The Nonesuch Orchestra is a high standard string orchestra which meets to rehearse on Thursday mornings in Queens Park, London. Since 1961, when it was founded, it has become increasingly challenging and wide-ranging in its repertoire and activities. As well as giving public concerts, it has a wide outreach programme with visits to primary schools, hospitals and the Crisis shelters.
We have had the privilege of being directed by many inspiring conductors on their careers and many promising young soloists as they start out on their careers. Since 2015 we have been fortunate enough to be working under the direction of Dan Shilladay. Our final concert last season (2017-2018), was acclaimed to be a highlight of the Bedford Park Festival, and, as twice before, involved the participation of young children from several schools in the area. (See our concert page for a documentary organised by Chiswick Buzz for the BPF of 2017). We are delighted that our leader this season (2018-2019) continues to be Stephanie Waite whose stimulating partnership with our conductor continues to inspire the orchestra’s musical experiences.
One of our main aims is to bring live string music to young children in collaboation with their music teachers. Each year we give five or more concert/workshops in primary schools (see the School Visits page) in addition to public concerts. Last season, as part of the Bedford Park Festival 2018, we collaborated with Donna Schoenherr’s group of dancers from Ballet4Life to present a workshop of Stravinsky’s Apollon musagète followed by a concert entitled ‘Apollo and the Muses’.
A further enterprising and highly successful venture was held on 20th September 2018 when we invited experienced string players to join us to work on Strauss’ Metamorphosen at the Rasumovsky Music Studio – kindly hired to us by Oleg and Polina Kogan.
More recently we visited a secondary school and, for the first time, held a workshop for several very promising young composers. This was also a interesting and fruitful event.