The Kidderminster Festival Orchestra (TKFO),
England's First New Professional Orchestra in Decades
A group of some 30 extraordinarily gifted professional musicians from across the Midlands, each with their own amazing story, came together last year - to both critical and public acclaim - as TKFO.
As a medium sized professional orchestra they have the capacity to perform to the highest standard the challenging music from the Baroque through to the early Romantics, and from the 20th century to the present day.
TKFO was formed with the specific intention of placing a top class professional orchestra into what many regard as the much culturally neglected area of North Worcestershire, South Staffordshire, Shropshire and Herefordshire. It is a brand new Orchestra with a mission.
TKFO has been given the use of Kidderminster Town Hall as a base of operations due to its central location in the area to enable top quality musicians from across the Midlands to come together.
The founder and Artistic Director, Annette Jackson, said "I started this professional orchestra because the area is not served by one and believe it to be the right thing to do. I have conducted extensively in Spain, and have spent much of my career working in specialist music Schools. I was Assistant Director of Music to the Purcell School, England’s first special school for musically gifted children, which has been a training ground for several BBC Young Musicians of the Year. It is this ethos that I wish to bring to TKFO as we develop, and so encourage young musicians to flourish in this area."
Annette goes on to say "My background has influenced me to include recruitment programmes which place young gifted performers into permanent seats within the orchestra alongside well experienced musicians. The Young Graduate Programme, designed with the assistance of Julian Lloyd Webber (Principal of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire), is our way of ensuring that there are opportunities for the next generation of gifted performers to join the profession. Our latest addition is the inclusion of TKFO Young Soloist Platform."
Excellent public and professional reviews (see below - Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post) of TKFO’s inaugural concert, featuring Alan Thomas principal trumpet of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, have led to much public interest in the Orchestra. Audience comments such as "it was a wonderful experience" and "I’ll be sure to bring family and friends next time" demonstrate just how TKFO’s appeal will surely grow with each concert.
Musician’s Union Regional Organiser, Stephen Brown says “We have supported TKFO with advice and encouragement to ensure that England’s newest provincial Orchestra gets the best start it can.
No one should underestimate the determination Annette has shown in the difficult task of setting this up, and just how gifted the musicians are who have come onboard to make it happen, I’d urge the public to sample the delights of this professional Orchestra so they can say ‘I was there at the start’."