About the Orchestra
Formed in 1972, Philomusica is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2022.
Originally founded as a "town" orchestra, since the 1990's it has become a "town and gown" orchestra enjoying considerable support from the University of Wales Aberystwyth, this being achieved when the university appointed a Director of Music to rebuild its music provision following the closure of the Department of Music. Dr David Russell Hulme, who was appointed to the position established the Music Centre and subsequently became Philomusica’s resident conductor and Artistic Director whereby a strong liaison with the University was formed.
Music Bursaries were created to attract good instrumentalists to Aberystwyth and this scheme continues today.
The orchestra gives, at present, two major concerts a year, in March and December. In the past it also used to give a children’s concert, something there may be interest in reviving.
It plays major symphonic repertoire and usually has a concerto in each main concert. There are lots of recent highlights such as Mahler's first symphony, Holst’s Planet Suite and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite to name but a few with the orchestra also promoting Welsh Music with composers such as Morfydd Owen, Paul Maelor and Walford Davies all performed recently.
Major changes have had an impact on the orchestra such as the multi million pound refurbishment of the Old College which has been our home for many years, the retirement of Dr David Russell Hulme as Director of Music from the Music Centre, subsequently stepping down as resident Conductor and Artistic Director of Philomusica.
Due to the covid-19 pandemic, the orchestra has not played since 2020 when it had to cancel the March Concert just ten just ten days before it was due to be staged but the Philomusica Committee are now planning for the future as we welcome the new Director of the Music Centre, Iwan Teifion Davies and look forward to a continued close relationship with Aberystwyth University.