Congratulations to students Oliver Barlow and Arlo Murray who spent a few days of their February half term break rehearsing and performing with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. The Trinity Boys’ Choir had been invited to provide two boy solo singers for the UK premiere of the 1st Symphony by the Soviet composer, Galina Ustvolskaya and we were thrilled to oblige.  

The exciting new piece comprises eight songs which are either for a solo singer or a duet and these were shared between Oliver and Arlo.  

Mr Swinson, Director of Music and the Trinity Boys’ Choir describes the challenge for the boys, he says, “This is one of the hardest things we have ever taken on with our singers. The music was unforgiving; rhythmically and melodically complex and, of course, all in Russian.” 

The challenge for the boys was further compounded as the concert, from the Barbican in London, was also broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. 

We are delighted to share that the boys were excellent and received numerous plaudits from the orchestra and the press.  

The review in The Times hailed Oliver and Arlo as “the two brilliant boy trebles” (see below for full excerpt).  

The manager of the BBC Symphony Orchestra kindly shared feedback from members of the orchestra as well. They said, “Trinity Boys were professionalism personified. Bravi!” “The boy trebles were outstanding in their preparation and performance. An absolute joy to witness.” “The boy soloists were fabulous!!!”

Full excerpt from The Times: “The soloists to remember, though, were the two brilliant boy trebles in Galina Ustvolskaya’s Symphony No 1,” writes Rebecca Franks. “Tasked with singing the eight bleak poems that carry the emotional weight of this austere 1950s work, Oliver Barlow and Arlo Murray, both from Trinity Boys’ Choir, made their roles seem effortless – and,” she continues, “fully deserved their mid-symphony applause.” 

Congratulations to both students. 

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