About Us

The Lakeland Sinfonia Concert Society

Bringing high-quality classical orchestral music to Kendal for over 40 years

The Society is run by seven experienced, knowledgeable and enthusiastic Trustees; all volunteers, they meet regularly to administer the business of the Society, each having their own area of expertise and responsibility. If you have skills that you might like to offer in a supporting role, particularly IT skills, please contact the Secretaries.

Each season, from October to April, the Society stages a series of eight concerts featuring the Royal Northern Sinfonia (three concerts), a guest orchestra and the Hallé and BBC Philharmonic symphony orchestras.

The Lakeland Sinfonia, which is the Society’s own orchestra, plays two of the season’s concerts. The players, who are professional and semi-professional musicians drawn from across the north-west of England, greatly appreciate the opportunity to play with internationally renowned conductors and soloists – such an opportunity is not available elsewhere in the area. The orchestra is ably managed by Peter Crompton.

The Society started out as the Kendal Chamber Orchestra, playing in Kendal Parish Church and Kendal Town Hall. The orchestra was renamed the Lakeland Sinfonia, and its series of concerts was augmented by other orchestras, notably the Northern Sinfonia. The Society held a gala concert in May 1982 at the opening of Kendal Leisure Centre, and since then all the concerts have been in the Westmorland Hall there.

The BBC Philharmonic came for the first time in 1984, and their concerts were broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. Nowadays the orchestra still records its concerts in the Westmorland Hall for future broadcasting. The Hallé first played for us in 1989.

Many well-known artists have graced our stage, some in the early stages of their careers: Dimitri Alexeev, Imogen Cooper, Emma Johnson, Nigel Kennedy, Julian Lloyd Webber, Christina Ortiz, Maxim Vengerov and Simon Rattle. More recently we have given performing opportunities to Alina Ibragimova, Giovanni Guzzo, Robin Ticciati, Garry Walker, Sam Boden, Alexei Ogrintchouk and Elena Urioste, all of whom are now carving out careers on the international stage.

Over the last few years well-established performers such as Freddy Kempf, Nicola Benedetti, Angela Hewitt, Julian Bliss, Tasmin Little, Jennifer Pike, Alessandro Taverna, Andrew Gourlay, Julian Rachlin and Thomas Zehetmair have all brought great pleasure to our audiences with their expert music-making.

The Society’s President is John Summers, CEO of the Hallé.