’s toes tapping throughout the evening.”

Tickets for Forever Folk start from £9 and are available from the Guildhall Theatre. Call the box office on 01332 255800 or see online at https://www.derbylive.co.uk/whats-on/sinfonia-viva-forever-folk/