Essex Symphony Orchestra Reg. Charity No. 1000732

Site last updated on 15 May 2020

Spotlight on …

Spotlight on Roger Strange – Viola

I joined ESO in 2004 and enjoy the weekly rehearsals we have.  

I remember my mother saying to me when I was quite young “of course you want to play the violin, don’t you”,  so when there was the opportunity to join a violin class at primary school I joined a class of about six budding violinists using an old cheap violin bought from a neighbour.  The teacher encouraged me to have viola lessons so at the age of eleven I switched to viola.  From that time playing the viola became a significant part of my life, playing in many different orchestras and chamber music ensembles.

My secondary school music teacher actively discouraged anyone thinking about a career in music but from an early age I had been interested in how things work so I went on to study for an engineering degree.  

One of my school day memories that made a lasting impression was going to a very enjoyable concert in the local church in Lowestoft given by the London Philharmonic Orchestra with Sir Adrian Boult conducting.  I remember distinctly the ram rod stance of the conductor with tiny movement of his baton even when the trombones where at their loudest in the last movement of Schubert’s 9th Symphony.  I’m looking forward to playing this work again in our autumn concert this year.

I don’t have a favourite composer.   I just enjoy playing whatever is in front of me.  

I also play in the Colchester Symphony Orchestra and really enjoy playing chamber music at home with musical friends.   More recently I have begun to play second violin parts in chamber music although I am finding this to be quite a challenge.

Photo: Gareth Barton