HEREFORSHIRE'S renowned orchestra-in-residence will launch their new programme next month- with the help from local students.

The English Symphony Orchestra will open the International Orchestra of Elgar Country’s 2018-9 season on October 7 at the Shirehall.

The concert will see several students from Hereford Youth Orchestra and Hereford Sixth Form College take to the stage with the guidance of their mentors from the English Symphony Orchestra.

Jon Weller, Head of Music at Hereford Sixth Form College, said: “These opportunities to see what it’s like to make music at the highest level are really life-changing.

"It’s not something that is available all that readily to aspiring musicians even in places like London or Manchester, so for our young Herefordshire musicians to get this opportunity something we are passionately excited about.”

The programme will showcase the symphonies of Schumann and Sibelius, while internationally award-winning Russian pianist Roman Kosyakov will perform Liszt’s Totentanz for Piano and Orchestra.

ESO’s Artistic Director Kenneth Woods, who also conducts the concert, said: “I think it is by miles Liszt’s greatest and most fun work for piano and orchestra.

"We’re a little early for Halloween with this one, but Liszt captures that mixture of fun and danger that we associate with that holiday in a piece that pushes the piano to its very limits.”

Commenting on the performance of two closely related symphonies, Schumann’s Fourth and Sibelius’ Seventh, Kenneth added: "There are all kinds of fascinating links between these two works, which we’ll explore in the programme notes, but what listeners really need to know is that these are two of the most thrilling and moving pieces ever written.

"To hear them together on the same concert is something very special.”

The ESO will continue their Shirehall series on October 17 with a celebration of the best of English string orchestra music featuring British oboist, Nicholas Daniel, in Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Oboe Concerto.