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Romantic classics
Saturday 27 November

Deddington church

Brahms: Academic Festival Overture
Elgar: Enigma Variations
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6

Programme notes

Banbury Symphony Orchestra welcomes you back to live music with a marvellous programme of musical humour, friendship and passion!


Johannes Brahms’ Academic Festival Overture is one of his sunniest orchestral pieces, written in 1880 as a tribute to the University of Breslau, who had awarded Brahms an honorary doctorate in philosophy. Although he had intended to simply write them a thank you letter, he was persuaded that he should provide a more formal musical acknowledgement. This overture was the result - although the university alumni may not have expected to receive an overture humorously crafted from a series of student drinking songs!


Elgar’s Enigma Variations, written in 1898-99, contains an ‘Enigma’ theme followed by 14 variations, each intended to portray one of his close acquaintances. The piece has come to represent an essential expression of friendship through music. Elgar himself wrote in a programme note that, “This work, commenced in a spirit of humour and continued in deep seriousness, contains sketches of the composer's friends. It may be understood that these personages comment or reflect on the original theme & each one attempts a solution of the Enigma.”


The Sixth Symphony of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was the composer’s last completed symphony. It was first performed in October 1893 with the composer conducting, just nine days before his death. Tchaikovsky gave the work a Russian title meaning "passionate" or "emotional". The composer’s title describes the music perfectly – the music encompasses a huge range of emotions. The shift from super-charged excitement in the third movement Scherzo to the outpouring of the final movement is a truly shattering transition.


Tickets are £10 and 18s and under remain FREE!

Advance booking strongly recommended.


We would encourage our audience members to wear a mask where possible to protect yourself and others and reduce the spread of Covid-19.

Please do not attend if you have any symptoms of Covid-19 or if you feel unwell.