Fantasia Orchestra Will Perform Two Concerts at the 2024 Proms at St Jude's

The performances are on Saturday 22 June and Thursday 27 June.

By: May. 29, 2024
Fantasia Orchestra Will Perform Two Concerts at the 2024 Proms at St Jude's
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Fantasia Orchestra – a dynamic ensemble of some of the UK’s finest young musicians who have recently announced their BBC Proms debut this year – will perform two concerts at the 2024 Proms at St Jude’s, their sixth consecutive year at the festival.

On Saturday 22 June at St Jude’s Church NW11, Fantasia will perform ‘An American Celebration’ with pianist Martin James Bartlett.

A celebration of American composers with works including Bernstein’s West Side Story overture, Gershwin’s iconic Rhapsody in Blue marking the 100th anniversary of its first performance and An American in Paris inspired by the sights and sounds of 1920s Paris. Overlooked until quite recently, African-American composer Florence Price’s Adoration, is a simple yet beautiful work of deep devotion and sincerity, and Ives’ Three Places in New England portrays scenes from the American War of Independence and Civil War.

On Thursday 27 June, also at St Jude’s Church, Fantasia Orchestra will be a key part of the Schools’ Prom, featuring almost 400 children from 10 local schools. With John Ashton Thomas’ Chocolate as the musical focus, Fantasia joins forces with presenter Will Dollard for this annual highlight of the festival’s calendar. Proms at St Jude's takes singing workshops into schools, giving students the opportunity to learn the repertoire in advance of the festival. The concert day is always a fantastic coming together of young people, joined by Fantasia's musicians.

Fantasia Orchestra’s Artistic Director Tom Fetherstonhaugh said, “Proms at St Jude’s is a champion of young musicians, and it is a great pleasure to be returning to the festival for a sixth year. We’re delighted also to be involved with the festival’s work in education, giving the premiere of the Fantastic Fanfare composition competition winner and playing for the Schools’ Prom.”

Fantasia Orchestra was founded in 2016 by conductor Tom Fetherstonhaugh and is home to the best of young British classical music talent today. It has recently collaboratedwith other eminent soloists including Alim Beisembayev, Thomas Gould, Isata Kanneh-Mason, Vadym Kholodenko, Jennifer Pike, Laura van der Heijden, and Steven Osborne. Many of the connections in the orchestra were forged at the Royal Academy of Music, where Tom and lots of the other musicians and soloists met and studied together from 2011 onwards.

As previously announced, Fantasia will also be making its debut at the BBC Proms 2024: featuring soloists, and long-time Fantasia collaborators, Sheku and Braimah Kanneh-Mason and Plínio Fernandes, BBC Prom 20 will be recorded for BBC 4, and broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 at 11am on Sunday 4 August. BBC Prom 22 will take place on Monday 5 August at 11.15am, presented by another Fantasia friend and collaborator Jess Gillam – this will be a relaxed Prom with BSL interpreter and audio description.

Ahead of the BBC Proms, Fantasia will debut at the Northern Aldborough Festival  on Thursday 13 June at St Andrew’s Church, Aldborough, with pianist Alim Beisembayev, and plays at the Guiting Festival on 26 July and Ryedale Festival on 27 July.

Education is central to the ethos of Fantasia and 2020 saw the launch of its partnership with the music education charity the DaCapo Music Foundation. Together they have created a new resource for the primary classroom: DaCapo Online is a comprehensive, ambitious and inclusive music curriculum that features Fantasia musicians at every stage.

Recent Fantasia Orchestra highlights include an April 2024 concert at St Gabriel’s Church Pimlico with Jess Gillam; their 2023 debut at The Newbury Spring Festival; a London performance of Dobrinka Tabakova’s Cello Concerto with soloist Laura van der Heijden; and a co-commission with the London Mozart Players of a new arrangement of Ernest Bloch’s Schelomo, premiered in the UK by Fantasia with soloist Sheku Kanneh-Mason.


Fantasia Orchestra
Martin James Bartlett, Piano
Tom Fetherstonhaugh, Conductor


West Side Story Overture – Leonard Bernstein
Adoration for Strings (arr. Morton) – Florence Price
Rhapsody in Blue (arr. Farrington) - George Gershwin
Three Places in New England – Charles Ives
Andante for Strings – Ruth Crawford Seeger
An American in Paris (arr. Farrington) - George Gershwin


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