Things people have said about us

Emails, letters & Comments

“Under the confident and assured direction of conductor William Goodchild, the orchestra was only formed in January (2016) but has since gone on to attract some of the region's most talented professional, semi-professional and amateur players. Bristol Symphony Orchestra is an impressive ensemble of some of the region's finest musicians that will undoubtedly continue to make a serious mark on the Bristol music scene and beyond”.   

4/5★★★★

Jamie Caddick, 365 Bristol

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"This was a very professional production at every level,and how gratifying to hear such excellent playing from Bristol-based players and conductor.  A true credit to the city".

★★★★★
Martin Firth, Bristol Post

"A most enjoyable evening. Good to see so many talented, enthusiastic musicians". ★★★★★

Comment via St George's Bristol

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"Seeing so many current musicians in one space collaborating was truly inspirational. Not just performing, but arranging, composing, experimenting and sharing their different musical backgrounds and creating something very original".

Alexandra Hamilton-Ayres, Film Composer

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"Excellent content. Great variety and well performed. Excellent solo violinist. Great conductor." ★★★★★

Comment via St George's Bristol

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"Very polished concert with great mixture of pieces . Wolf Hall was stand out and Chariots of fire was perfect finale . Great new orchestra going places and proud to have our own BSO "! ★★★★★

Comment via St George's Bristol

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"Fantastic evening! The music was utterly beautiful and a great selection of pieces. Was blown away by some of the pieces". ★★★★★

Comment via St George's Bristol

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"An exciting and varied programme, with new and established music articulately introduced by William Goodchild".  ★★★★

Comment via St George's Bristol

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"The orchestra played superbly, the soloists and chorus were excellent, and your narrations made it a very social occasion. Your selection of pieces worked very well indeed. I was delighted for you and St Peter's to see such a large audience. There were three other Bristol orchestras in concert that evening, I know, and you seemed to attract la crème".

Jerry

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"It was an excellent concert, and I thought very well received. Well done to all involved! As you say, a real triumph, and I hope you are considering a sequel!"

Fenner

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Bristol Symphony Orchestra is a relatively new ensemble for the city and this was the second time I have heard them perform. For this performance the ‘amateur’ musicians were joined by a selection of pro’s, and together they outdid themselves, doing the score terrific justice in its subtleties and impact – and that was only a run through.

Michael Beek, Writer, Film Music Journalist, Producer

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"What a pleasure to play the concert! I am so thrilled to have been able to take part - and I’ve had Bolero and Hayk in my head ever since! Playing with BriSO was a definite highlight of my year, so thank you.
Anna Hughes, Author of Eat, Sleep, Cycle and Pedal Power

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"Amazing performance by a gifted and enthusiastic team of musicians. Fabulous soloists and conductor". ★★★★★

Comment via St George's Bristol

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"Great selection of pieces.The Lovell-Jones offering was particularly good with Rebecca Evans on superb form. We thoroughly enjoyed the evening". ★★★★★

Comment via St George's Bristol

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"And what a fabulous debut for the new Bristol Symphony Orchestra.  Will was positively glowing!"
Suzanne Rolt, St George's Bristol


"Dear Will, THANK YOU for being such an amazing conductor to work with, it is an absolute privilege to be in the orchestra. Saturday night was a ‘blessing’ and lives on in the memory and a smattering of ear worms! A really joyous, exhilarating event.
Jane Lings

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"The Bristol Symphony Orchestra is a model of how successfully to give life to an orchestra."

Charlotte Perkins, Bristol 24/7

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"An amazing concert wonderful varied programme and stunning soloists".  ★★★★★

Comment via St George's Bristol

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"We enjoyed the evening at the Cathedral last night--particularly the music. Well done, Will!  How you managed to fit it all so perfectly to the film footage was like magic--presumably something to do with the headphones!"

Paul & Kathy Crossthwaite

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"I LOVED the programme. Such a commendation for your friend Sara. A privilege to have been associated from the sidelines. Loved the range and intensity - much of it in my front rank of favourites. And our repeated thanks for what you are doing for your players- right in line with your declared aims but never taken for granted. Thank you all. What a lovely bunch of folk". ★★★★★

Comment via St George's Bristol

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"Excellent evening. Very impressed. Well done".

Phil Burbidge

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"A belated thank you for Friday night, it was a wonderful experience and well worth driving 4 hours each way for! Seriously, it was moving and memorable, I enjoyed the orchestra quite as much as the film and the performance seemed faultless and immensely impressive. I am sure you must feel very proud, even though you are too modest to say so. As soon as the frostbite has gone I shall look back on it unequivocally as one of the great musical events of the last 70 years".

David Milner

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"Phenomenal."

★★★★★

Comment via St George's Bristol


"You Were All Amazing!  Message to Will and the Orchestra.

I just wanted to respond quickly to say you were all truly wonderful at this evenings Somme performance. Unfortunately I am no musician, however, I could recognise just how music and film melded to be "one" (I hope I am making sense!) It was a beautiful score by Laura and conducted and played so wonderfully by you all. It was such a marvellous way to pay tribute to all those lost or injured in this terrible war (My grandfather was badly gassed in the trenches and died at 45 during WW2 as a direct result of gassing. I also had a great aunt who was called up on the first day of war and arrived in France a week later to work in a field hospital).  Thank you again for a really amazing and poignant evening. I look forward to another BSO outing in the future".

 Liz Ferguson 

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"Friday but it was excellent. Poignant and yet delightful to listen to the orchestra. The two elements of film and orchestra blended together seamlessly. Our friends felt they wanted to sit through the evening again as it had been such a superb experience".

Carol Byant

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"A splendid evening, with the finest of musicians!"  ★★★★★

Comment via St George's Bristol

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"It is no exaggeration to say that Helen's Wilde's High Sheriff of Bristol's concert at St George's pushed musical boundaries to an extraordinary level last night at St George's. William Goodchild worked with Mamadou Cissokho creating a Concerto for Kora and Orchestra. The sweeping orchestration with the Kora, and rhythm of the West African heart and soul, lifted the audience and conductor to a height I've not experienced in a concert setting before. Surely this has to be Bristol's bid for European Capital of Culture 2023 signature music? It's Bristol at its very best."

Claire Sully, Tickbox Marketing

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"I loved the entire concert by Bristol Symphony Orchestra and the amazing soloists! Was one of the best concerts i have ever been to!"  ★★★★★

Comment via St George's Bristol

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"Only mooted in January of this year as an idea and beginning with only three violins, Will Goodchild and leader Pamela Bell have nurtured and coached a fine young ensemble to a very professional standard. I hope that their youthful stage presence will gather a strong young following and also encourage many of Bristol's young and very able orchestral players to take part and carry the orchestra forward and also develop their own musical skills. I wish Will Goodchild and his band the best, and look forward to hearing more of them."

Jonathan Lane, Jonathan Lane Recordings

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"Starting as they mean to go on, Bristol Symphony Orchestra performs a richly varied programme for this special night."

St George's Bristol

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"More than magnificent!  Bristol Symphony's first concert was truly ground-breaking with a beautiful new work ffor the 22-stringed kora (African harp) and orchestra, written by celebrated conductor/composer William Goodchild and master kora player Mamadou Cissokho. This stunning performance was greeted with an uproarious standing ovation. Thank you Will for pushing the boundaries yet again, and thank you Pamela Bell for starting this wonderful new orchestra."

Jane Sabherwal, Backwell Festival

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"Bristol Symphony's High Sheriff concert - top five things to do in June 2016"

The Bristol Magazine

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"The Bristol Symphony Orchestra really gives the impression of being invested in the community. From open rehearsals to supporting local businesses, and their entirely Bristol-based members, they aim not only to play music but to share it with the people around them, and inspire others with their music-making".

Charlotte Perkins, Bristol 24/7

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"Amazing music and such a good spirit amongst all who took part in this lovely concert, Thank you to all involved".  ★★★★★

Comment via St George's Bristol

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"The concert was wonderful and Mamadou was bloody incredible! I absolutely loved that second song (with his stupendous opening). Was it recorded tonight?"

Joanna Swan, Ilya Music

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"Congratulations on a totally wonderful evening. A refreshingly original start for the orchestra. It was a proud night for Bristol".

David Evans

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"Any orchestra would be put through some tough and unconventional paces, and this young ensemble turned out a performance to be proud of, passionate but unforced and led with care and experience by a conductor whose close relationship with the piece was evident throughout".

Jonathan Lane, Jonathan Lane Recordings

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"Wonderful orchestra with superb soloists".  ★★★★★

Comment via St George's Bristol

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"Absolutely fabulous, I agree! I'd also love to have a recording especially of Mamadou's duet with the clarinet! Yes, an album please...."

Isobel Clark

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"The 'come-back kid' does it again! Up and running William Goodchild pulls off a storming performance to a full house at St George's Bristol."

Peter Swan

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"On Saturday I went to a concert performed by the new Bristol Symphony Orchestra at St George's. It started with music from MacCunn, a Scott, then the African Suite from Sowande, and ended with the neglected work of a neglected composer, a suffragette. The standing ovation was for the collaboration between the kora player, Mamadou Cissokho and conductor/composer William Godchild. This is the world I want to live in".
Jacqui Mitton

 

Social Media Comments

 

From St Peter's Hospice

What a spectacular Night at the Opera! Huge thanks to @BristolSymphony and @bristolchoir for a truly special night. Thank you so much for supporting the Hospice. Photo: @remcomerbis

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Replying to @BristolSymphony & @remcomerbis and 5 others  "Look at that audience; full house!!"

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That @WGoodchildMusic made me cry again. Amazingly intense performance of Bolero by @BristolSymphony

Chris Budd

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@BristolSymphony Brilliant concert - beautiful music - maybe the best concert yet!

@PeterWilde
 

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A real privilege to perform with Charles Mutter at last night’s concert with @BristolSymphony and @WGoodchildMusic

Pippa Craggs @pippacraggs

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Monday’s ear worm this week: the glorious music from Tchaik’s Eugene Onegin still sounding after Saturday’s fabulous opera gala concert! Bravo @WGoodchildMusic and @BristolSymphony

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What a night! Such a privilege to sing with @BristolSymphony, @hannahkirchner, @RebeccaEvansSop, @WWTenor and @EdwardJowle. Bravo bravo to all #anightattheopera @stpetershospice

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"Oh and @wisemandebbie @BristolSymphony did you proud tonight.. Wolf Hall was a highlight!"

Michael Beek

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"@MichaelBeek @BristolSymphony That's great to hear! So pleased the concert was a success :)"

Debbie Wiseman

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Clifton Cathedral providing a stunning setting for a great night of music by @GetTheBlessing and @BristolSymphony Orchestra. Bliss!

The Pink Lady

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"I hope you enjoyed the kora concerto as much as I did! Bravo"

Peaches Golding

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"Terrific concert yesterday with @WGoodchildMusic, @BristolSymphony and @GetTheBlessing. Real privilege to be sitting so close to such staggering talent in the jazz quartet. I still have a Bolero “ear worm” today - what a piece!"

Diana Lee

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"kathrynjeffs  19h19 hours ago
Fantastic night. Amazing performance film tracks by the @BristolSymphony with @WGoodchildMusic #Jaws  #Schindlerslist #Godfather #pyscho"

Kathryn Jeffs

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"I've never seen an orchestra grooving before. Beautiful & awesome fusion of Senegalese kora & percussion with orchestra @stgeorgesbris"

Paul Masri

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"@BristolSymphony Enjoying tonight - cowboys, gangsters, psychos and sharks. What more could we want from a night out!?!"

DebbieNichol

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"Tonight I finally got to hear this #ThomasNewman masterpiece being performed live @BristolSymphony @stgeorgesbris"

Sean Wilson

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"@BristolSymphony @WGoodchildMusic Excellent #Somme #WW1 concert at Clifton cathedral last night"

Louise Heren

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"Bravo @BristolSymphony and @WGoodchildMusic A cracking concert tonight @stgeorgesbris... Great to hear such classics in that space".

Michael Beek

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"Exciting to be part of this amazing project tonight in Clifton Cathedral @BristolSymphony @somme100FILM #clarinet"

Annie Perry

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"Congrats @helenmwilde ... You, @WGoodchildMusic + Mamadou Cissokho created something unique & very special"

St George's Bristol

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"Run through of Battle of the Somme at Clifton Cathedral... spine-tingling moments! Audience in for a treat tonight".

Michael Beek

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"I thought it a wonderful evening on Friday. Thanks very much for telling me about it. Very evocative and a brilliant performance".

Patrick Morris

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"Bristol Symphony pushed boundaries of concerto performance, Bristol at its best"

Claire Sully

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"Last time @BristolSymphony did a concert with a jazz band it was amazing. So no hesitation in buying tickets for this".

Chris Budd

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"Fab work by William Goodchild - Heathen that I am taking standing ovation after 1st half & cheers between movements as good sign!"

Simon Bell

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"Sowande at @stgeorgesbris last night wonderful but mainly joyful. Thanks to orchestra and @WGoodchildMusic for excellent Smyth Serenade in D"

Frank Taylor

"@WOMADfestival u need 2 add @WGoodchildMusic Mamadou Cissokho Wonderful fusion @BristolSymphony @stgeorgesbris"

Janie Chesterton

"Some ways 2 make the world better: being kind, fighting bigotry/ageism/other isms, thru sport & thru lovely brave music by @BristolSymphony"

Alex Rotas

"Concerto for Kora and Orchestra by @WGoodchildMusic and Mamadou Cissokho is a piece of absolute joy! Premiere tonight"

Michael Beek

"Congrats 1st performance Kora concerto Mamadou Cissokho @WGoodchildMusic. Fab composers, players &@helenmwilde. #proms programme 2017 please"

Sarah Gornhall

"Fantastic playing tonight from @BristolSymphony - lyrical strings, crisp articulation from winds, undulating kora and African rhythms"

Nat Delaney

"@WGoodchildMusic @BristolSymphony totally from the heart. Havent got enough superlatives. You were brilliant. You all were. Thanks all ours"

Alex Rotas

"@WOMAD festival wonderful new concerto 4 Mamadou Cissokho's Kora & @BristolSymphony @stgeorgesbris. Any late slots?"

Simon Bell

"Well no one will forget the first concert of the @BristolSymphony. Stunning @WGoodchildMusic composition, had me in tears. Thank you"

Chris Budd

"Amazing 1st performance of @BristolSymphony with Mamadou Cissokho & bros @stgeorgesbris, everyone on their feet. Next year's Proms please!"

Alex Rotas

"Genius blend of the African kora harp & classical orchestral from @BristolSymphony. Great music @stgeorgesbris tonight".

Sian Hancock

"OMG @BristolSymphony bringing the house down here @stgeorgesbris - this is the birth of sth new, so proud to be #Bristolian"

Alex Rotas
 

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