The Lydian Orchestra, which celebrated its 40th Anniversary last summer, welcomed back Christoph Nielbock, director of the Music Academy in Wiesbaden, twin town of Tunbridge Wells, to conduct their spring course and concert last week.

The orchestra’s players, aged 14-23, many of whom come from Tunbridge Wells and the surrounding towns, met for a series of rehearsals which culminated in a special concert at St. Stephen’s Church in Tonbridge on Monday April 3.

Herr Nielbock previously hosted the Lydian Orchestra’s two trips to Germany in 2013 and 2015 and also conducted the orchestra on a visit to the UK in 2014.

Members of the Lydian Training Orchestra (LTO) also joined the main orchestra to play a combined piece in the programme.   For most of them it was their first chance to play in a full orchestra. The orchestra’s young musicians come from a variety of schools including The Judd, Weald of Kent Grammar, Bennett Memorial and Skinners’ schools.

Over the last 40 years, over 1000 young musicians from the local area have taken part in Lydian courses and concerts, with several players and soloists going on to high profile professional music careers.  Several of their current players are involved in national ensembles and we have had recent category winners in the BBC Young Musician of the year Competition.

A spokesperson for the LTO commented: “It was wonderful to be able to give pupils just starting out on their instruments the opportunity of playing with accomplished older students.”