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Here are just a few extracts from various reviews over the years.
“The Guildhall Orchestra has clearly summered well. A Berlioz overture, a Bartok concerto, and a Sibelius symphony, leavened by a couple of bonbons, found the strings sounding fresh, the brass robust and the woodwinds light on their toes. They needed little chivvying from Simon Wright’s baton.”
"Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, right from Isabel Dowell's classy opening bassoon solo, was shot through with instrumental brilliance. The score's rhythmic irregularities held no terros: with clear and unflurried direction from conductor Simon Wright, the orchestra negotiated the potential pitfalls with sure-footed teamwork. A remarkable and thrilling achievement."
"This orchestra is one of the treasures that makes living in York such a delight."
"A rip-roaring account of Mussorgsky’s Pictures From An Exhibition. With the orchestra fearlessly navigating scenes of hazy respite and unbridled terror, standout saxophone and euphonium solos ensured an exultant arrival at The Great Gate of Kiev"
"A deeply brooding account of Sibelius’s Valse Triste was the ideal intro to his Fifth Symphony. Here, Wright instinctively knew that the whole work builds towards its noble finale and cannot be allowed to climax too soon. So he kept the brass, in particular, in close order, and forged colourful mood changes in the slow-movement variations. Excitement bubbled through the finale, until the brass – yes – but also the violins, more lush than ever, cut loose to reach a glorious peak."
"The second half saw the orchestra give a confident and assured performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, Eroica. The solemn tone of the second movement was skilfully contrasted with the vivacious scherzo of the third, and the momentum of the finale gave a satisfying end to a thoroughly enjoyable evening"
"Music is the best medicine. Dragging myself off my sick bed on Saturday afternoon, I really had no expectation of leaving the Barbican after two hours feeling refreshed and invigorated. I should have known better!"
“The City of York can be proud of the orchestra that bears its name.”
“If giving concerts is about weaving spells, the YGO’s performance [...] was a magician’s dream.”