East Midlands’ Only Professional Orchestra Announces Return Of Derby Series

Derby-based Sinfonia Viva, the Orchestra of the East Midlands, has confirmed the programme for its first Derby season since the pandemic.

The concert series between October 2023 and March 2024 will feature performances from world class artists and the commission of a new work which will make its world premiere in the city.

Sinfonia Viva, which celebrated its 40th anniversary last year, has strengthened its partnership with Derby Cathedral for the 2023/2024 season in the city. 

The Orchestra has also re-forged its relationship with Derby Cathedral Choir and will perform for the first time at the award-winning Museum of Making as part of a new relationship with Derby Museums.

Announcing the programme, Sinfonia Viva chief executive Lucy Galliard explained: “This is the first time we have programmed a Derby season since the start of the first lockdown and we are looking forward to performing at two very different but equally majestic venues.

“There are still a couple more performances to be confirmed which will mean that we will have a presence in the city every month throughout the seven month concert season in addition to our on-going creative work with schools in the city and our Sing Viva carers choir.”

She continued: “As the East Midlands’ only professional orchestra, we are particularly proud of our Derby roots and the support we receive in our home city. 

“We regard ourselves as cultural ambassadors for Derby and applaud that this city is one of only a handful of cities in the UK which is the home to a professional orchestra.

“We look forward to welcoming back our loyal followers and, as an inclusive Orchestra with a national reputation for high quality classical music and award-winning community and education work, to engaging with new audiences.”

Ahead of the Derby season launch, Sinfonia Viva will return to perform at the Darley Park Concert on Sunday August 27 as part of the extended weekend programme.

The Derby series will then launch on Wednesday October 18 at Derby Cathedral where the orchestra will perform a programme inspired by the solar system underneath the giant artwork, ‘Museum of the Moon’, which will be suspended above the nave.

The evening concert will start with Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (‘A Little Night Music’) followed by Four Last Songs by Richard Strauss before the stunning finale of The Planets Suite by Holst.

Conductor Olivia Clarke, who was BBC Music Magazine’s Rising Star in 2022, will take the baton for the concert which will also feature British soprano Nadine Benjamin MBE – a regular performer at The Royal Opera House and Royal Albert Hall - and the Upper Voices of Derby Cathedral Choir.

On Sunday October 22, Sinfonia Viva will showcase its award-winning approach with the afternoon family show – ‘Wait..What?!’ at Derby’s Museum of Making.

The BSL-interpreted interactive programme of music, dance and live animation will explore some of the biggest mysteries asked by curious children. After the show, children can meet the musicians, explore the museum and every family will receive a book and code to download the music to enjoy at home.

Sinfonia Viva will then return to Museum of Making on Friday November 17 for the first afternoon concert of the season.

The programme will feature the world premiere of new work composed by the Orchestra’s principal oboist Maddy Aldis-Evans which has been inspired by one of the Museum’s standout exhibits – the incredible 18th century loom. This will be followed by Mussorgsky’s famous Pictures at an Exhibition arranged for wind quintet.


The afternoon concert series at Museum of Making will continue on Friday January 26 when Mozart’s toe-tapping Gran Partita will be performed. Recognisable melodies in the famous piece include the Adagio which has graced several iconic film and television scenes from Amadeus to The West Wing.

Sinfonia Viva will then be joined by Derby Cathedral Choir on Saturday March 2 when the Cathedral’s stunning acoustics will bring to life a full-bodied programme of music by a host of celebrated composers from across the centuries and finishing with Pergolesi’s beautiful Stabat Mater.

Derby Cathedral’s Director of Music, Alexander Binns, will conduct the concert, joined by Sinfonia Viva’s Leader and soloist Sophie Rosa, and singers Fflur Wyn and  William Towers.

For more information about the Derby Season and to book tickets, please visit www.sinfoniaviva.co.uk

Back to news