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Vivaldi Four Seasons by Candlelight

Thursday 09 July 2020

7:30 pm - 9:30 pm


Handel – Arrival of the Queen of Sheba
Pachelbel – Canon in D
Mozart – Salzburg Symphony No 2
Bach – Air ‘on the G String’
Purcell – Chaconne
Vivaldi – Concerto for Violin in B Flat
Vivaldi – Four Seasons

Belmont Ensemble of London
Helena Wood Violin/Director
Peter G Dyson Conductor


As one of the finest violinists of her generation Helena Wood is in great demand as a soloist, chamber musician, leader and director.

Helena began playing the violin at the age of three. She attended the Royal College of Music in London as a scholar from the age of 8 studying under Professor Pamela Spofforth and Professor Itzhak Rashkovsky and graduated in 2001 with a first class Honours degree. Helena later studied in New York with Professor Joey Corpus.

Making her debut as a soloist at the age of twelve with the Mendelssohn concerto, Helena has been received with great acclaim as a soloist and chamber musician. She has performed chamber music with musicians such as John Lill, Freddy Kempf, Finghin Collins and Nigel Kennedy and her international tours as a soloist include concerts in Israel, Romania, France, Switzerland and Germany, as well as tours of Italy and Spain. Helena has given numerous recitals at the Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room and the Royal Festival Hall and has performed many concertos at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Barbican Hall and St Martin-in-the-Fields. As a soloist Helena has performed with such orchestras as the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, London Mozart Players, Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra and English Sinfonia and frequently appears as a soloist on live television and radio in the UK and Ireland.

Helena is also in great demand as an orchestral leader and director. She frequently guest leads many of the world’s leading orchestras such as the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Cape Town Opera. She lead the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the 2012 Proms and spent two months in Sydney as Concertmaster of Australian Opera. For four years Helena was Principal Violin at English National Opera and is currently the Concertmaster of the RTE National Symphony Orchestra in Dublin

The Belmont Ensemble of London was founded by its Musical Director, Peter Dyson in 1991, winning instant critical acclaim.  It is now one of the busiest and finest chamber orchestras in the capital.

The Belmont Ensemble was the pioneering force in establishing the famous series of baroque concerts at St Martin-in-the-Fields in the early 1990s.  They have now given over 775 concerts at the famous Trafalgar Square Church where they are firmly established as the most popular of the principal orchestras, attracting large international audiences to their fortnightly concerts.  A recent highlight was a concert given in the presence of HRH Princess Alexandra.

The Orchestra was originally established to enable exceptional music graduates the opportunity to bridge the gap between leaving conservatoire and finding full-time employment, within a professional environment. Now a seasoned fixture on the London musical scene, the orchestra receives no subsidies or sponsorship, relying purely on enterprising programming and box office receipts.

In 1996 the Ensemble made their acclaimed debut at the Purcell Room, and in 1998 made their sold-out debut at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. The Orchestra has appeared at The Banqueting House in Whitehall, St Clement Dane’s Church, St Paul’s Church Covent Garden, The Blackheath Halls and they have established an ongoing concert series at St James’s Church, Piccadilly.  As well as performing in the capital, the Ensemble has appeared at numerous Festivals and Music Societies around the country, from Somerset to Sussex, Ludlow to Northampton as well as a recent concert in Chelmsford Cathedral.

Belmont has close links with Classic FM, which has included giving the station’s first ever Christmas Day Concert. Since then, Classic FM has broadcast many Belmont Ensemble concerts live from St Martin-in-the-Fields. In 1994 The Orchestra recorded Walton’s Façade, and other works incorporating the poetry of John Betjeman and Roald Dahl, narrated by Benjamin Luxon CBE. This received critical acclaim in the USA: “The orchestra’s playing is light, playful and precise”. Belmont Recordings was quickly established, releasing more CDs including Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Mozart’s two Sinfonia Concertante. The Ensemble also appeared in a Channel 4 TV documentary, as well as the recent Channel Five TV series about St Martin-in-the-Fields.

The Belmont Ensemble is a highly flexible group with a dedicated core of string players for baroque music; it can adapt to encompass forces for large romantic concertos and choral works, to contemporary commissions.

Belmont Ensemble members, past and present, can be found playing in all of the leading British orchestras including The Philharmonia, LPO, LSO and RPO, CBSO, Britten Sinfonia, English Concert and OAE, as well as The Royal Opera House and English National Opera Orchestras.

“One of the UK’s most exciting orchestras” Classic FM

“The band played with gusto… a very good chamber group” The Independent

“Transparency of articulation under their detailed direction of Peter G Dyson” The Strad

“Quite delightful, wholly witty and wonderfully rhythmic, the ensembles’ playing is light playful and precise” American Record Guide

Peter G Dyson is an outstanding English Conductor, described by The Times as a “Baroque specialist” and by the London Evening Standard as “An Internationally respected conductor”.

Founder, Musical Director, and Manager of The Belmont Ensemble of London, it is his enterprise and vision that has seen the orchestra perform more than 775 concerts at St Martin-in-the-Fields, more than any other orchestra in the history of the famous Church.  A recent highlight was a concert given in the presence of HRH Princess Alexandra.

A graduate of the highly acclaimed Advanced Conducting Course at the Royal Academy of Music, where he was a Sir Henry Wood Scholar, Peter studied with Colin Metters, Sir Colin Davis, Sir Simon Rattle, Leonard Slatkin, Sir Roger Norrington, Claus Peter Flor, George Hurst, Jorma Panula and the pedagogue Ilya Musin from St Petersburg Conservatory.  Peter was elected as an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in 2000, an honour reserved for the Conservatoire’s most eminent graduates.

He has conducted the New Queen’s Hall Orchestra in London, including a live broadcast on BBC Radio 3. He has appeared regularly with the Latvian Philharmonic Orchestra in Riga, the Guatemala National Symphony Orchestra in Guatemala City, the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra in Skopje, the Filharmonie Ceske Budjedovice, Filharmonie Hradek Kralove and South Bohemian Chamber Orchestra (Czech Republic).

In 2013, 2015 and 2018 Peter travelled to Australia as Guest Conductor with The Chamber Orchestra at St Paul’s (Cathedral) performing at the Melbourne Recital Centre.

A former choral scholar, he has conducted the BBC Singers in concert for BBC Radio 3, and has worked with the Philharmonia Chorus, the English Chamber Choir, the Tallis Chamber Choir, the Joyful Company of Singers, the New London Singers, St Martin-in-the-Fields Choir and Choral Scholars, St Martin’s Voices, the Codina Singers, the Northampton Bach Choir, the Chameleon Arts Chorus, Sevenoaks Philharmonic Choir, Vox Cordis and Barts Chamber Choir.

He has conducted at London’s premier venues including St Martin-in-the-Fields, Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room, St John’s Smith Square, St James’s Piccadilly, The Banqueting House, and has broadcast on BBC Radio and TV, ITV, Channel 4 TV, Channel Five TV and Classic FM.

Dates, Times & Book

Thu 09 Jul 7:30 PM £32/£29/£22/£16/£9 Book

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