This Year's Festival: 13 - 22 June 2024


Thursday, 13th June 2024


6:30 pm


St Andrew’s Church, Aldborough, YO51 9EP

Sponsored By

  • G C Armitage Charitable Trust

The opening night of the Northern Aldborough Festival promises to be like no other!  London’s Fantasia Orchestra, under the baton of its young conductor Tom Fetherstonhaugh, has been blazing a trail through the UK arts scene since its foundation in 2016.  Recent collaborators include Tasmin Little, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Jess Gillam and Jennifer Pike. In tonight’s concert, Chopin’s 1st Piano Concerto is performed by the winner of the Leeds International Piano Competition 2021, Alim Beisembayev.  The programme also includes Tchaikovsky’s heartfelt Serenade for Strings.

Founded in 2016 by conductor Tom Fetherstonhaugh, Fantasia Orchestra is formed of some of the country’s most exciting young musicians. The orchestra’s thrilling and varied concerts showcase classical and contemporary music-making of the highest level. Their performances have drawn great acclaim, with Fantasia’s recent concerts being described as ‘the most directly emotional music to be experienced live post-lockdown’ (The ArtsDesk).  Formed of talented young musicians at the start of their musical careers, Fantasia Orchestra tackles a broad and eclectic range of repertoire with fresh, youthful, and energetic vigour, breathing new life into old works and celebrating new ones. Recent highlights during the Covid-19 pandemic include Tasmin Little’s final concerto performances, Dvorak’s Cello Concerto with 2016 BBC Young Musician winner Sheku Kanneh-Mason, performances with Jess Gillam at Wells Cathedral, and a concert with BBC Symphony Orchestra Principal Clarinettist Richard Hosford. Fantasia made their festival debut at the Proms at St Jude’s in 2019, playing with Isata Kanneh-Mason; they returned in 2021 for the Schools Prom and Last Night of the Proms, where they were joined by violinist Thomas Gould and baritone Tom Mole.


Alim Beisembayev won First Prize at The Leeds International Piano Competition in September 2021, performing Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Andrew Manze. He also took home the Audience Prize and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society Prize for contemporary performance, with The Guardian praising him as a “worthy winner” with a “real musical personality”.  Announced as a BBC New Generation Artist 2023-25, in summer 2023 Alim made his Royal Albert Hall BBC Proms debut performing Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Sinfonia of London conducted by John Wilson broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and recorded for BBC Television.

 ‘The most directly emotional music to be experienced live post-lockdown…Fetherstonhaugh’s style is low-key – no flapping around – and in firm control…that violin section is already a thing of wonder.’  
‘This Prom had at its heart a performance of the Rachmaninov Piano Concerto no. 2 of the kind I thought we could hear only in our dreams’