J S Bach Suites for solo cello nos 1, 2 and 3

J S Bach Suites for solo cello nos 1, 2 and 3

with Orlando Jopling

Fri 26 Apr, 7.30pm St Peter’s Church, Hever

Standard Ticket £20

Friends Ticket £15

(max. 2 per Friend)

2 hours including a 20-minute interval

Seating is unallocated.

We have the great pleasure of welcoming international musician Orlando Jopling to St Peter’s for this, our first, fundraising concert. Orlando is a huge supporter of the festival having played, with his opera company, Wild Arts, Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love with us in 2023. In 2024 Wild Arts will return to the Two Sisters’ Theatre with Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte.

Bach’s Cello Suites were composed in the early 1700s. It wasn’t until 1890 when the thirteen-year-old cellist Pablo Casals stumbled across the sheet music in a second-hand music shop in Barcelona that these suites began to grow in popularity, becoming one of the most famous and important pieces for the instrument. Casals practiced the suites for thirteen years before performing them publicly. When he did, the music experienced a meteoritic rise in popularity. The Suites have been featured in concerts and commercials alike, transcribed for a diverse array of instruments, and interpreted by every style of music imaginable, from swing to electronic. Becoming one of the most celebrated collections of music today.

There are no markings or notes leaving no indication of how Bach thought the pieces should be played on the earliest manuscripts (copied by Bach’s second wife, Anna Magdalena). Excitingly this is therefore left to the interpretation of the performer, making them some of the most personal pieces to performers and listeners alike. We can’t wait to experience Orlandos’ interpretation.

Orlando Jopling (Cello) works as music staff and conductor for the Royal Opera House, English National Ballet, the Royal Ballet, Independent Opera, and many other leading companies. He co-founded Tête à Tête, Stanley Hall Opera, and the Roman River Festival, before founding Wild Arts in 2022. His music-making as a cellist has ranged from solo and chamber performance to touring as a guest tutti cellist, most regularly with the Philharmonia and London Symphony Orchestra. He is spending a part of each summer performing the Bach suites, helping re-invigorate churches as community gathering places, and raising money for the restoration of their fabric. He is delighted to support the festival with this concert.


Orlando studied with Alexander Baillie, William Pleeth, and Raphael Wallfisch, and took masterclasses with David Takeno, Paul Tortelier, Stephen Isserlis and Ralph Kirschbaum.

Chamber music has always been a central part of his life, collaborating with Anthony Marwood, Elena Urioste, Mark Padmore, Tim Ridout, Tom Poster, LSO Panufnik , Simon Blendis, the London Sinfonietta, Rebecca Gilliver, Endymion Ensemble, Lawrence Power, Piers Lane, Nika Goriç, Tim Hugh, Boris Giltburg, James Gilchrist, Benjamin Grosvenor, Rachel Roberts, Jane’s Minstrels, Guildhall Trio, the Engegård String Quartet, Chamber Domaine, and most recently Ellie Fagg, Tom Norris, Dorothea Vogel as part of the Razumovsky Quartet.

He has played as guest cellist with the great UK orchestras, mostly the LSO and the Philharmonia, working with Bernard Haitink, Mark Elder, Riccardo Muti, Sir Colin Davis, Valery Gergiev, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Sir Simon Rattle and others. He still regularly plays with the LSO’s contemporary ensemble as part of their Panufnik composers’ programme, and he has played on over 100 sessions, recording the music to Star Wars and a host of other well-known film scores.

He has given recitals in Wigmore Hall, Cambridge, Oxford, Vienna, Israel, Italy, Bombay, Boston, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Photo by Lucy J Toms