The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Coming to Tunbridge Wells

In a hugely exciting moment for the Assembly Hall Theatre, The Royal Philharmonic
Orchestra will be coming to Tunbridge Wells for the very first time tomorrow, on Sunday 27 June with
an amazing selection of pieces. This is a momentous occasion for the Assembly Hall with the
country’s premier orchestra performing right on the town’s doorstep.

The show is a spotlight on the wind instruments of the orchestra and includes a selection of
deeply loved pieces, with the different instruments of the wind section providing an enormous
variety of sonorities, making for some glorious combinations and sound-worlds. The
performance begins by showcasing some of Mozart’s most masterful writing in his
popular Serenade No.12 and also includes Gounod’s sparkling Petite Symphonie,
whose Andante shines a spotlight on the lyrical qualities of the flute. Dvořák even manages to
sneak a couple of string players into the ensemble for his Wind Serenade. This captivating
piece combines rustic Czech folk elements with marches, dances and a sprightly finale.
Talking about their inclusion, Assembly Hall Theatre Director JJ Almond says:
‘I am so delighted to be welcoming our friends the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to the
Assembly Hall – this is their very first visit to us, so do not miss out on this once in a lifetime
opportunity to see this world-class orchestra here in our very own Assembly Hall Theatre. If
you love orchestral music then you simply must come!’

James Williams, Managing Director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra adds:
‘The Orchestra is absolutely thrilled to be making its debut at the Assembly Hall Theatre. We
will be welcoming in Summer with a matinee concert that is full of warmth and musical
sunshine, featuring the musicians of our wind section and music from beloved composers such
as Mozart, Gounod and Dvořák.”

One of the performing orchestra members also has a remarkable story in returning to
the stage. RPO Sub-Principal Clarinet Sonia Sielaff returns to the stage after months of shielding. For
two and a half weeks in 2018 Sonia was in a medically induced coma, during which she
underwent a liver transplant operation that required her to remain in hospital for a further two
months, recovering. She was taken to King’s College Hospital in London to await a liver
transplant. Remarkably, within days a successful match was found and the operation was
performed. Doctors discovered she was suffering from Budd-Chiari syndrome, an extremely rare condition that contributed to the blood clot in her liver, triggering its failure. As her strength began to return, in February 2019 Sonia began playing part-time with the RPO again. However, with the onset of the COVID-19 she was forced to shield, unable to even take part in socially-distanced performances with her RPO colleagues. Following over a year away from the stage, Sonia has recently returned to live performances and is thrilled that she is able to
perform at the Assembly Hall Theatre.

It’s a hugely inspiring story and Sonia can’t wait take to the stage this coming Sunday:
“After spending so much time in isolation, it’s such an exhilarating feeling being back in a
concert hall with my RPO colleagues and a live audience. It really confirms my belief that there
is no substitution for the experience of playing or listening to a live performance. It’s a great
privilege to be able to perform these masterpieces by Mozart, Gounod and Dvorak that
showcase our talented wind section.”

This is a show that’s not only set to be historic but an absolutely essential afternoon on the
town for any fan of classical music or anyone who just wants to see the famous RPO – on their
doorstep. Don’t miss it! Tickets (plus drinks and snacks pre-orders) are available at


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