Kirklees Concert Season

Kirklees Concert Season / News / Fri 05 Oct 2018

Armistice centenary commemorated in Kirklees Concert Season

Armistice centenary commemorated in Kirklees Concert Season

From the pandemonium of battle to moving reflections on loss and self-sacrifice, this year’s Kirklees Concert Season commemorates the centenary of the end of the First World War through music, beginning with a concert screening of the gripping 1927 silent film Wings on 18 October at Huddersfield Town Hall.

In an age before television, when few people owned radios, many residents of Dewsbury found out about the outbreak of hostilities from the Royal Proclamations that were pinned to noticeboards in front of the Town Hall. The first volunteers’ recruitment drive in August 1914 drew 4,000 people to Huddersfield’s Town Hall, which remained a centre for recruitment and charity appeals in the area as the war went on. Socialist conscientious objectors appealed against conscription at Military Service Tribunals in the building, during which ‘The Red Flag’ could be heard ringing through the corridors. A century later, both of these majestic civic buildings are at the heart of the commemorations.

Marking the centenary of both the cessation of hostilities and the formation of the Royal Air Force, the Wings screening opens the commemorative programme in Huddersfield with composer Carl Davis CBE conducting the Orchestra of Opera North’s performance of his own soundtrack. Winner of the first Academy Award for Best Picture, Wings was directed by veteran combat pilot William Wellman, and its white-knuckle dogfight sequences – filmed from planes flown by the actors themselves – are further animated by Davis's dramatic 1993 score.

Composer and conductor Carl Davis CBE comments:
“Wings tells the story of two young men from the same town who join the Air Service during World War I. Rivals at first over a girl, they become comrades-in-arms and great friends, but the violence and chaos of the conflict brings terrible consequences for them both.

“The spectacular aerial battles in this Oscar-winning ‘silent’ seem to cry out for stirring and atmospheric music. The symphonic score I have composed animates the excitement of the film: the dramas of battle and love and the breathtaking flying scenes.

“I’m so looking forward to spending time in Huddersfield working with the Orchestra of Opera North on this fantastic project. It’s an honour to be able to mark the centenary of the Armistice, and the formation of the RAF in this way. We owe those who fought and gave their lives a huge a debt of thanks - they will always be remembered.”

Former Music Director of Opera North Richard Farnes returns to conduct the Company’s Orchestra, Youth Chorus, Young Voices and Children’s Chorus in the world premiere of Will Todd’s Songs of Love and Battle at Huddersfield Town Hall on 22 November. Todd’s micro-opera, commissioned for Opera North’s youth ensembles, depicts the conflicting emotions of war through the words and poems of Maggie Gottlieb. Picking up the themes of loss and separation caused by conflict, Górecki’s breathtaking third symphony, the ‘Symphony of Sorrowful Songs’ follows, with the Orchestra joined by soprano Fflur Wyn and baritone Johnny Herford.

Part of the Lunchtime Chamber Concert Season at Dewsbury, Songs of Love and War (14 November), features poignant reflections on the conflict from composers including Ravel and Elgar, performed by Leader of the Orchestra of Opera North David Greed (violin) and acclaimed pianist Ian Buckle.

Echoes of the Great War resound into the New Year with Music of Consequence at Huddersfield Town Hall on 24 January 2019. Ravel’s extraordinary Piano Concerto in D Major, written for the Austrian pianist Paul Wittgenstein, who lost his right arm in World War I, will be performed by award-winning French pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet with the Orchestra of Opera North. Shostakovich’s profound final symphony, the 15th, follows, with its quotes from the Prelude and Liebestod from Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde, which itself will open the concert.

Tickets for orchestral concerts at Huddersfield Town Hall are priced from £13.00 - £27.00 (concessions available), just £1.00 for ages 16 and under, and £4.00 for ages 17 – 29.

Tickets for the Lunchtime Concert Seasons in Dewsbury and Huddersfield are £5.00 each.

For more information visit

News Location

Huddersfield Town Hall

Huddersfield Town Hall
Ramsden Street

Telephone: 01484 225 755

News Details


Film and Video, Music