Dorset County Orchestra performing Mahler Dorset County Orchestra performing Mahler's Symphony No. 1 in St. Mary's, Dorchester

Registered Charity 1050778

The Dorset County Orchestra has been delighting audiences for more than half a century, having been formed as long ago as 1951 at the instigation of the then County Music Organiser, Joan Brocklebank. The first conductor was the young Lawrence Leonard. Apart from its first season, when it received financial help from the Carnegie Trust, the orchestra has made its own way through subscriptions, concert proceeds and sponsorship.

The members of the orchestra come from all over Dorset and continue, under their present conductor Ian Pillow, to perform a wide selection from the classical repertoire. There have also been many successful joint ventures with local choral societies. As a local amateur orchestra they welcome membership enquiries from enthusiastic and committed players.

Dorset County Orchestra performing the World Première of Ian Pillow's Sinfonia Concertante for Viola, Bass Trombone and Orchestra in St. Mary's Church, Swanage, 23rd June 2012.

Principal Conductor: Ian Pillow

Ian Pillow has spent most of his working life as a viola player - including playing with many of the London orchestras, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and, in particular the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO), where he has worked for a total of nearly thirty years. In addition to his viola playing, he has presented the BSO's pre-concert talks for 20 years and has conducted various community music projects for them, as well as their brass ensemble. He is well known as a fine trainer of amateur orchestras and has brought both the Dorset County Orchestra and Sherborne Community Orchestra to new levels of excellence. In addition, he is conductor of the Purbeck String Festival for which he has conducted premiers of works by Sally Beamish and Mike Westbrook. Since his retirement from playing he has continued to present the BSO's pre-concert talks and is devoting more time to composition. He has written choral, orchestral and chamber works which have been enthusiastically received. His carol 'The Oxen' has been featured twice in the Festival of Lessons and Carols at St Martin in the Fields. In 2012 the BSO requested a piece for brass for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, and two pieces to commemorate the centenary of the Titanic. He also composed a Sinfonia Concertante for two local young players, which was performed with DCO in June 2012.

Leader: Bärbel Glaser

Bärbel graduated with a Diploma in Orchestral Music and a Degree in Music Education from the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Academy in Leipzig in the former East Germany. Her teachers came from the Leipzig Radio Orchestra and the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig and the Staatskapelle Weimar. She was an extra player for the Leipziger Komödie (Comedy House) and joined the Leipziger Radio Orchestra for several productions and concerts. In 1987 she joined the orchestra of the Zwickau Theatre, where she enjoyed playing a variety of music ranging from opera and musicals to symphony concerts, as well as touring through Eastern Europe and Italy with the Zwickau Chamber Orchestra. Since 2000 she has worked as a freelance musician in Dorset and Hampshire and has played with the Dorset County Orchestra, the Dorset Chamber Orchestra and the Wimborne Chamber Orchestra as well as many local choral societies. As well as teaching privately and at local schools she enjoys performing chamber music with the Parry String Quartet and in recitals with the pianist Cathy Beeby.