LEADING musicians from the celebrated Chineke! Orchestra will be the soloists in a 'Beauty and the Beast' themed concerto in Skipton Town Hall on September 29 with resident orchestra, Skipton Camerata.

Clarinettist Mariam Adam and bassoonist Linton Stephens are both members of the Chineke! Orchestra, the first professional orchestra in Europe to be made up of majority Black and ethnically diverse musicians.

Since its foundation in 2015 it has gone on to become resident orchestra at London's Southbank Centre, played at the BBC Proms and won a string of awards.

For many years Linton was principal bassoonist with Skipton Camerata. He now regularly plays with many of the UK's leading professional orchestras including the Halle, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in addition to Chineke! Orchestra where he plays second bassoon. Linton is also a regular broadcaster including presenting Radio 3's Classical Fix.

Two years ago, Linton returned to Skipton to appear as soloist with his old orchestra and this year he brings with him American-born Mariam Adam, the Chineke! Orchestra's principal clarinettist. Together they are the soloists in the Duet Concertino by Richard Strauss which is loosely based on the story of Beauty and the Beast, casting the two wind instruments in the roles.

"This is one of the last pieces Strauss wrote just after the end of the Second World War," said conductor Ben Crick. "Considering the racist hatred he'd witnessed it's not surprising that he was drawn to a story celebrating difference and peaceful co-existence. It's a beautiful piece."

Mariam and Linton perform the Duet Concertino with Skipton Camerata in their concert entitled 'Once upon A Time: Psycho, Death in Venice, folk tales, waltzes and blues' on Friday, September 29 at 7.30 pm. Tickets available from Skipton Town Hall box office; or online at: https://skiptontownhall.co.uk/