Cardiff University Symphony Orchestra

The Symphony Orchestra consists of around 120 players each year.

Membership of the Symphony Orchestra is made up mainly of students from the School of Music, but a significant number of student members from other Schools in the University audition successfully each year, representing Engineering, Modern Languages, Medicine, Physics, Law, Psychology and more. Staff from across the University are also welcome to audition.

The Orchestra presents a range of exciting performances in a number of locations in South Wales, recently this has included two Debussy world premieres at St David’s Hall, as well as a Jolivet UK premiere. We also undertook European tours in 2015 and 2016 and hope to travel again in June 2018.

We released our first CD in 2014. The pieces featured on the CD include works by William Mathias and School of Music alumni, Yfat Soul Zisso, and Morfydd Owen, as well as the rarely-performed 1881 version of Liszt’s Totentanz.

Our latest CD release features the world premiere recordings of two works by Claude Debussy. The two works - Prélude à l’histoire de Tristan and No-Ja-Li ou Le Palais du Silence - were left unfinished when Debussy died in 1918. They have since been completed and orchestrated by Robert Orledge, a leading expert on French music – and were performed in public for the first time by Cardiff University Symphony Orchestra and Mark Eager in March 2015 as part of the Philharmonia Orchestra's City of Light festival.

Both CDs are released by Prima Facie Records.

We will be recording our third CD in November 2017.

Conductor: Mark Eager

Mark Eager
Mark Eager

Mark Eager is an exciting conductor with a wide breadth of knowledge in the orchestral field. He was appointed as Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra in 2008.

His work as a conductor is supported by his experience as a world-class soloist and Principal Trombone with the BBC National Orchestra Wales from 1993 to 2006.

Under his baton the orchestra is achieving significant educational and musical success, including considerable acclaim for performances of Tchaikovsky’s 6th Symphony and Mahler’s 1st Symphony in particular.

He is often praised for his mature understanding, thoughtful musicianship and command of the orchestra.

Mark is also Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of The Welsh Sinfonia. His clear, highly musical direction and his consummate grasp of musical idioms have developed the ensemble over the past few years into Wales’s finest chamber orchestra.

Eager held the orchestra with poise and elegance.

The Western Mail

He tours extensively worldwide and has annual residencies in Sydney, Melbourne, Cairns and Tasmania. On a recent tour to Melbourne, Mark worked with around 6,000 students both ‘live’ and streamed worldwide on the internet, to great acclaim.