December 2017 – APO Advent Calendar Competition

APO doesn’t perform in December, but to celebrate the build up to Christmas, we’re putting up photos and videos from our archive to form an APO Advent Calendar, on social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).We held a competition to win a pair of tickets to our next concert, on Saturday 3rd February, 7.30pm. With £3 off each early bird ticket, they make great Christmas presents, too – book now via the link on the right! The competition was won by Joanna Shepherd, who we’re looking forward to welcoming to her first ever concert, along with a guest.

November 2017 – APO octet to perform in Düsseldorf

We’re delighted to have received word that the City of Düsseldorf has agreed to generously support a concert by APO wind players, led by our Music Director, Andrew Taylor. The concert will take place at the beautiful Schloss Eller, just outside the city. It’s part of the celebrations for the 30th anniversary of Düsseldorf’s official twinning with Reading. Earlier this year, the octet performed at Reading Town Hall for the civic ceremony celebrating 70 years of friendship with Düsseldorf.

We’re greatly honoured to have been given this opportunity and will perform a programme including Mozart and at least one contemporary piece. The concert will also feature the brilliant Düsseldorf-based guitarist, Arturo Castro.

October 2017 – APO and Tamesis Chamber Choir team up again

It was our pleasure to work with an extended Tamesis Chamber Choir for this lovely concert. Photos (and possibly some video) will appear here soon. In the meantime, here’s a lovely review from the Henley Standard.


August 2017 – Video celebrates success of station event

Our ‘Route to the River – Schumann at the Station’ event at Reading station was a brilliant success – and now we have a special video to celebrate it. One of the purposes of the event was to draw attention to the upcoming Reading on Thames Festival, something which the video echoes. It features many of the brave members of the public who got up onto the podium to ‘Conduct Us!’ as part of the event.

July 2017 – APO prepares for two special events

We’re getting ready for two special events within two days of each other, which will round off our 15th season in style! On Thursday 20th July, an octet of APO wind soloists will perform at the official reaffirmation ceremony for the twinning of Reading and Düsseldorf, with performances of works by Mendelssohn (who was the city’s opera director for a short time), Holst (who taught at the University of Reading) and Mozart (who has no direct connection aside from his music resonating everywhere!).

Then, on Saturday 22nd July, at 1.30pm, an orchestra will magically appear on the transfer deck at Reading Station. At first, there’ll be nobody to conduct them, but a sign saying ‘CONDUCT US!’ will be placed in front of the orchestra, and the orchestra will await brave members of the public to take to the podium. Then, performances of two Schumann symphonies and two brand new works, one of which is by Reading Cultural Award winner Alice Knight (see below).

It’s all part of our very informal event, ‘Route to the River; Schumann at the Station’, part of the ARENA 2017 programme (supported by Reading Business Improvement District) and the Reading Fringe Festival. The approximate timetable for the event is below. You don’t need a train ticket (unless you’re planning to board a train!) – just ask the gateline staff to be let through to event.

All timings are approximate:

  • 1.30-1.50pm – CONDUCT US!
  • 1.50pm – world premiere of ‘River Image’ by Derri Lewis
  • 1.55pm – performance of Schumann’s Fourth Symphony (in the revised edition he completed in Düsseldorf)
  • 2.25pm – world premiere of ‘Interwoven’ by Alice Knight
  • 2.30pm – break
  • 3.15pm – CONDUCT US!
  • 3.40pm – second performance of ‘Interwoven’ by Alice Knight
  • 3.50pm – second performance of ‘River Image’ by Derri Lewis
  • 3.55pm – performance of Schumann’s Third Symphony (the Rhenish – after the River Rhine, which flows through Düsseldorf)

July 2017 – APO composer Alice Knight wins Reading Cultural ‘Young Talent’ Award!

We’re pleased and proud that #APOpictures and #routetotheriver composer, Alice Knight, was named as the winner of the Young Talent – under 25 category at the Reading Cultural Awards. In a lavish ceremony at the Olympia Ballroom, Alice beat of a strong shortlist of four nominees, and a long list of ten more, with the winner announced by Sam Butler, Artistic Director of top arts organisation, ‘Fevered Sleep’.

The nomination, by APO’s Music Director Andrew Taylor, cited her ‘hard work, creative brilliance and impact of her music’, going on to say, ‘It’s not just that she’s “one to watch”; what she’s doing doing right now is exciting in itself!’

Alice’s new commission from APO, Interwoven, will be premiered as part of our ‘Route to the River: Schumann at the Station’ event, on Saturday 22nd July, 2pm, Reading Station (on the transfer deck – speak to the gateline staff to gain access through the ticket barriers). The event is part of Reading BID’s ‘Arena’ series of events, leading up to the new Reading on Thames Festival, as well as being part of the Reading Fringe Festival.

Here’s the winning moment – we just love the look on her face!

June 2017 – APO shortlisted in two categories for the Reading Cultural Awards!

The #APOpictures composers and jelly artists before the world premiere of ‘Pictures at APO’s Exhibition’.

We’re proud and honoured to be finalists in two categories of this year’s Reading Cultural Awards, for our #APOpictures project and performance, with our collaborators on the project, Jelly and Creative People. And we’re equally delighted that #APOpictures composer Alice Knight is a finalist for the Young Person category, for her contribution to Reading’s musical scene.

Find details of the project at

The awards ceremony is on Thursday 29th June and we can’t wait to be part of this celebration of Reading’s cultural scene!