On Monday 12 February, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra performed a concert at Buckingham Palace for their Royal Patron, Princess Alexandra.
The concert was conducted by BSO Chief Conductor Kirill Karabits and featured four organisations of whom the Princess is a Patron: the BSO, Alzheimer’s Society, Wigmore Hall and the London Philharmonic Choir.
This concert at Buckingham Palace aimed to unite people through the power of music, as well as celebrating the BSO’s, Wigmore Hall’s, London Philharmonic Choir’s and Alzheimer’s Society’s work with those living with dementia. London Philharmonic Choir, Alzheimer’s Society’s Singing for the Brain Choir and Wigmore Hall’s Singing for Life Choir performed alongside the BSO in this memorable concert.
The Princess met people representing each of the four organisations in the Picture Gallery before the concert began in the Ballroom.
The concert programme featured the BSO performing Tchaikovsky’s Polonaise from Eugene Onegin and Wagner’s Arrival of the Guests at Wartburg from Tannhäuser, the London Philharmonic Choir singing Handel’s Zadok the Priest, accompanied by the BSO, and Lauridsen’s O Magnum Mysterium, as well as performances by the Singing for Life Choir and the Singing for the Brain Choir.
The end of the concert saw all of the choirs and the BSO come together to perform Wagner’s Pilgrim’s Chorus from Tannhäuser.
Dougie Scarfe, CEO of the BSO, said: “It was an honour for the BSO to perform at Buckingham Palace for our Royal Patron Princess Alexandra.
“This concert celebrated music’s ability to unite people and enrich lives, especially those living with dementia. We were delighted to work alongside Alzheimer’s Society, Wigmore Hall and the London Philharmonic Choir for this memorable concert.
“I am extremely proud of the BSO, the work we do and what we stand for.”
Over the last 12 months the BSO has embedded working with people living with dementia at the heart of their practice.
This work has manifested itself in many ways from people living in the community to those in residential and hospital care. The BSO’s work was recognised at the Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friendly Awards in November 2017, where it was awarded Dementia Friendly Organisation of the Year.
A fundamental part of the orchestra’s mission is to work beyond the concert hall and BSO Participate offers people across the South and South West the opportunity to engage with and experience music through five specially tailored and distinct strands of activity.
Boost is Participate’s strand of work which focusses on health and wellbeing through music. The Orchestra has delivered pioneering projects which have made a real difference to people living with dementia, and their carers, in range of different settings.
Philip R Buttall
(image: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra performing at Buckingham Palace. Courtesy of Theodore Wood)