The National Festival Orchestra has a well-earned reputation as one of the country’s foremost theatre and concert orchestras. Based in the North of England, the orchestra draws on musicians from all over the UK, with a breadth of professional experience gained from playing for the country’s major symphony, chamber and opera orchestras, and for West End and Broadway shows.
The NFO has been the resident orchestra of the International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival since its inception in 1994, where they have been hailed as the “pre-eminent interpreters of G&S in the world”. In addition this year, the orchestra will accompany the Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company’s first tour, for six weeks.
The NFO was also the adopted orchestra of “Sing Live UK”from its beginning, performing at major concert halls including Symphony Hall, Birmingham; Bridgewater Hall, Manchester; and Sage, Gateshead to sell-out audiences. NFO now plays for the new venture, “Sing and Discover”.
A performance at the first Edward German Festival led to a recording of German’s light opera, “Tom Jones”on the Naxos label in 2009. The CD received critical acclaim, with glowing reviews, and was at number 3 on the Classical Music charts for several weeks.
Foreign tours have included the Gettysburg Festival, USA, and the Lanzarote Festival, and in the UK, the orchestra has performed at The Royal Albert Hall and the London Palladium with leading artists.Other prestigious engagements include live and recorded appearances on BBC TV and Radio, and on Sky Arts, including a tribute concert to Oscar-winning film composer, John Barry, and the ceremony celebrating Yorkshire’s selection as the Grand Depart for the 2014 Tour de France.
The orchestra also enjoys regular performances for a number of excellent choral societies.