Thank you for a great concert
Well done, Leicester! Or more precisely, well done Knighton Chamber Orchestra's director, Paul Jenkins, for giving us a wonderful two-part evening's entertainment on January 19 at Embrace Arts.
What an exciting innovation to show Le Concert, a French film based on the Phoenix-like return to maestro status of a former Russian conductor.
His fantastic career was publicly broken during a performance of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35 for defending Jewish musicians.
Then to follow this most entertaining film with an amazing concert, culminating in a stunning performance of the concerto.
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Such a seemingly good idea could have failed, given much of the concerto had been performed at a very high level during the film.
But, of course, Paul was not to let such a possibility happen.
He organised the programme to start with two Mozart pieces, the Overture to The Marriage of Figaro and his Symphony No 40 in G Minor and thus swept our thoughts away from Tchaikovsky.
Secondly – and goodness knows how – he arranged for the exceptionally gifted and internationally renowned violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen to take the lead role.
Her rendition was superbly dramatic and yet so emotionally open and enveloping that it was as if the audience had become one sentient entity – we were truly transfixed.
Of course, even with Tamsin's performance, the evening would not have gone well if the orchestra had not also been up to the mark.
As ever, KCO's performance did not let their guest performer, or the audience, down.
We are very lucky to have such amateur musicians in our county and I think it behoves us to publicly recognise the pleasure they afford us. Thank you, KCO, for such a great night out.
Mrs S E Hind, Kegworth.
We're looking for Britain's most extraordinary animals and biggest animal-lovers for a new ITV television event, The British Animal Honours 2013, hosted by Paul O'Grady.
We need your nominations for heroic and inspiring animals – perhaps trained working animals in the services or from a charity – and loyal pets that deserve recognition just for being there.
We'll also recognise people and organisations working for animal welfare and conservation here and abroad, so if you admire an animal charity, a young animal hero or someone who deserves a lifetime achievement award, please consider nominating them.
To request a nomination form – get your suggestions in before February 24 – e-mail:
If you do not have internet access, call 020 7440 2593 to request a form. The show will be on ITV in April. I hope you enjoy it.
Darren Sole, producer, Whizz Kid Productions, London.
I am writing regarding the lovely letter by Gordon Newton ("Simple Things made us happy", Mailbox, January 15).
I enjoy the simple things of life, especially nature and the pleasure I desire from the natural world.
Acquiring and surrounding ourselves with the latest technology is not the be all and end all.
I am not arguing that advances in technology are not beneficial to humankind, but material things can sometimes become a burden.
Moving away from the natural world can altogether deprive us of the beauty to lift the spirits.
I love to sit in my garden or allotment after working the soil growing fruit and veg and flowers and admire my surroundings, listening to birdsong and watching the butterflies and insect world.
And watching the summer sunset go down with a glass of wine or beer in hand.
Here is a poem written by me one warm and inspiring summer:
The Secret Garden
I watch the chaffinch in my apple tree,
The Blackbird I heard in the distance
Yet never did see,
As I sit at the top of my garden
Enclosed by hawthorn
One of my secret places,
My cat by my side,
Here we abide,
With the sleepy sun in our faces.
Phil Dews, Anstey.
Regarding the issue of horse meat in the news, well, whether it's pig or cow, it's all dead meat, when all is said and done. I don't eat any meat.
January 19 to 27 was World Week for the Abolition of Meat.
If everybody took to a plant diet, there would be fewer people starving, they would enjoy a better life and this would save millions of animals from pain and misery.
C Davies, Leicester.