On the night of Saturday the 6th of February I went to the Brighton Dome to see the London Philharmonic Orchestra playing pieces by Jean Sibelius and Johannes Brahms. The pieces were all conducted by the famous conductor Osmo Vanska who was awarded first prize at the 1982 Besancon International young conductors' competition and is said to be the greatest Sibelius conductor of today. The first piece was Sibelius's Tapiola, a beautiful piece that starts quite gently and then slowly gets louder and more fierce. It has a lovely introduction on the violins and a little way through the piece there is an pretty oboe solo. I really liked the beginning because it made me feel happy. It is a very mysterious piece with a lot of suspense and secrets.

The second piece was a piece by Brahms called Concerto in D for violin and orchestra and is without a doubt my favourite piece that was played at the concert. It has a stunning violin solo which was played by the amazing violinist Sergey Malov. I was very surprised at how Sergey Malov managed to memorize all of the piece so accurately. He was truly amazing and I would really like to see him play again. The violin solo had a cadenza quite close to the end and he played it really well. The piece has a beautiful ending with every instrument in the orchestra playing.

There was roughly 82 instruments playing and the sound was terrific. As I play the flute, I was especially interested in the flautists in the orchestra. The two flautists that were there played, at one point, a lovely duet with the violinist and I thought that they sounded very sweet. I also thought that the cellos were really nice because I like seeing all of the different colours and really enjoy watching them. I had a very good seat so I could see all the instruments perfectly.

There was a twenty minute interval where one or two of the musicians stayed and practised their instruments and then we went straight back to Sibelius's Symphony in E flat which at the beginning is quite slow and loud. I really enjoyed this piece and I thought that it was a great piece to end with as it was dramatic and full of emotion.

I think that the Brahms and Sibelius pieces were really fantastic and I would definitely go to see them all again.

Nancy Carter (12 years old)

credit: Greg Helgeson