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We are a string orchestra of about 25 players, based in Bridport, Dorset, in a beautiful region of the south coast of England and normally perform three concerts each year.

Our players come from a wide area of West Dorset, East Devon and Somerset, mostly within 25 miles of Bridport itself.

The orchestra was formed in the autumn of 1975 by the conductor Bruce Critchinson.  There are still one or two founder members playing with the orchestra, originally the New Elizabethan Players, now known as the Bridport Chamber Orchestra

We have a broad repertoire embracing many composers from baroque to modern.

Next concert:
3pm Sunday 25th November
The United Church, Bridport

Summer 2018 Concert Review


On July 15th we were treated to a wonderful concert by the Bridport Chamber Orchestra in honour of Alan Williams’ 75 birthday (Alan is a leading Patron of the orchestra).  Augmented by French horns and oboes, the able conducting of Arturo Serna and disciplined orchestral playing did full justice to a programme of familiar delights.

IN J C Bach’s Sinfonia there was pace, contrast and dynamics but above all a togetherness in the performance which gave the music excitement and impact.  I particularly enjoyed the slow movement in which a dreamy violin melody wafted above pizzicato accompaniment from the lower strings.

Arturo Serna was both soloist and conductor in Haydn’s second cello concert – no mean feat of logistics given the cramped space available at St Swithuns.  This was a bravura piece, full of double stopping, fast arpeggios and above all long passages in the extreme upper range of the cello. Arturo tackled all this with great aplomb and the orchestra, as usual, supported him sensitively.

The final offering was Mozart’s concerto for flute and harp, one of the best loved works in the musical canon.  Marta Gonçalves and Kirsty Whatley as soloists deliberately took the first two movements at a steady pace; this meant their rapport and the flawless clarity of their playing were exceptional, especially during the dialogue of the opening movement.  In the final rondo Arturo upped the tempo, and soloists and orchestra romped home to round off a memorable afternoon.

Happy birthday, Alan – keep the music coming!