One of the UK’s most talented conductors who worked on the hit Sony Playstation 4 advertisement watched by millions of fans is preparing for two landmark concerts.
NEW Sinfonia, which was set up to showcase young classical musical talent in the region, will be performing at Wrexham Methodist Church, at 7.30pm on Saturday, June 3, and Bangor University’s prestigious Prichard-Jones Hall at 3pm the day after.
Artistic director and joint founder Robert Guy, from Wrexham, was also the conductor of the world famous Manchester Camerata orchestra when it recorded the haunting theme tune for Sony Playstation 4.
Dubbed The King, the gripping TV and cinema advertisement brought his conducting skills to the ears of computer gamers all around the globe. A two minute You Tube posting of the dramatic commercial has had four million views.
As well as his guest spot with the Manchester Camerata for the Playstation ad, Robert was recently appointed by the University of Manchester as conductor of its Chorus and as a tutor of choral conducting in its prestigious music faculty.
NEW Sinfonia was formed in 2011 by Robert, 29, and his 27-year-old brother Jonathan. They are originally from Wrexham and both studied at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.
The orchestra is rapidly winning plaudits across North Wales for its originality and the quality of its performances.
Both concerts in June are entitled Simple Gifts after one of the pieces in the programme of American and French music. Robert will be conducting while Jonathan will be playing the clarinet.
Robert explained: “Connections between America and France go as far back as the American Revolutionary Wars and there have been many examples of musical links throughout history.
“In these performances NEW Sinfonia will focus on composers who all played a significant part in establishing a national identity for the music of their nation.
“The concert programme features Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, Adagio for Strings by Barber, Bizet’s Carmen Suite, Debussy’s Clair de lune and Pastorale d’été by
“The climax of the concert is Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring, a piece that has given the composer enduring and widespread popularity and is also known as the Lord of the Dance theme.
“Originally commissioned as a ballet, it evokes the serenity of the Appalachian Mountains. Copland uses the shaker tune, Simple Gifts, as the basis for the final passage that brings the piece to a calm and flowing conclusion and we have also chosen it as the title for the two concerts.
“A total of 17 musicians, the large proportion of them from North Wales, will play at the concerts with instruments including flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, piano, harp and strings.
Robert added: “The June concerts are part of NEW Sinfonia’s Orchestral Music series. This started with our Viennese Gala Concert at St Giles Church in Wrexham last January and also includes three performances at this year’s North Wales International Music Festival.
“Apart from our appearance at Bangor University, it will also be good to be performing the Simple Gifts concert at Wrexham Methodist Church where we have strong connections.
“A couple of years ago we gave a series of lunchtime concerts there funded by the Arts Council of Wales and we’re currently back there performing monthly Saturday evening chamber concerts at 7.30pm until July.”
The concert in Bangor will be a real landmark occasion for us because it will be the first time we’ve appeared at the university.
“However, we know that Wyn Thomas, a senior lecturer in its famous School of Music, has previously seen us perform and was so inspired that he was kind enough to contact us afterwards to say he thought we were a gem in the North East Wales crown.
He also said he thought the standard of performance from the NEW Sinfonia was excellent and it was so good to see young players filling the stage.
“With this in mind it’s fantastic that we will be playing at the university on Sunday June 4.
“The concert is a collaboration with the Archive of Welsh Music which is based at Bangor.”
Tickets for the Simple Gifts concerts, priced at £15 for adults, £10 concessions and £3 for students and young people, are available through NEW Sinfonia’s website at www.newsinfonia.org.uk, Wrexham Tourist Information Centre. Tickets will also be available on the door at both venues.