The Orchestra of St John's
The Orchestra of St John's

After 73 years, the curtain will come down on Newark Music Club with a concert at the Palace Theatre by the acclaimed Orchestra Of St John’s London, on Friday night.

The music club is closing because of falling membership, but is hoping to go out on a high.

The orchestra will be conducted by John Lubbock with Maki Sekiya on piano

Their programme includes Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite and Faure’s Dolly Suite, Oriental Fantasy by Balakirev Islamey and Bizet’s L’Arlesienne.

It will also feature Mussorgsky Pictures At An Exhibition orchestrated for piano and orchestra by John Lubbock.

The Orchestra Of St John's was founded by Lubbock 48 years ago at its original home of St John’s Smith Square in Westminster, where it still performs.

Lubbock started his musical life as a chorister at St George’s Chapel Windsor Castle and studied singing at the Royal Academy of Music.

It is now based in Oxford and regularly performs at concert halls and festivals across the country.

It has featured world famous soloists such as Dame Felicity Lott, Sir James Galway, John Lill, Yuri Bashmet, Tasmin Little and Steven Isserlis.

Pianist Maki Sekiya was hailed as “the piano prodigy of tremendous inner rhythm and vitality” by the Evening Standard at the age of 11.

Born in Tokyo, Maki studied at the Purcell school as a scholar, later at the Moscow Conservatoire, where she gained a diploma with distinction.

She has appeared as a soloist at St John’s Smith Square, the South Bank, the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatoire, and is a regular soloist with orchestras and festivals.

Maki was spotted playing in Dorchester Abbey by John Lubbock, and invited to give a solo recital in his festival in 2013, and has been part of the festival every year since.

Tickets for the Palace concert, which starts at 7.30pm, cost £18 for adults and £5 for children and students.