Classic Kennedy takes bow with jazz gig

The Oxford Times: Nigel Kennedy, the world’s best-selling classical violinist, performs with the Oxford Philomusica Orchestra Nigel Kennedy, the world’s best-selling classical violinist, performs with the Oxford Philomusica Orchestra

WORLD-FAMOUS violinist Nigel Kennedy wowed audiences in a special city concert then popped round the corner to play an impromptu gig at a jazz club.

The virtuoso played Brahms’ Symphony No. 3 in F major and Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D major in a performance alongside the Oxford Philomusica at the New Theatre on Tuesday night.

Mr Kennedy, who is fanatical about football and is a staunch Aston Villa supporter, said: “I always love playing with this fantastic orchestra. It’s made up of such passionate musicians.

“Marios (Marios Papadopoulos, the founder and music director behind the Philomusica) is a maestro and the Oxford audience was with us all the way.”

Mr Kennedy then went on to surprise fans at Oxford’s jazz club The Spin by performing Jimmy Hendrix hits later in the evening.

He joined fans as they celebrated 15 years at The Wheatsheaf in Oxford’s High Street.

Gig-goer Philip Weatherburn, 65, from Summertown, said: “He came on with his violin, set up with the house band and they played for two hours. For him to play was phenomenal. It was a huge shock.

“I knew he was appearing at the New Theatre, but the last thing I expected was to see him come around the corner and play in a small jazz club.”

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