Southampton University Symphony Orchestra (SUSO)  has appointed Music Director, Susanna Riddell as part of the launch of a new era.

Our student-run orchestra, which first launched in October 1919 as an orchestral society at the Hartley University College (now the University of Southampton), celebrated its 97th birthday last month.

With over 90-strong members, the student group continues to provide opportunities to study and perform some of the most challenging symphonic repertoire. Membership consists of students studying a wide variety of subjects at the University of Southampton ranging from mechanical engineering and medicine, to music and archaeology.

Susanna Riddell has gathered over 20 years’ experience of working on the international stage, with world class conductors and soloists as a cellist with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. She has been the Director of the national award-winning Wessex Youth Orchestra for the past 10 years, and has recently conducted in Birmingham’s Symphony Hall, London’s Royal Albert Hall and Royal Festival Hall.

The orchestra is run by an annually elected committee, and this year’s President Thomas Kidman commented: “We are delighted to welcome Susanna to the esteemed position of Music Director here at the Southampton University Symphony Orchestra. The vacancy attracted over 100 applicants with some very high quality candidates. Susanna’s approach to rehearsals and the professionalism she demands from the members has resulted in some extremely exciting ensemble playing from the orchestra. We look forward greatly to our concert this term, and many other exciting projects to come.”

SUSO perform ‘Winter’s Eve’ on Saturday 26 November at 19:30 in Southampton’s Central Hall. The programme is Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, Prokofiev’s Winter Bonfire Suite (with a children’s choir from Beechwood Junior School and St Anne’s Catholic School) and Glazunov – ‘Autumn’ from ‘The Seasons’. Tickets are £12 adults, £10 senior citizens and students £5, available on the door only.  More information can be found on their website at suso.unionsouthampton.org/index.php/whats-on