New music: why we need to challenge the “repertoire”

“The composer is a bit like the director of a movie and we are the actors and the actors have to express what the script says to their best ability.”

Avguste Antonov

The case for performing new music is a compelling one, but one that keeps having to be made in the face of entrenched views, a conservative mindset towards programming and a fear that audiences simply will not enjoy contemporary work.

Professor Avguste Antonov is a concert pianist and a professor of piano at the Châteaubriant Conservatoire who has made a specialism within his distinguished career of performing contemporary American music. When he spoke to Music Works in January, he described how he experiences the collaborative relationship with living composers and why he thinks this repertoire is important and needs to be heard.

First of all he challenges the idea that there is only one type of new music and the perception that it is inevitably atonal and “difficult” for the average listener. Instead he wants to see programming and promoters celebrating the wealth of work that is out there and have the courage to allow new pieces to be performed. And not just once as a world premiere which can catch the eye, but then see a work slip into oblivion, but to market cleverly.

“What’s left? Country premieres, city premieres, village premieres, you’ve got a whole type of type of premieres you can do and it all depends on how you promote that premiere…It all depends what you do with it.”

He also speaks compellingly about the special relationship that is possible when performing the music of a living composer. Although the performer feels a duty to perform a work in a way that reflects the composer’s original intention, no one can go back and ask Bach or Beethoven what they meant by any particular piece of scoring, but direct access to a living composer offers huge opportunities.

“You can actually go and talk with them and understand where they’re coming from as far as how they composed the work, what type of ideas, where they came from, and where they’re looking to go.”

But he also acknowledges that, once a piece has entered the domain of the performer, the composer has to allow that performer to place their own mark and interpretation on the work.

“Each composer is different. I’ve known composers who never want to hear me practice or rehearse their work before the concert. Not because they didn’t care, but because they want to give me that complete freedom.”

And that brings its own responsibilities. His approach is to always to be open minded whilst keeping a weather eye on the composers intent. It’s highly collaborative work.

“Composers write what they what they would like to express. But if we look on the other side of the map, it’s the performer when he gets on stage, that puts everything into place.”

One thing Avguste is certain of: new music offers a wealth and variety of pieces that should and can be heard. All it needs is a little more courage on the part of programmers and the persistence of artists like him in seeking out more repertoire, engaging with composers and making the case both in the lecture theatre (as well as the occasional podcast!) and on the concert platform itself.

You can listen to Avguste and all our other great guests on the Music Works podcast here: https://polyphonyarts.com/music-works-podcast/

Navigating brexit

Musicians everywhere are trying to work out what Brexit means for them. Unfortunately, it is not straightforward.

After attending the brilliant Navigating Brexit webinar hosted on 28 January by the Music Publishers Association, we wanted to share with you some of the key advice and resources that were given.

What to do if you’re a UK national living in the uk and have paid work in Europe

When accepting paid work in Europe, you might need a visa (which may have to be paid for) and/or a work permit (which are often free).

The Musicians’ Union are pushing consistency of approach from all European states, however, if this isn’t possible, they will try to get deals with the individual states which are as straight forward as possible.

Here is a list of the 27 European governments’ websites, where the current travel rules are detailed for each country.


UK Music are currently putting together a resource where one will be able to look up all the travel rules in one place, and the Music Publisher Association will share this as soon as it’s available.

Petition

There’s currently a petition for visa free travel for artists & technicians. It’s still open for signature.

 As a result of this petition, today (Thursday 4 February) MPs will hear from a range of artists and other sector professionals about arrangements for UK touring professionals and artists in the EU. Watch the session live from 2.30pm

You can find out more about the session here.


Parliament will debate this on Monday 8th February 2021. You can watch the debate here.

What is still ongoing

The Musicians Union are currently trying to get advice together regarding touring, as a lot of points are not clear in the current Brexit agreement. 


Current potential hurdles include:
– needing a carnet if you’re bringing a truck of instruments into Europe (NB this paperwork lasts a year and costs £325) 
– the issue of cabotage (whereby UK lorries can only make 2 stops in Europe before returning to the UK, the MU are currently lobbying for a cultural exemption)
– needing a cites certificate for instruments that are made with endangered materials, for example ivory or rosewood (NB this paperwork takes 5-10 minutes to apply for and is free)
– needing an EORI number for merchandise you are bringing into Europe to sell

Further guidance


The MU have put together a guide to working within Europe with the current information available: 

•    The UK government is not planning on implementing the Copyright Directive whereas Europe is (by the 7th June 2021 all EU states will be following it). This will affect digital service providers in the relevant EU member states, however it’s not entirely clear as to how it will affect UK performers and creators yet. 

•    The General Secretary of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport is currently forming a group which will structure the way politicians hear about the issues the music industry is facing and help push things forward. 

•    The MPA have put together this excellent Business Advice, Support and Guidance Flowchart on Brexit.

This was the first of 3 sessions that will be hosted by the MPA this year on navigating Brexit. For further information on when the next sessions will take place and how to book your (free) ticket, visit the MPA’s events page.

Too Much Mozart: towards a truly diverse and inclusive classical repertoire.

Growing up as a mixed race teenager in Hertfordshire, a talented and promising pianist and clarinettist, Elizabeth de Brito, felt completely disengaged from the world of classical music as it was being presented to her: “surrounded by nothing but white men.” Feeling marginalised and ignored, she spent 12 years completely away from classical music until she started to find the hidden composers with whom she could identify, composers like Cécile Chaminade, William Grant Still, Chen Yi, Florence Price, Tania León, Mari Iijima, Galina Ustvolskaya, Ruth Gipps, Maria Szymanowska, Karen Tanaka and Anna Thorvaldsdottir.

It was, she told the Music Works podcast, the moment when she grew up. She also knew she had to do something to address this glaring imbalance.

“I went out searching for all these female composers and black composers, and all these people, that I’d never heard of… [ and I thought] I’m in a position to create change now.”

By then Elizabeth had a background in radio and so creating a radio show was the obvious next step. The Daffodil Perspective was born with the declared mission to give a platform to all those brilliant overlooked composers who had been effectively written out of the repertoire.

She knew that she had to move beyond the kind of tokenism that saw the occasional performance or broadcast satisfying what programmers and promoters saw as new pressures to increase diversity. Her avowed aim was to bring those composers into the mainstream, challenging the very idea of what constitutes the perceived “core repertoire.”

“If you play Beethoven 100 times over the course of the year and you’re playing one black female composer, there’s something not right there…It’s not about just fitting it in and bringing people to the table, it’s creating a different table where there is space for all these different people and all these different voices.”

The logic is straightforward: if you add in all these female, black, Asian and other ethnic minority composers, that immediately expands access to the range of music out there. And by making this music more accessible that gives more people more of a choice to be interested in classical music.

It should be a win-win, but challenging prevailing attitudes can be hard. Promoters often have fixed ideas about what their audiences like or will tolerate and fight shy of anything that seems unknown or new. There’s also the prejudice against contemporary or modern music as hard to listen to, atonal and difficult to engage with as well as a general lack of knowledge and understanding out there.

To combat this, Elizabeth also offers repertoire consultancy to help anyone who wants to make their programming more inclusive, but doesn’t know where to begin.

As she says: “[if] you’re not serving the whole population…who are you serving?”

You can find out more about Elizabeth’s work here: http://www.thedaffodilperspective.com, and also listen to The Daffodil Perspective by following the link below. We guarantee you’ll be blown away by the resources she offers and come away with a whole new and enriched perception of the music that is out there. These composers are only overlooked and unheard if we don’t see them or listen to their music, and, thanks to Elizabeth de Brito, we now have no excuse for that.

If you enjoy this conversation, please subscribe, check out our other great episodes, and even better leave us a review. You can also follow us on social media and sign up to our mailing list at www.polyphonyarts.com/mailing-list  for updates and news about Music Works and Polyphony Arts.

You can find Music Works and this episode here on the website: https://polyphonyarts.com/music-works-podcast/ or you can listen on all the usual podcast channels.

Claiming your music royalties – a personal “how to” guide from PRS for Music.

“We need to recognise the true value of music, and the work that goes into its creation and performance, whether that’s to a live audience or online.”

Harriet Wybor, PRS for Music

This is the philosophy behind PRS for Music as Harriet Wybor explains to Katie Beardsworth in the latest episode of the Polyphony Arts Music Works podcast.

After a highly successful first season in which saw our new podcast garner over 1200 listens with over 2000 views of the video editions, we kick off the New Year with a look at what for many creatives is the thorny issue of royalties, what they are and how to claim them.

Performing rights apply when music is performed or played in public in concerts, shops, online via radio and TV broadcasts; mechanical rights refer to the reproduction of music when music is copied into CDs, DVDs and also online and via radio and TV broadcasts (these last three examples involve a combination of both performing and mechanical rights).

Which may sound simple, but this is definitely a situation where knowledge is power. But the knowledge, as Harriet explains, can be complex and tricky to navigate, hence PRS for Music.

Katie hits the basic problem square on the head:

“For any composers out there who think that all other composers understand how all this works, they definitely don’t!”

The good news is: you only need to understand enough and then hand over to Harriet who has a masterful command of everything anyone could possibly need to know about music royalties and then some.

Over the course of half an hour Harriet walks us through the thinking behind royalties, acknowledges why they are important and sets out with dazzling clarity the work PRS for Music does, not only to recover royalties on behalf of their members, but also to support the work of new composers and those suffering financial hardship.

The service they offer is impressive.

“I have helped composers in the past who say things like, ‘Oh, it’s really taken a weight off my shoulders getting something sorted out’” which is a feeling we can all identify with.

It’s reassuring to hear her calm and factual approach. She encourages anyone with a question, whether a member or not to give her a call. There are, she says, no silly questions and there is never, ever any judgement.

Even if you are not a composer, but have an interest or an involvement in the classical music industry, this episode is a fascinating listening.

You can find Music Works and this episode here https://polyphonyarts.com/music-works-podcast/ on the website or you can listen on all the usual podcast channels.

“Competitions are for horses, not artists”

Blog post by Sandy Clark – Composer

“We’ve really enjoyed looking through all the entries…”, “we’re thrilled by the popularity of the competition”, “…unfortunately your composition was not selected this time…”.

These phrases are all too commonly emailed to any emerging composer applying for commissions and competitions. Not seeing your name on a shortlist of successful applicants can be exhaustingly demoralising, particularly when your blood, sweat, tears, and all important time has gone into your work. You may want to just throw the towel in and think “why do I bother if nobody understands or appreciates my work?”. But fret not!

As an emerging composer myself, and in the final stages of completing my PhD at the University of Hull, I am beginning to realise the importance of self-promotion and determination. Throughout our education, whether at music college or university, opportunities are in abundance to work with peers, write music for visiting artists in workshops, or even compose for large ensembles.

Unfortunately, the ease of these opportunities doesn’t carry on into the real world and we have to look for opportunities ourselves. While competitions do provide a great platform for composers, it is difficult to gauge how a judging panel will receive your music, and therefore whether its worth you putting in the hours of work required to write a new piece.

One distinct advantage to competitions is that they force us to create. In November/December 2019, I unsuccessfully applied for five competitions. Yes, I was very bitter about the “unsuccessful” part at the time, but once I had surfaced from my momentary despair, I realised that I had four new pieces in my repertoire that I didn’t have before (one submission was a pre-existing piece). Now those pieces are ripe for sending off to other ensembles to consider for future concerts!

Bartók famously said that competitions are for horses, not artists. I disagree. The support that competitions provide emerging artists is multitudinous. Firstly, there’s the financial aspect. While some competitions don’t offer prize money, some offer a lot of money, which can help form the bread and butter of any freelance or self-employed artist. If I had won all five of the competitions I applied for in winter 2019, I would be around £4000 richer!

This brings me on to the E-word. Exposure. The topic of many a meme centred on artists being paid with exposure rather than actual money; competitions usually do both for composers. Exposure shouldn’t be overlooked, though. The ensembles and organisations offering competitions are often some of the wealthier and better-attended ensembles. Therefore your music has the potential to reach quite a lot of the right people, and you never know who might be in the audience.

Exposure (and competitions in general) also has the potential to lead to repeat performances, recordings, publication and further commissions. Of the five competitions I entered, all were offering at least one public performance, two were offering a professional-quality recording, and one was offering publication.

From the perspective of an ensemble, competitions can also bring people into contact with new music. Making Music’s Adopt a Composer scheme was instrumental in connecting dozens of composers with dozens of amateur music groups around the UK, most of which likely consider Stravinsky and Shostakovich the pinnacle of contemporary music. Schemes and competitions such as these are an excellent way to connect music creators with music makers, and in turn, music listeners.

Usually when applying for competitions, residencies or schemes, a composer is asked to provide a CV including a list of awards and prizes. Generally, the longer your list of awards, the more impressive your application looks against others. This brings me back to my first point, which was that your chances of actually winning competitions might be quite slim. This probably doesn’t have anything to do with your talents, but more to do with personal taste. Generally, I like to write music that people enjoy playing and listening to. That’s what gives me satisfaction as a composer.

Some people (a few of whom have been fairly vocal about it) consider this to be “selling out” and “inartistic”. But what is art for if not to be listened to, seen, observed, or appreciated? But you can’t please everyone, and this is something that hits home when you put your artistic heart and soul on the line in applying for competitions. 99 times out of 100 a rejection will not be because they didn’t like your music, it will be because they liked someone else’s better. But that’s the crux. They liked it. The music itself isn’t necessarily better – it just suited the judges’ tastes better. Chances are, if you send it to somebody else, they’ll love it and want to perform it!

So when applying for competitions, residencies and schemes when you don’t have a massive list of prizes or awards under your belt, how can you possibly make your application stand out?! I believe the answer is in commendations. Just as I will later this year when winter comes back around, befriend a musical director of a choir, orchestra, brass band, you name it. Get them to perform your pieces, and then get them to write a testimonial for you about your work.

On your CV you can then replace the awards and prizes section with real words from real people about how fantastic they think your music is, or how great it is to work with you. Show them that your music spreads joy and connects with people. That kind of feedback can be just as powerful as the credentials of any competition.

Sandy Clark

Visit Sandy’s Website

Music Works: an exciting new podcast for the classical music industry

Polyphony Arts is pleased to announce the launch of their new podcast: Music Works which looks at the classical music industry, how it works today, and explores how it can work better in the future.

The podcast is a natural extension of the vision of Polyphony Arts founder, Katie Beardsworth, who has been a long term campaigner for better work life balances for musicians and improved working conditions across the industry.

Now, since COVID-19 has brought lock down and effectively put a stop to performing arts everywhere, problems inherent in the industry have come more and more to the fore. In response to which Music Works offers a forum for everyone who cares about the arts, whether as a music professional, funder, policy maker or music lover, to express their thoughts, suggestions and personal experiences.

Katie explains her thinking behind the podcast:

“We’ve seen how fragile a musician’s income can be. We’ve seen how fragile music organizations can be, and I want to change that. So I’ve started Music Works with a view to having important, forward thinking discussions around the classical music industry as it is now and how it will work in the future.”

In the first episode the team at Polyphony Arts share their thoughts in an informal manifesto for the classical music industry going forward.

Upcoming episodes include conversations with composers and perfomers such as Ella Jarman-Pinto and bassoonist Fraser Gordon who both discuss the importance of belonging for people who may feel excluded because of their race, gender or social class; business leaders like Jessica Fearnley; and policy strategists such as Ben Cooper, author of the latest report from the Fabian Society “Cultured Communities” on the importance of the arts in society and how to improve our current funding models.

“We can’t just look at artistic content or individual experience unless it goes to helping us explain and develop our thinking on how to improve our sector and build sustainability through improved models,” Katie concludes. “We need a holistic, not a fragmented approach and that’s what Music Works is designed to promote. Musicians work through cooperation and collaboration; this podcast is all about that and more.”

You can find the podcast on the Polyphony Arts website and YouTube channel, social media and soon to appear on all major podcast apps such as Apple and Spotify.

Perfect Press Release with Polyphony Arts

Are you a solo musician, an ensemble or an arts organisation with a story you want to see picked up by the media? 

Not sure how to pitch your information in a way that will catch the editor’s eye?

As artist and arts project managers, we send out press releases all the time so we’re happy to share our experience of what makes the perfect press release. 

And, if you want help with this, check out our Perfect Press release service – send us your draft press release, and we’ll perfect it for you!

First of all, the clue is in the name: you are selling a story. That means you have information you want to present, but it has to be framed as a narrative and one with a hook to catch the reader’s eye. That’s a story. 

First: get your information in order. 

For example:

  • I’ve got a concert/event coming up/a new album coming out
  • Venue, date, time, label, launch date
  • I’m playing XXX/we’re presenting XXX/the album title is
  • Where can you buy tickets/find out more about the album

Now you have put flesh on the bones and turn those facts into a story. That means something different and/or original to make this a story an editor thinks their audience will want to hear.

“Violinist gives concert in Devon” isn’t exactly “hold the front page” material.

“Award winning violinist to returns to her home town with dazzling programme” already has two hooks in there to show why this story is interesting: this isn’t just any violinist but an award winner and, even better, it’s a local lass!

Think about your hook; think about what turns your information into a story an editor might want to hear.

Here’s a headline we wrote for an album launch in May:

“Classical guitar sensation, Duo Tandem, lead the way in remote collaboration with exciting new release.”

The hook here is the fact that Mark and Necati, have an amazing way of making fabulous music together even though Mark lives in Chicago and Necati lives in London. Given how everyone has been trying to work out how to get their music online during the Covid lockdown, this was especially topical.

Do you have any juicy quotes either about you or your event?

Here’s one from the same press release: 

“pushing the boundaries of what’s possible on classical guitars,” Minor7th

It was from a review of an earlier album by Duo Tandem, but it fitted our story perfectly.

Contemporaneous quote are also useful.

‘“We are delighted that Isadora will be the first to perform live music here again. The fact that she grew up in the town makes it so much more special for us and for our audience,” said the centre’s artistic director, Julia Wishbone.’

Tip: if you don’t have a quote, get in touch with friends/colleagues/the promoter and get one!

You’ve heard of the elevator pitch. You find yourself in an elevator with a big movie producer and you have just so long as it takes to get to his floor to pitch your script idea.

Tell your story simply and effectively and get back out the door. Editors are busy people and they get bored very quickly. If you haven’t sold your story within the first few lines, you’ve missed the boat.

You also have to consider what type of media you are aiming for. If you’re giving a recital to a small concert society in Norfolk, don’t target the national press. Look at local papers and radio. Get online, find the name of the editor (or better yet the arts correspondent) if you can, plus email addresses, phone numbers.

Tip: if you haven’t already, now is a good time to start building a database of press contacts.

If you have a good quality photo, send it along. 

If you have some online video performances, include the links.

And don’t forget to include all your contact details at the foot of the release!

Head your press release: “PRESS RELEASE” and put “ENDS” after the body of the text. All you extra information – your details and any links – come after that. Don’t send it as an attachment; copy it into the body of your email. 

We had a lovely live discussion on our live series about the ins and outs of writing the perfect press release. You can watch the full video here.

Katie Beardsworth and Margaret Pinder

Three mindset tips to help you become your own agent

Are you a musician who pitches for their own work? Have you thought about getting an agent, but prefer the idea of managing your own career? What is holding you back? 

As an artist manager and artistic director, I have a deep understanding of the music agent industry, and I want to share my three top tips for becoming your own agent.

When things hold me back in my career, they are almost always to do with mindset. I know from my work with hundreds of musicians how powerful mindset is in the music industry in particular. 

Are you ready to take control of your music career?

Here are three mindset altering tips to help you become your own agent.

Tip 1: Make sure you love what you’re offering

I believe that the most important thing as a musician is to be working on projects that fill you with joy and enthusiasm. Music is so personal. What you’re doing has to feel right to you. 

Tip 2: Tell people, clearly, why you love it

Plan ideas clearly so that you can easily explain to others what is wonderful about it. Write it down so you can send it by email, and talk to friends and family about it – see if you can express the main idea in a sentence. Listen to their feedback – can you make them love it as much as you do?

Tip 3: Send it out with confidence

This is your ideal project – use that experience of explaining it to friends and family to explain it to others. Be warm, confident, and share the love for what you’re doing. Is your inner voice telling you that the person you’re pitching it to might not be interested? Overrule that inner voice! Replace it with the evidence that you’ve gathered from your conversations – this is a project that is inspired and special, and you are the perfect person to be doing it.

Did this resonate with you? Do you want more practical and mindset exercises to help you maximise your music career?

My online course, Become Your Own Agent is available now, as a self-paced online course. It costs £150, and you can spread the cost over three months if you wish. When you sign up, you receive the course materials and exercises, and can work through it at your own pace.

You will also be able to join the Polyphony Arts online course community, where you can develop your network further, and share tips and ideas with like-minded musicians. 

Find out more and sign up here.

Do you have tips to add? We’d love to hear from you on social media!

Perfect Pitch with Polyphony Arts

Are you a musician who pitches for work? 

As artist managers, we pitch for our clients all the time. 

Our performers want concert, oratorio, concerto and chamber work, both on the concert platform and in the recording studio. 

Our composers want commissions, and performances and recordings of their works.

We are also concert promoters, which means we book musicians for work, and therefore receive countless pitches.

We wanted to share our insight into this part of the music industry, having seen it from both sides, so today we reached out with a live discussion on this very topic, full of insights about the ins and outs of pitching for musical work.

You can watch the full video at the bottom of this blog post.

However, if you want a quick round-up of our top tips for pitching, here they are.

What to include

  1. Headline – what is the most interesting thing about your project?
  • What instrument/s you/your ensemble play – unbelievably, I often have to search pitches for this information! A photo can be a great way to make this clear.
  • What we can expect from the performance – a sense of repertoire or theme
  • Why it will be high quality – career highlights / competition success / press quotes / testimonials
  • A link to a recording or video of your work (if you are a composer, a midi file is fine)
  • Links to your website and socials
  • Your contact details
  • Your availability – even if you suggest a date patch and it doesn’t work for the promoter, it still helps them focus on the possibility of booking you if you mention a specific date or time of the year. Bonus points for working out when the promoter usually has events and suggesting something that fits with that pattern, for example…

I notice you usually hold concerts on Thursdays”. Golden.

How does this make you feel?

A note on the above, especially number 4 – this does not mean you have to make it sound as though your career is in a different place from where it is. If you are a frequent visitor to the Wigmore Hall, say so. If you are just finishing education, and making your first steps into your professional career, say this.

Concert promoters don’t only book musicians whose careers are in full flight, and you will always come across better if you are honest and genuine.

So, are you ready? Are you raring to go? 

Do you feel like you could use a second pair of eyes?

We have a special offer for you. 

From 1 June 2020 we are launching a new service: Perfect Pitch with Polyphony Arts. You can send us your pitch and we will perfect it for you.

More details of how this works and how you can get your perfect pitch for only £60 are here. We look forward to hearing how you get on!

Katie Beardsworth and Margaret Pinder

NEW ARTIST! A warm welcome to award-winning composer Edwin Roxburgh!

Polyphony Arts is delighted to welcome Edwin Roxburgh to the Polyphony Arts team!

Distinguished composer and virtuoso oboist, Edwin has won numerous prizes and Fellowships. As a student, he was recipient of the Elgar Trust Award through a BBC Symphony Orchestra commission, as well as a British Academy Award for his Oboe Concerto, An Elegy for Ur, and a Cobbett Medal for Services to Chamber Music.

Edwin’s musical works encompass a broad range of instrumental setting, adventuring through a variety of sophisticated, fascinating sound worlds. His work Saturn, with a tribute to Holst, explores the mythical characters of its moons and satellites, in “an epic orchestral and electronic space-scape effortlessly blending Roxburgh’s understanding of Boulez and Stockhausen with a Birtwistle-like sense of ritual” (The Wire). He awaits a performance of his opera Abelard (libretto by Edwin and Julie Roxburgh), published by United Music Publishing under the auspices of a Leverhulme Research Fellowship. Other commissions include How Pleasant to Know Mr. Lear, for narrator and orchestra, produced on ITV’s Aquarius with Vincent Price and Diana Menuhin as narrators. Recordings of Edwin’s works are available on various prestigious labels, including NMC, Naxos, Warehouse and Metier.  

Beside his busy career as a composer, Edwin’s artistic activities include performing, conducting and teaching. He is currently a visiting tutor and researcher at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, where he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship, and has conducted numerous premieres – originally with the Twentieth Century Ensemble of London, which he founded, and later with several other principal orchestras of the UK.

You can read more about Edwin here: https://polyphonyarts.com/edwin-roxburgh/

What a pleasure to have you with us, Edwin!

Beardsworth Arts welcomes the Hull Philharmonic Orchestra to the team!

Extremely delighted to announce a new client for Beardsworth Arts! It’s a pleasure to welcome the Hull Philharmonic Orchestra on board, with an exciting new season ahead. Do have a look at the wonderful concerts lined up here: http://www.hullphilharmonic.org/current-season/

The Hull Philharmonic Orchestra has been a major feature in the city’s cultural landscape for over 130 years. Over the years, Hull audiences have been able to enjoy a wide variety of orchestral works, from the well-known classics to newly commissioned pieces—and most recently, a premiere of the adventurous 8-Bit Symphony project, which showcased 80s gaming music for symphony orchestra!

A warm welcome to the team, HPO!