Attention: You are using an outdated browser, device or you do not have the latest version of JavaScript downloaded and so this website may not work as expected. Please download the latest software or switch device to avoid further issues.

News > Arts & Culture > Hastings Philharmonic Orchestra concert to celebrate Old Tonbridgian

Hastings Philharmonic Orchestra concert to celebrate Old Tonbridgian

Julian Clifford shows the way to musical excellence in Hastings

The Hastings Philharmonic Orchestra aspires to reflect a rich tradition in Hastings of excellent
live classical music by staging two concerts this September, one in Tonbridge School Chapel
and one in the White Rock Theatre, Hastings. The concerts will include a rare opportunity to
listen live to a composition of Old Tonbridgian, Julian Clifford in the programme:

CLIFFORD - Meditation
MENDELSSOHN - A Midsummer Night's Dream Overture
MENDELSSOHN - Violin Concerto
BEETHOVEN - Symphony No.5

This is a special occasion because it celebrates historic links between the Hastings Municipal
Orchestra and Tonbridge School dating back to the early part of the 20th century when Julian
Clifford became the first music director of note of the Hastings Municipal Orchestra. Clifford was
indeed a renowned and accomplished orchestra conductor, concert pianist and composer who
died tragically young 100 years ago suddenly from flu.

Through his charisma and talent, Clifford had friends and contacts among the most famous
musicians of the time whom he attracted to Hastings. For years afterwards a procession of the
most famous musicians saw fit to come to Hastings to perform at the White Rock Pavilion:
Rachmaninov, Sir Henry Wood, Sir Adrian Boult,Sir Thomas Beecham, Pablo Casals, Elisabeth
Schwarzkopf, Isobel Baillie among many, many other famous musicians.

It was also on Clifford's behalf that Hastings Council decided to build the White Rock Pavilion
purpose-built for classical music. As a friend of Clifford, Elgar opened the concert hall with a
hugely successful British Classical Music Festival in its first week. The Pavilion employed
state-of-the-art acoustics, such that it became one of the first regular recording studios for the
then newly established Decca Records. In the 1930s. The White Rock Pavilion (Theatre), was
also host to many BBC radio live concerts, including two broadcast across the British Empire
after the King's Christmas Day speech. The Hastings Philharmonic Orchestra is now designated
'Orchestra in Residence', so it is our duty to continue the traditions of excellence!

More information about the concerts here:
In Tonbridge on 25 September
In Hastings on 21 September
and more information about our orchestra here:


Share Your Story

Do you have a story to share?
Contact a member of our team.

Click here to email us
with your idea

Or, call us on:
+44 (0) 1732 304253



Tonbridge Society Office

Email us

 +44 (0) 1732 304253

Charity Registration Number 1099162

This website is powered by