Set sail with town orchestra for 
music about a Scarborough brig

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Scarborough’s sea-faring heritage is celebrated in a new orchestral work being given its world premiere in the town next month.

Scarborough Symphony Orchestra will feature the piece, Aurora, written for it by Yorkshireman Richard Grantham at its concert at Queen Street Methodist Central Hall.

Richard Grantham

Richard Grantham

The composer is renowned for his brass band, so Aurora, written for a full symphony orchestra, is a new direction for him. Richard was born and raised in Sheffield and now lives in Beverley.

“I was looking for a Scarborough theme and was inspired by the log book of William Cammish, the Master of a Scarborough Brig, Aurora, which sailed the world in the 1850s,” said Richard.

“The log, still in the archives of the Scarborough Library, is full of personal jottings and love letters as well as the details of the ship’s journey, so it’s an emotional journey as well as a practical one.”

The music reflects the constant motion of the waves. As the ship’s musical journey progresses, different emotions and ideas float past, some on the horizon and distant and others closer to hand.

The composer has also taken advantage of the Aurora’s foreign adventures to include a taste of music from abroad – listen out for the sights and sounds as the Aurora docks in the port of Gibraltar.

Shaun Matthew, conductor of the orchestra, commissioned the work. “I’m very proud to champion new music, and it’s a great honour to have this specially composed for us. It’s fitting too that Richard took as his inspiration a Scarborough sailing ship and, of course, the sea,” he said.

The orchestra will also be playing Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet overture, and Finzi’s clarinet concerto, with Jonathan Sage welcomed back as soloist.

The evening concludes with a selection from the popular Carmen Suites by Bizet.

The concert is at Scarborough’s Methodist Central Hall in Queen Street on Saturday May 3 at 7.30pm. Free talk about the music at 6.45pm.