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Monday 1 May 2023, 7pm

Aurora Orchestra: American Rhapsody

Aurora Orchestra: American Rhapsody

Tickets from £18

excludes booking fee of £1 per transaction


Aurora Orchestra
Nicholas Collon
Tom Poster


Aaron Copland
Appalachian Spring Suite
Caroline Shaw
George Gershwin arr. Iain Farrington
Rhapsody in Blue
Charles Ives
Three Places in New England (with film by Jon Frank)
Leonard Bernstein arr. Iain Farrington
Symphonic Dances from West Side Story

Running Time

To be confirmed

Tom Poster standing in front of a countryside landscape of fields, trees and a lake, smiling into the distance

Join Aurora Orchestra and regular collaborator, pianist Tom Poster, on a journey across America, as the orchestra showcases its dazzling musicianship.

In the first half, Copland’s Appalachian Spring evokes the vast rolling landscapes of the American interior, whilst Caroline Shaw’s miniature for string quartet Valencia finds delight and wonder in a single piece of fruit – the common Valencia orange. Rich with his signature jazz stylings and opening with one of the most instantly-recognisable instrumental solo ever written, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue made an instant star of its 25-year-old composer, and remains a cherished highlight of 20th-century American music.

Charles Ives’ Three Places in New England was written by the composer over a period of nearly 30 years leading up to its premiere in 1930, and even today continues to astonish with its haunting combination of American folk tunes, multiple tonalities and sharp textural contrasts. It is presented here in combination with a specially-created film by the Australian photographer/filmmaker Jon Frank, commissioned by Aurora and shot on location in the modern-day versions of the three New England locations that originally inspired the piece. Frank’s film captures the uncanny, evocative quality of Ives’ music whilst introducing a distinctively 21st-century vision of modern middle America. We finish back in the Big Apple with the Symphonic Dances from Bernstein’s West Side Story, performed here in Iain Farrington’s arrangement for Aurora, which recaptures the virtuosity and sparkle of the original Broadway pit-band instrumentation.

Shuttle Bus

Our free wheelchair accessible minibus service between Audley End Station and Saffron Hall will be in operation for this event.

More info

Age Guidance

This event is not recommended for children under 7 years old.