Britten Sinfonia musicians talk Saffron Hall

28 September 2016

Next month Britten Sinfonia start their first season as Saffron Hall Resident Orchestra. Ahead of their sell-out opening concert, they asked some of their players who live locally to give a musician’s view about what it’s like to perform at the hall.

Sarah O’Flynn – flute

There’s nothing more frustrating for an orchestral musician than arriving at a concert venue to find that the acoustic is far from flattering . It can feel like such a disappointment to turn up for the gig and discover that all the fine tuning and attention to detail applied during rehearsals is somewhat offset by a performance space where the sound feels dull, unresonant, or just not loud enough.

Not so with the marvellous Saffron Hall! What a fantastic space, with an acoustic where your instrumental sound really sings. Whether in an orchestral blend, or solo line, the sound rings beautifully, and feels great! What’s more, the proximity of the audience, on all sides, makes for an intimacy that is sometimes missing in more capacious settings.

On seeing a Saffron Hall gig in the diary, I have to confess to a certain sense of smugness. As a Bedfordshire resident I am long used to early morning trains (at crazy peak hour prices) into central London for rehearsals, and late night Lattes at (the thankfully now much-improved) Kings Cross, waiting for the last train home after a gig. So, imagine my glee on a Saffron gig day. No travel stress! Just a gentle, cross-country drive, with a guaranteed parking space on arrival. Magic!

Read the blog post in full, including thoughts from Clare Finnimore, Principal viola and Nicola Goldscheider, 2nd violin on Britten Sinfonia’s website here