July 2018 – APO cooks up Latin Flavours at the Reading Fringe Festival

A host of top soloists and players from APO, along with local businesses, presented an exciting event at this year’s Reading Fringe Festival, ‘Latin Flavours’. It took place on Saturday 28th July, 7.30pm, at St. Laurence Church on Friar Street, Reading.

The event was centred around a special collaboration with Düsseldorf-based guitarist, Arturo Castro NoguerasAPO Music Director, Andrew Taylor, met Arturo during a visit to Düsseldorf in November 2016, which itself was a result of connections made after APO’s Fringe debut earlier that year. After Arturo’s sell-out performance at last year’s Fringe, they hatched plans for an exciting evening of Latin music.

Latin Flavours saw a combination of works by Latin American composers and complementary European pieces. As well as players and soloists from APO, accomplished professional soloists Nicola Loten, flute, and Nicky Enderby, violin, also took part.

The audience of over 100 enjoyed food and drink served up by two local independent businesses: a delicious selection of tapas and pinchos prepared by Emma’s Kitchen of Twyford and Latin-themed wine and spirits, supplied by The Tasting House.

June 2018 – APO wins ‘Performance of the Year’ at the Reading Cultural Awards!

Having been nominated in several categories and short-listed in two, we’re delighted to have won the ‘Performance of the Year’ category at the 2018 Reading Cultural Awards! There were 600 nominations in total, with the winners announced at a celebratory awards ceremony in the Shenhai Olympia Ballroom.

The award was for our ‘Route to the River – Schumann at the Station’ event in July 2017, which saw us perform on the transfer deck at Reading station. Here’s the video of the event. Thanks again to Network Rail and Great Western Railway for all their help with the event – we’re hoping to do something similar next summer.

May 2018 – Emotional farewell to long-standing leader at Back to Beethoven concert

On a warm May evening, our Back to Beethoven concert went down a treat with a receptive audience at St. Joseph’s College. Edward Reeve played with scintillating style in the Fourth Piano Concerto, leaving just one more to go to complete his Beethoven piano concrto cycle with us.


But the highlight of the evening was undoubtedly the emotional performance of Giazotto’s Adagio in G minor for strings and organ, which was added to the programme to mark the final concert of our long-standing leader, Neil MacLean. After spinning some beautiful solos, Neil was presented with a special signed photo to mark the occasion.



Ahead of the concert, we held an internal competition to come up with an image for our publicity material that reflects the fiery intensity of Beethoven’s music. Violinist Cassia Leigh submitted this original painting that does the job perfectly, we’re sure you’ll agree!


 April 2018 – APO wind soloists perform in Düsseldorf

An octet of wind soloists received a warm ovation from a capacity audience in Düsseldorf’s Schloss Eller, in a concert to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Reading and Düsseldorf’s official twinning, on Sunday 16th April.

The travel and accommodation costs for the trip were kindly covered by the City of Düsseldorf, and the Oberbürgermeister, Thomas Geisel, was in attendance as we performed works by Wranitzky, Holst and Mozart.

The concert also saw the world premiere of Derri Lewis’s Projection, for which the octet was joined by Düsseldorf-based guitarist, Arturo Castro Nogueras. We received such a warm welcome from our German hosts and had a wonderful time. Maybe next time we’ll take the whole orchestra? 🙂