Orchestra of the Swan perform Umpteenth Violin Concerto

Orchestra of the Swan will contrast classical works by Beethoven against contemporary jazz when they perform here at The Courtyard this spring!

Winner of the 2019 Ivor Award for Jazz, Django Bates’ Umpteenth Violin Concerto is a celebration of the violin, inspired by jazz and folk music.  A founder member of Loose Tubes, Bates is an internationally-acclaimed performer and composer with the ability to travel effortlessly between the jazz world and the classical.

His Umpteenth Violin Concerto was composed in 2004 and has been reworked for this special performance by Orchestra of the Swan, where it will be performed by guest soloist Thomas Gould.

Thomas Gould will also perform Bates’ own cadenzas for Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, linking the two works across time. With an additional performance of Beethoven’s volcanic Prometheus Overture, this promises to be very far from your umpteenth Beethoven orchestral concert.


Django BatesDjango Bates comments, “Umpteen is an old fashioned word meaning ‘an indefinite large number’. There are so many violin concertos in the world (often given numbers instead of names) that mine is perhaps the umpteenth. The piece explores infinity, as music often does. It is also a wry comment on those radio stations that play the Mendelssohn and Bruch Concertos in a never-ending cycle. Umpteenth embraces melodious folk music from an imaginary land, pays homage to its great concerti predecessors (even offering a small Mendelssohn quote) and, above all, celebrates the violin and the drama which it can create. The piece was written in 2004 and for some time I have wanted to re-bar some passages and to extend the joyous finale. Orchestra of the Swan have kindly made those revisions possible so I am very excited to hear this updated Umpteenth Violin Concerto performed with soloist Thomas Gould.”


Orchestra of the Swan present Umpteenth Violin Concerto will be at The Courtyard on Thursday 26 March at 7.30pm. Audiences can also join the orchestra for a free, pre-concert talk at 6.30pm.