Past concerts

Vaughan Williams and Nielsen – 16 June 2018

Vaughan Williams – Symphony No. 3 “Pastoral”
Nielsen – Symphony No. 3 “Espansiva”

16 June 2018, 7.30pm
Hammersmith Town Hall, London

Marc Dooley, conductor
Tom Evans, leader
Rebecca Lea, soprano
Greg Skidmore, baritone

Tickets £12 (under-18s £8)

Online booking is now closed, but you can buy tickets on the door from 7pm.

About this concert

Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Pastoral Symphony is a subtly beautiful elegy to the dead of World War I and a meditation on the sounds of peace. The composer himself said:

a great deal of it incubated when I used to go up night after night in the ambulance wagon at Ecoivres and we went up a steep hill and there was wonderful Corot-like landscape in the sunset. It’s not really lambkins frisking at all, as most people take for granted.

Carl Nielsen wrote of his Symphony No. 3:

The work is the result of many kinds of forces. The first movement was meant as a gust of energy and life-affirmation blown out into the wide world, which we human beings would not only like to get to know in its multiplicity of activities, but also to conquer and make our own. The second movement is the absolute opposite: the purest idyll, and when the human voices are heard at last, it is only to underscore the peaceful mood that one could imagine in Paradise before the Fall of our First Parents, Adam and Eve. The third movement is a thing that cannot really be described, because both evil and good are manifested without any real settling of the issue. By contrast, the Finale is perfectly straightforward: a hymn to work and the healthy activity of everyday life. Not a gushing homage to life, but a certain expansive happiness about being able to participate in the work of life and the day and to see activity and ability manifested on all sides around us.


Rebecca Lea

Based in London, Rebecca Lea enjoys a busy and versatile career, performing across the UK and abroad with some of the most exciting conductors and ensembles.
As a soloist she has appeared with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Ensemble 10/10, Psappha, The Northern Sinfonia, Manchester Camerata and performed at the BBC Proms, Oxford Lieder Festival, The Wigmore Hall, The Royal Festival Hall, Cadogan Hall, The Purcell Room, King’s Place, The Lake District, Salisbury, Buxton and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festivals.

Read Rebecca Lea’s full biography

Greg Skidmore

Born in Canada, Greg Skidmore arrived in England as an undergraduate at Royal Holloway College, University of London. After graduating with First Class Honours in Music, his post-graduate Choral Scholarship at Wells Cathedral lead him to Lay Clerkships at Gloucester Cathedral and Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford. He now lives in London and pursues a varied career as a consort, choral, and solo oratorio singer alongside his burgeoning work as a conductor and workshop leader.

Read Greg Skidmore’s full biography

About the illustration


“Landscape Espansiva” (mokulito) by Caroline Whitehead

The illustration we’re using in the publicity for this concert was kindly created by printmaker Caroline Whitehead especially for FSO.

Caroline said: “This print is based loosely on some old sketches of landscapes in Denmark – actually very close to where Nielsen lived as a child. The idea was for something pastoral but with forces of nature.”