Christian Garrick and Friends who played with Brighton Philharmonic Strings at The Dome in Brighton.

Review – Nod to jazz in Brighton Philharmonic’s opening concert

• Christian Garrick and Friends with the Brighton Philharmonic Strings, The Dome, November 10. 

Brighton Philharmonic shook things up a little for the opening concert of their season at the Dome, writes Phil Dennett.

Instead of classic staples there was more than a nod to jazz.

Only the orchestra’s strings played, alongside violinist Christian Garrick and his five-piece band.

Brave move

It was brave move to open the new season in this way and the superb performance of Garrick deserved a bigger attendance.

Possibly fans will be looking forward to a more familiar line-up in the next concert on December 1, with the music of Haydn, Vaughan Williams and Mozart on an appetising menu.

Those who did attend on Sunday certainly heard something new.


Garrick, a warm and personable performer, played tremendously fast at times, but the mood was softened by some melodic accordion and piano playing. There was usually a good tune lurking amongst the highly energetic stew of sounds.

In the variations on Astor Piazzolla, Garrick was waspish, never quite settling on a melody for long, though the mood was quietened by pizzicato raindrops and some sweet piano from David Gordon.

Deep Space used lush strings to enhance the melody and more polished jazz piano for decoration.


The string section displayed elegance on the lyrical Poldark Suite, which was like a sorbet refresher after the earlier richness.

A folksy medley of the Budapest Café Orchestra, with the band donning hats, was cheerful and even provoked a clap-along, before the finale return to the Astor Piazzolla for a rousing Libertango.

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