London Philharmonic will pay tribute to Greenwich man in Stamford concert
GREENWICH — A local performance by the London Philharmonic will be dedicated to a Greenwich icon.
While in the area for concerts this month at Lincoln Center, the London Philharmonic Orchestra will also pay a visit to Stamford for gala performance at 8 p.m. April 16 at The Palace theater.
The Stamford concert, a benefit for the local Young Artists Philharmonic, will be performed in memory of Lloyd Hull, a longtime Greenwich resident, World War II veteran and dedicated town volunteer. The choice to honor his memory was made by his one of his daughters, Lady Victoria Robey, an officer of the order of the British Empire who is also chairman of the philharmonic.
“It is amazing that we are going to bring the music of this world-class organization here,” Robey said from her home in England. “To have the opportunity to come to Connecticut is wonderful, and this is going to be an exceptional concert. To have it be in memory of my father is very moving, and all I can say is that it means the world to me.”
She, along with a committee of family members and Greenwich residents, organized the one-night stop in Stamford for the the 100-piece London Philharmonic.
Hull, who died in January 2018 at the age of 95, was known for his love of music. Singing was not Hull’s forte, said Bea Crumbine, a longtime friend and the town’s ambassador at large. But his musical tastes ranged from patriotic songs and Gilbert and Sullivan to Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Handel and “anything big and bold,” she said.
What made Hull happiest, was hearing his wife, Mary, singing in the choir at church on Sundays, said Crumbine, who is part of the organizing committee.
“Lloyd was a man of his time, perhaps one of the last of a generation of patriotic gentlemen,” Crumbine said. “He would have loved this concert and, in particular, the impact classical music has in bringing together family, friends and our wider community in a celebration of all that is good.”
Robey agreed, saying that bringing people together was of great importance to her father.
“My father was a real family man and a community man,” she said. “He always wanted as many people around him as he could. Maybe it was because he was in the war, but being able to bring people together was something he loved to do.”
The concert is very meaningful for the entire family. Hull’s daughter Lisa Weicker said she was excited and that her father would have appreciated how it will benefit young musicians,
“I am touched and honored that a world-renowned orchestra would come to our area and perform in honor of my father,” Weicker said. “I know Dad would have loved that some of the proceeds will benefit the Young Artists Philharmonic. It’s a great way to bring people together with music which is the universal language.”
Tours by the London Philharmonic are planned years in advance, Robey said, so adding in a performance is not easy.
But when she saw the concerts lined up for Lincoln Center, Robey said it made sense to try to get the philharmonic to Connecticut. Chief executive and artistic director Tim Walker was open to the idea, she said, paving the way for the concert to come together.
The concert will open with Beethoven’s Egmont followed by Canadian violinist James Ehnes leading the way the Violin Concerto by Jean Sibelius. After the intermission, the orchestra will perform Gustav Mahler’s First Symphony.
Members of the Young Artists Philharmonic, based in Old Greenwich, will be part of a flute choir that will greet guests when they arrive at The Palace. That group will include eight students from Greenwich: Katharine Singer Jensen, Alexa Cervantes, Valeria Morales, Fiona Chen, Alondra Santana, Hannah Bang and Krishna Reddy.
The London Philharmonic’s work with the youth orchestra is part of its commitment to education. Robey said the orchestra works closely with London Music Masters, an organization called that teaches classical music in schools in England to children who might otherwise not have access to it.
“When you hear excellent music being played excellently, it is inspiring,” Robey said. “Hopefully we will be able to get a lot of youths to come and see this concert. The orchestra is always looking to reach out.”
Tickets are on sale at www.palacestamford.org.