· Retiring business entrepreneur, David Cutts, launches new string orchestra reinforcing the fact that no challenge is too great in retirement

· The new string orchestra – The 23 – is made up of excellent professional players eager to explore the string orchestra repertoire and provide audiences with the highest quality music

· The first concert will be in London’s prestigious Cadogan Hall on 17 September 2019

17 September 2019 will see the debut concert of a new string orchestra – The 23 – at London’s Cadogan Hall. But this is an orchestra with a difference! Although the players themselves are seasoned professional musicians, the founder and conductor, David Cutts, is rather newer to the scene. Now retiring from his career as owner and director of an interactive TV software company, David has spent the last decade exploring his love of conducting through various masterclasses in the UK and Europe and is dedicating more of his time to this passion.

Having conducted the London Repertoire Orchestra for several years, including performing a complete cycle of the Beethoven symphonies, David has recently celebrated his 70th birthday by conducting an orchestral concert featuring the internationally acclaimed cellist Steven Isserlis as soloist.

Named in honour of Strauss’s Metamorphosen for 23 solo strings, the focus of The 23 is not just for David to challenge himself in his retirement. There is a real opening for the exploration of the string orchestra repertoire including Metamorphosen and other rarely played pieces. Audiences can be assured that they will experience the highest quality music making of repertoire that will excite and stimulate.

Led by violinist Paul Barritt, the concert on 17 September 2019 will feature Elgar’s Serenade for Strings and Introduction and Allegro for Strings; Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony (an arrangement of his Eighth Quartet); and Janáček’s Suite for Strings.

David Cutts, founder and conductor of The 23, said: ‘Many people want to push themselves in different areas after retirement. For me, building on my lifelong passion for classical music is a great opportunity. My recent retirement was my chance to take this passion to the next level and take on a new challenge. Conducting as an occupation, even if not a professional one, is wonderfully absorbing and rewarding – especially when you have a team of musicians in front of you that you can rely on to deliver outstanding results. I have had real encouragement from teachers and musicians who have helped me and, together, I am confident that we can build a small, distinctive chamber orchestra that is passionate about the string repertoire. There are many fine chamber orchestras in London, but I wanted to do something slightly different, to have enough time to work on a range of established and some lesser known repertoire, and to evolve a team that can really relish this music.’

Future concert repertoire will feature well-known and some more unusual pieces, including Strauss’s Metamorphosen for 23 solo strings, Britten’s Frank Bridge Variations, and Tippett’s Concerto for Double String Orchestra.


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