Bognor-based cellist Roger Clayden is delighted to welcome John Georgiadis to conduct his 60 Minute Orchestra on June 6 at 7.30pm in Bognor’s Regis Centre.
Born in Southend on Sea, Essex, Georgiadis began playing the violin at the age of six and later studied at the Royal Academy of Music. Two years as leader of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra were followed by eleven years as leader of the London Symphony Orchestra, in two periods between 1965 and 1979
As Roger says: “He has played all the works you know. He has recorded them at the highest level. He was worked with all the people at the absolute tip of the profession. He has worked with people that are second to none.
“Expectations are very important, and when you work with people like that, you know how important it is to raise the standard. He will expect the best. He will be pushing people to produce their very best performance. You don’t just walk into the top football team. He has got there by being the very best, and if you then come down to county level, you know that the people around you will raise their game.”
Roger is relishing the effect that Georgiadis will have on his – Roger’s – orchestra. At the moment the orchestra plays twice a year, in June and in October, but Roger is hoping that the frequency of the concerts will increase markedly.
“I dreamt it up in my (jewellery) shop in Bognor. I was sitting there having a cup of tea and thinking what can I possibly do next. It was between customers, and it had got quiet for a while, and I decided that I would create an orchestra!”
The orchestra is now in its second year, and Roger is pleased with the progress so far: “We did the first concert the year before last, and we are doing two concerts this year. It would be lovely to have one every month.”
For that to happen, Roger acknowledges that he needs to raise some serious cash, but as he says, it might simply be a question of attracting the attention of one very wealthy person.
In the meantime, he is loving the fact of having his own orchestra: “It is mega. I can’t describe what it is like to get an orchestra altogether. It is about playing the characters. They are fantastic performers, but it is the characters together that you have got to get right. But I know them very well, which helps. Some of them I have known for 30 years.”
The programme will be: Mendlessohn – String Symphony No 7 in D Minor; Elgar – Introduction & Allegro; Finzi – Prelude in F; Tchaikovsky – Elegy; Delius – Flower Duet from Lakme; Barber – Adagio; Shostakovich – Chamber Symphony for Strings; Finzi – Ecologue for Piano & Strings Opus 10; and Rossini – Non Piu Masta.
Tickets from the Regis Centre.