Orchestral great Guy Woolfenden celebrated at special memorial concert in Warwick

Guy Woolfenden conducted the Warwickshire Symphony Orchestra from 1972 to 2012 and was head of music at the RSC for 25 years

Guy Woolfenden conducted the Warwickshire Symphony Orchestra from 1972 to 2012 and was head of music at the RSC for 25 years

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A special concert takes place in Warwick this weekend in memory of the man who conducted Warwickshire Symphony Orchestra for more than 40 years.

Guy Woolfenden will be remembered at a special memorial performance at St Mary’s church in Warwick on Saturday March 4 at 7.30pm.

The musicians of the Warwickshire Symphony Orchestra will be joined by the young virtuoso violinist Callum Smart, to perform Beethoven’s Violin Concerto. Callum was first invited to perform with the WSO by Guy Woolfenden in 2009 aged just 13. He is currently making an international name for himself and this season makes his debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

The memorial concert programme will also feature Woolfenden’s Divertimento, commissioned by the Liverpool Mozart Orchestra, and Brahms’ Symphony No 1. It will be conducted by the WSO’s principal conductor, Roger Coull.

Guy Woolfenden OBE , who died in April last year, was a chorister at Westminster Abbey and went on to study music in Cambridge and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In 1961, he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company where he was head of music for 25 years, during which time he composed music for Shakespeare plays. Alongside this, he was influential in several music festivals, and was also the chairman of the Denne Gilkes Memorial Fund, a charity which supports young musicians and actors. He was a prolific composer for both theatre and wind orchestra and had a long association with the WSO as its principal conductor from 1972 to 2012.

WSO chairman and principal horn player Raymond Joyce said: “Guy was such a huge influence on the WSO as our conductor for 40 years. We felt that having Callum to join us for this concert was a fitting tribute, as well as including Guy’s Divertimento, which has become a real favourite for the orchestra.”

Tickets cost £14 and £18 for adults and half price for students and children

Visit Presto Classical in Park Street, Leamington, see www.wso.org.uk or call 850385 to book or for more information.