Bath Philharmonia
St Peter's Church, Shaldon
Bridge Road
TQ14 0DB
United Kingdom
Type: Concert
Date: Thursday 19 June 2014
Start Time: 7.30pm
Performer(s): Bath Philharmonia
Host Organisation: Shaldon Festival
Box Office Contact: Malcolm Watson
Box Office Email:

Conductor: Jason Thornton
Violin: Tamsin Waley-Cohen

photo courtesy of Viv Wilson

Mozart Symphony No 1
Vaughan Williams Violin Concerto
Vaughan Williams The Lark Ascending
Mozart Symphony No 40


Concert Review
Jason Thornton and his orchestra brought us a beautifully balanced programme of Mozart and Vaughan Williams. They began with Mozart’s first symphony, written at the age of eight, whilst in London. It is scored for a small orchestra – just strings, oboes and horns – and the warm sound of the Bath Philharmonia strings and the beautiful wind playing made this simple piece a pleasure to hear.

The Vaughan Williams Violin Concerto (Concerto Accademico) followed, played by Tamsin Waley-Cohen, a violinist of prodigious technique and exquisite musicality. After her moving performance with the school children at the lunchtime concert, it was fascinating to hear her in the more formal concert setting with the Bath Philharmonia. Tamsin is renowned for her interpretation of the works of Vaughan Williams, and this performance showed us why.

The first movement is rhythmic and driving in parts, and more pastoral in others and Tamsin’s energetic and exciting playing contrasted with the eloquent sounds of the gentler sections. She is able to produce an amazing range of tonal variation from her Stradivarius violin, sometimes rich and powerful and sometimes very sweet and gentle. The second movement has a more elegiac feel, and Tamsin’s richness of tone and beautiful sustained melodic lines held us entranced. The final movement is a romp of a jig, with chordal rhythmic sections and scurrying melodies. Tamsin brought tremendous energy to this whilst still retaining a strength and warmth of tone.

After the interval, Tamsin returned to play the nation’s favourite piece of music, The Lark Ascending, also by Vaughan Williams. This is a beautiful piece, at times folky, at times ethereal, and often rhapsodic in character. Tamsin Waley-Cohen produces a wonderful range of tone – deep rich sounds, but also beautifully delicate sustained pianissimos right at the top of the instrument, with a very sweet sound. She is an extraordinarily expressive player conveying every change of mood with intensity and commitment, and has a stunning technique too, so that she makes the piece seem easy, and flow from beginning to end. The final few exposed solo notes were exquisite.

Mozart’s 40th symphony is well known and popular for good reason. It is an elegant but stern piece in the key of G minor. From the sadly falling phrase of the beginning to the dramatic development of the first movement, the Bath Philharmonia’s playing was polished and eloquent. The plaintive woodwind interjections were beautifully played. The string sound in the andante was lovely and melodic dialogue with the wind was smooth and beautifully balanced. The Minuet is almost grim in its sturdy rhythmic and contrapuntal character, contrasting with the gentler trio and its woodwind phrases. Wonderful playing again catching the differing moods within this movement.
We were suddenly wrenched out of this dark but elegant place by the relentless finale. The Bath Phil played with great energy and verve, maintaining the intensity of the music to the last chord.

This was a terrific concert – a beautifully balanced programme and a stunning performance by great musicians.

Kate Hill-Art

Jason Thornton

Jason Thornton is Music Director of Bath’s resident professional orchestra Bath Philharmonia. He is artistically responsible for one of the largest and most respected professional organisations of its type in the South West of England and with this orchestra he became the world’s youngest conductor to have performed all Mahler’s symphonic output.

He has also worked with many of Britain’s finest professional orchestras and choral ensembles including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, London Mozart Players, Halle Orchestra, English Northern Philharmonia, London Philharmonic Choir and Bournemouth Symphony Chorus. Jason is also Principal Guest Conductor Designate for the Arensky Chamber Orchestra (London), Principal Guest Conductor with the National Schools Symphony Orchestra and Music Director for South West Festival Chorus. Abroad he has worked with the Kaposvar Symphony Orchestra (Hungary), Beijing Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, North West Symphony Orchestra (USA), East Oregon Symphony Orchestra and Jykvaskyla Sinfonia (Finland.

During recent seasons he has collaborated with many internationally regarded soloists, including Natalie Clein, Michael Collins, Sarah Connolly and Tasmin Little. Recent performances have included the Chinese premiere performance of Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius in Beijing and Shanghai, Strauss Four Last Songs with Renee Fleming, cycles of piano concertos by Beethoven, Chopin and Ravel with Peter Donohoe, Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with Nicola Benedetti and Rodrigo’s Guitar Concerto with Craig Ogden and the City of London Sinfonia.

Tamsin Waley-Cohen

Described by The Times as a violinist “who held us rapt in daring and undaunted performances” and by The Guardian as a performer of “fearless intensity”, Tamsin Waley-Cohen performs as a soloist with orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Chamber Orchestra, Budapest Philharmonic, Graz Kammerphilharmonie, and Chapelle Musicale de Tournai, under conductors including Andrew Litton, Tamas Vasary and Nicolae Moldoveanu. She has played at the Cadogan, Queen Elizabeth and Barbican halls in London, Symphony Hall Birmingham, Bridgewater Hall Manchester, and in venues across the UK and the Continent.

This season will see performances at the Wigmore Hall and King’s Place in London, as well as concerto and chamber music concerts in Austria, France, Spain, and Sweden. "An American in Paris" Tamsin's Debut CD, with Huw Watkins has been released to cricital acclaim.

In demand as a recitalist, Tamsin’s partners include Huw Watkins, Tom Poster, and Simon Crawford-Philips. She also regularly plays with cellist Gemma Rosefield, and has worked with artists such as Andreas Haefliger, Heinz Holliger and Anssi Kartonnen. She has premiered works by composers including Torsten Rasch, Joseph Phibbs, and Richard Causton; in 2011 she gave the premiere of a new “Concertino” written for her by Huw Watkins. She also values her experience as a chamber musician and has formed the Honeymead Ensemble, resident at the Tricycle Theatre in London from 2011-2012 as well as the Honeymead Festival on Exmoor. Tamsin has performed in many festivals – Cheltenham, Academia San Felice, Florence Chamber Music, The Two Moors and Presteigne, three years ago making her American debut with the Mendelssohn Concerto in the Bowdoin Festival. Last year she was artist in residence at Frome Festival.

Tamsin Waley-Cohen was born in London in 1986. She became a Foundation Scholar, studying with Itzhak Rashkovsky, at the Royal College of Music where she won all available awards, including – twice – the concerto competition, and was their String Player of the Year in 2005. Numerous competition successes include winning the 2005 Royal Over-Seas League String Prize and the 2007 J&A Beare Bach competition.
Tamsin has participated in master classes given by Ida Haendel, Igor Ozim, and Ruggiero Ricci, the latter describing her as “the most exceptionally gifted young violinist I have ever encountered.”

Since 2007 she has played the 1721 ex-Fenyves Stradivarius violin.

Parking Map for St Peter's Church, Shaldon


St Peter’s Church, Bridge Road, Shaldon, TQ14 0DB


1. Long Stay Public Carpark ½ mile from the church, reached through the village or off the A379 coast road to Torquay, postcode TQ14 0HP – 381 spaces, “pay & display” during the day but free after 6.00pm. Allow 15 minutes for the blue walking route shown.
2. Short Stay Public Carpark, opposite the church, postcode TQ14 0BP – 48 spaces, “pay & display” subject to a short stay 4 hour limit during the day but free after 6.00pm.
3. Extra parking – limited space adjoining the recreation ground reached from Ringmore Road but with easy pedestrian access to the Church along the estuary embankment. If using this area, please park “tidily” to maximise the usable space; this area is only available for parking as a special arrangement for the Festival.


Please telephone Malcolm Watson on 01626 873492 if you need help with letting someone alight at the church and/or need seating space for a wheelchair. In addition, there are a very few parking spaces close to the church which we can reserve for those with mobility difficulties on a first come, first served, basis.