LANCASTER’S own symphony orchestra, the Haffner Orchestra, celebrates ten years of sharing the stage with its musical director Natalia Luis-Bassa, staging a special concert at Lancaster University’s Great Hall on Saturday, February 15 (7.30pm).

To celebrate the dynamic and charismatic Venezuelan conductor’s tenth anniversary, Kathryn Stott will play Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No 2.

The programme also includes Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No 1, Mendelssohn’s Symphony No 1 and Arensky’s Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky.

Born in Nelson, Kathryn is recognised as one of Britain’s most versatile and imaginative musicians and is frequently heard on BBC Radio Three.

Natalia studied music as a child, she was part of the world-famous Il Sistema, which teaches that children who are given a musical instrument benefit hugely in social ways. She was the first person to obtain a degree in orchestral conducting in her native country. On coming to the UK, she studied at the Royal College of Music in London, and is now a RCM professor of conducting. She is also music director of the National Children’s Orchestra (London).

The Haffner - the name comes from one of Mozart's patrons in Salzburg - gave its first concert in March 1976. Since, it has earned the respect and attracted the support of many well-known professional musicians, including Sir Charles Groves, who was the orchestra's first president and conducted the Haffner Orchestra at its 10th anniversary concert. After his death, the presidency was taken up by world-renowned cellist Raphael Wallfisch, who has also performed as soloist with the orchestra, notably at its 25th anniversary concert and again in 2012. The position of musical director has been held by Gerard Doyle, Tim Carter, Denis McCaldin, Roger Cann, and, since 2004, Natalia.

For more information about the orchestra, visit

For tickets, buy online or telephone 01524-582394.