The Aldworth Philharmonic is an amateur orchestra based in Reading, Berkshire. We present three concerts per year, plus additional Chamber Music Club events. This isn’t unusual, but we do think that we are a little different from other orchestras.
We play a wide range of styles from a variety of periods and composers. The most important thing about the music we perform is that we love it. Many of our audience members have commented that they can hear and see the passion in our playing – something that makes for memorable performances.
We’re an amateur orchestra, made up of players from the local community. We also like to do things differently and we’re keen to dispel the stuffy, snobby image of classical music along the way:
We’ve kept ticket prices as low as possible and given generous concessions, where appropriate. Then, of course, there’s our famous Concert Virgin Scheme, which offers free tickets to anyone who’s never heard a live orchestra before.
We only rehearse for two weekends (22 hours in total), before each concert, to allow local musicians who can’t make weekly rehearsals the chance to play. This means many more young people at the beginning of busy non-musical professional careers get the chance to play.
We hold workshops and concerts for varying ages of children and actively encourage them and other young people to come to our other concerts.
Since our second season, we’ve commissioned at least one new work from a talented young composer every year – vital to widen audiences’ musical horizons, develop our skills as musicians and support the talented young composers of tomorrow.
We’re named after Richard Aldworth, the founder of Reading Blue Coat School, where we rehearse and perform at least one concert there per year.