Janice Graham, English Sinfonia

English Sinfonia

Orchestra in residence at The Elgiva

English Sinfonia are into their fourth year Orchestra in Residence at The Elgiva. They open their new season of Chesham concerts with ‘Mozart in The Chilterns’ on 28 April 2024.

The highly acclaimed ensemble is one of the earliest established chamber orchestras in the United Kingdom. Formed in 1961 and now based in Buckinghamshire, it draws mainly on musicians from the major London orchestras, all of whom are at the height of their careers.

The partnership with English Sinfonia began in 2020, during Covid. When small groups of musicians were finally allowed to rehearse, Chesham based members approached theatre manager David Cooper to see if The Elgiva might fit the bill. Since the public programme was on hold, David readily agreed. Rehearsals were soon established in the foyer, complete with grand piano, and the idea of the residency grew naturally from that.  

Topflight players

Under Orchestra Leader and Artistic Director, Janice Graham, and Principal Conductor Chris Hopkins, concerts at The Elgiva now bring together some of the finest players in the country.

Distinguished violinist Janice Graham was Leader of the ENO orchestra for 13 years. She was also Leader of BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Assistant Leader of the London Symphony Orchestra and has appeared as Guest Leader of most of the UK’s orchestras. She has also made numerous recordings and solo radio appearances.

As individuals, other members of the orchestra perform live and recorded music of many genres and in many settings. These range from symphonic and chamber music, opera, musicals and ballet to commercial music and film and TV soundtracks. Equally at home in the recording studio as on stage, the English Sinfonia has also amassed a discography that is rich in 19th and 20th century music, featuring both familiar and lesser-known works.

Concerts at The Elgiva

Performances at The Elgiva are a mesmerising experience, made all-the-more pleasurable by local links. In addition to conductor and pianist Chris Hopkins, Chesham is fortunate in having no fewer than 11 core members English Sinfonia living in the town.

Living locally can bring a special bonus. When a concert has finished, English Sinfonia musicians are often to be found in the foyer, happy to chat about the performance before heading home.