American Celebrations

To coincide with Abraham Lincoln’s 215th birthday on February 12th, we celebrate with a concert dedicated to American music.

  • Bernstein – Candide Overture
  • Barber – Adagio for Strings
  • Copland – Appalachian Spring
  • Copland – Fanfare for the Common Man
  • Bernstein – Symphony No. 2: The Age of Anxiety

Composer Aaron Copland was commissioned to write music for a ballet with ‘An American Theme’ and the resulting Appalachian Spring has been much loved ever since its premiere in 1944. Fanfare for the Common Man was written in 1942 in response to a commission from the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, who asked ten different composers to provide a patriotic short work. Samuel Barber’s popular Adagio for Strings has featured in many television and film soundtracks due to its beautiful and emotional character. The piece originally formed the second movement of one of Barber’s String Quartets but the composer was encouraged to arrange it for string orchestra, and it has been a hit ever since.

We also mark the LGBTQ+ History Month and explore the work of Leonard Bernstein. Bernstein, whose bisexuality was well known, spoke of Aaron Copland as his “only real composition teacher”, although he was never Copland’s formal student. We open and close our concert with two of Bernstein’s works: the lively and very popular overture to Candide and his Symphony No.2: The Age of Anxiety, scored for solo piano and orchestra.

Joining the de Havilland Philharmonic Orchestra is soloist Jamie Cochrane. A sensitive and versatile pianist, he has performed at prestigious venues including the Royal Albert Hall and the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford.

In 2018, Jamie won the Essex Young Musician of the Year competition and went on to study at Merton College, Oxford, where he was awarded both instrumental and academic scholarships, and graduated with a first-class degree. During 2019-22, Jamie was the pianist in the Oxford-based contemporary music group Ensemble ISIS.

Jamie is currently in his final year of studying for a Master's degree at the Royal Academy of Music. He is generously supported by the Wayne Sleep Foundation and the Cullis Bursary Fund.

For events taking place at the Weston Auditorium, Bar Ambition is the place to go for food and drink. We strongly advise pre-ordering any refreshments to avoid a delay in the interval. Click here to find out more.

Please note that all UH Student tickets will be allocated within the upper circle of the auditorium.

Following University guidelines, our Box Office will be cashless from 1 January 2024.