about the Sampson Orchestra of Cambridge

about the orchestra
forthcoming events
notices for members
contacts and links

the Orchestra

The Cambridge Orchestra was founded in 1987 by the late Charles Sampson in response to requests for a new symphony orchestra which could harness the very talented players and music teachers, within the Eastern Counties to perform large classical repertoire to the highest standards.

Many internationally acclaimed soloists have performed with the Cambridge Orchestra, these have included Tasmin Little, Piers Lane, Timothy Hugh, and David Campbell. The Orchestra has also presented Gala Ballet with Wayne Sleep and members of National Youth Ballet of Great Britain, and has participated regularly in the Cambridge Music Festival.

In 2010 the governing organisation was changed into a charitable trust, registered with the Charity Commission, and the opportunity was taken to adopt a new name for the orchestra to commemorate its founder - The Sampson Orchestra of Cambridge.

A particularly important sphere of the Cambridge Orchestra's activities has been to work with local charities, amongst them the Arthur Rank Hospice, the Anglia Ruskin University Music Therapy Appeal, Cambridge Mencap and the Sick Children's Trust. The Sampson Orchestra continues to do so as an important part of its charitable status.

The orchestra consists of around 50 regular members. There are no subscriptions and musicians play by invitation. The orchestra performs around 5 concerts a year and rehearses in Cambridge.

See photographs of the orchestra.

the Conductor

Darrell Davison

Darrell Davison studied music at St. Catharine's College, Cambridge. He started his professional career as the principal cellist of the Ulster Orchestra before returning to London as a freelance cellist. In 1979 he won the Sir John Barbirolli Conducting Competition and since then has conducted many different orchestras, both professional and amateur. This has included performances with all four London orchestras and recordings with the LSO and the BBC. In 1984 he was a prize winner in the inaugural Leeds Conducting Competition and in the same year made his London Debut by conducting the RPO at a Royal Philharmonic Society Concert at the Festival Hall. Since then he has made appearances at many of the major venues in England including the Albert Hall and has recently given a number of international concerts and broadcasts.

He is conductor and musical director of The Little Symphony of London and also presents the successful Arthur Davison Family Concerts at the Fairfield, Croydon. He was appointed Musical Director of the Cambridge Orchestra in 1987.

As a composer, he has had his music performed by The Philharmonia, The London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and has also written and orchestrated film scores for The London Symphony Orchestra. Works for orchestra include the ballet score to A Brave New World, the oratorio Symphony of Souls and concertos for clarinet, violin and cello.