One of the UK’s biggest outdoor classical concerts, the much-loved Darley Park Concert will be returning on Sunday 3rd September in the stunning natural amphitheatre of Darley Park. The event is supported by Hannells Estates Agents, Flint Bishop Solicitors, HUUB, Mortgage Advice Bureau, PKF Cooper Parry, Specsavers and Stratstone BMW Derby.

This year’s concert will be run in partnership with Classic FM, the UK’s most popular classical music station, which celebrates its 25th birthday in September. As in previous years, the Derby-based orchestra Sinfonia Viva, the Orchestra of the East Midlands, who are supported by Rolls-Royce, will be performing at the concert.

Tim Lihoreau (Classic FM)
Tim Lihoreau (Classic FM)

Tim Lihoreau, presenter of Classic FM’s More Music Breakfast, will host the event and will also broadcast his breakfast show from Classic FM’s East Midlands studio the following morning.  Tim presents the biggest breakfast show on UK commercial radio, with 1.7 million people tuning in every week.

This year’s programme is guaranteed to delight with an eclectic mix of returning favourites, popular pieces to celebrate Derby’s 40th year as a City, and a selection of classics chosen by the public.

Leader of Derby City Council, Councillor Ranjit Banwait, said

“The new partnership with Hannells marks a big step forward in securing the long term future of the Darley Park concert.  This year promises to be an unmissable event with Tim Lihoreau hosting the concert. It is an affordable event featuring a fantastic evening of classical music and fireworks to enjoy with friends and family and is one of our 50 pledges to reinforce Derby as a strong and ambitious city.”

Peter Helps, Chief Executive of Sinfonia Viva said:

“We’re delighted to be returning home to Darley Park and are looking forward to working with all of our partners on this newly invigorated event.”

This year’s programme has links to Derby’s 40th year as a City with performances of famous cricket theme Soul Limbo and the Youth of Britain March. The City’s industrial heritage will also be celebrated with Funiculi Funicula, Runaway Train and Come Fly with Me, whilst Derby County Football Club is also acknowledged with a performance of Steve Bloomer’s Watching. The event will feature popular pieces from past concerts that will send a shiver up your spine including Thunderbirds, the Star Wars theme and the fantastic Bohemian Rhapsody. The programme also includes three selections made by a public vote: Goodwin: 633 Squadron (2006), Prokofiev: Montagues and Capulets from Romeo and Juliet (2015) and Steiner: Lara’s Theme – Gone with the Wind (2008).

Sinfonia Viva have confirmed the concert conductor will be James Holmes along with baritone, Grant Doyle as soloist, both of whom are regulars at the concert. James has conducted a wide-ranging repertoire and is equally at home in the worlds of opera and musical theatre. He was Head of Music at Opera North 1996-2008, having previously worked for over twenty years as principal coach and conductor with English National Opera. Now a freelance conductor, accompanist and arranger, he is especially well known for his work in music theatre and has frequently broadcast on both radio and TV along with his contributions to many commercial recordings. Born in Adelaide, Grant has appeared in several concerts with Sinfonia Viva, including previous Darley Park outdoor concerts to audiences of over 30,000. As a busy concert soloist he has performed for the Royal Opera along with solo performances with the Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Australian Ballet.

We look forward to welcoming Derbyshire Carers Choir, who will be opening the evening’s entertainment. Set up as part of Sinfonia Viva’s 35th anniversary programme, the Carers Choir is open to everyone from Derbyshire and beyond, priding itself on being accessible and fun for all. The choir are a Bupa Foundation UK and Arts Council England-funded project led by award-winning choral conductor David Lawrence. Started in March 2017, the group is made up of full time, part time and former carers, as well as people who are looking to try something new. With a ‘no experience required’ ethos, the choir has developed in both confidence and repertoire incredibly quickly, which led to their debut performance on the stage at Darley Park. Brought together by a love of music and performance the choir will perform dynamic and stirring pieces of music including songs from the shows, choral favourites and pop classics, that are guaranteed to stir your senses and win your hearts.

Formed in 1987, the Dalesmen Male Voice Choir will be performing during the concert interval. With their aims of bringing the enjoyment of choral music to the wider public and of supporting charitable institutions, The Dalesmen have grown from a few like-minded friends to a near 70 strong choir. They have always believed that everyone should be given the chance and encouragement to sing and will no doubt receive a warm welcome at Darley Park this year.

The Hannells Darley Park Concert, supported by Flint Bishop Solicitors, HUUB, Mortgage Advice Bureau, PKF Cooper Parry, Specsavers and Stratstone BMW Derby, will take place at Darley Park on Sunday 3 September from 6pm, with gates open from 2pm. Early bird tickets are available to book before the day of the concert and are priced at £2.50 with under 16s free with a ticket. Tickets for over 16s will be priced at £5 on Sunday 3 September.

With tickets now on sale it is never too early to book for this fantastic evening of classical music and fireworks. Tickets can be purchased by calling 01332 255800, on the Derby LIVE website, or be booked in person at the Sales and Information Centre, Assembly Rooms, Market Place, Derby.