The debut of the distinguished conductor Dennis Simons as the new music director of the Abergavenny Symphony Orchestra at Our Lady & St Michael’s marked a significant new phase in the continuing development of the orchestra with a powerful performance of Wagner’s Flying Dutchman Overture, and culminated with a vibrant Mendelssohn’s Scottish Symphony. 

The highlight of the evening, however, was a scintillating interpretation of Sibelius’s only Violin Concerto. The notoriously complex and difficult solo part was accomplished with enormous aplomb and virtuosity by the young violinist Cristian Granjer de Sa, still a final year student at the Royal Academy of Music, surely a name we will see much more of on the future musical stage. 

The orchestra accompanied him with confident and incisive playing and their standard during the entire evening promises great things ahead under their new maestro for this adventurous and committed band.

Chris Hall