Lunchtime concert: Chichester Symphony Orchestra

Chichester Cathedral's popular lunchtime concerts take place on Tuesdays at 1.10pm during term time, in the spectacular setting of the Cathedral Nave. They are free and last approximately 50 minutes. There is a retiring collection.


Edward Elgar (1857–1934)
Three Characteristic Pieces, op. 10
    I. Mazurka
    II. Sérénade mauresque
    III. Contrasts: The Gavotte A.D. 1700 and 1900

Joseph Haydn (1732–1809)
“London” Symphony no. 104 in D Major
    I. Adagio – Allegro
    II. Andante
    III. Menuetto and Trio: Allegro
    IV. Finale: Spiritoso


The Chichester Symphony Orchestra is the oldest local secular amateur musical ensemble. It can trace its history back to the establishment of the Chichester Orchestral Society in 1889. There has been a collaboration with the Cathedral from the early days with the appointment of Frederick Crowe, the Organist, as its conductor in the early years and again in the 1920s. The current Organist, Charles Harrison, is President.
Composer Norman Demuth took over as conductor between 1929-1935. His orchestral piece Selsey Rhapsody was inspired by ‘the tolling of the bells of the original Cathedral of Chichester’ under the gentle sea off the coast. During World War 2 many members signed up for military service. Members had already formed a slimmed-down Chichester Light Orchestra and this became the mainstay for concerts entertaining wartime audiences. The Light Orchestra continued through to 1966 with local music teacher Olive Lewis as its conductor.
The orchestra’s centenary events included a concert in 1991. The soloists were Alan Thurlow, the Cathedral’s Organist, Jeremy Smith, a sixth-former from Bishop Luffa School, and Patrick Moore, astronomer, broadcaster – and xylophonist.
Over the past 25 years Chichester Symphony Orchestra has had four conductors, most recently Simon Wilkins since 2018. Natalia Corolscaia is now the orchestra’s leader since 2022. She is from Moldova and completed her advanced musical studies at Chichester University where she now works.
The Orchestra numbers around 40 but recruits extra players when needed. New members and supporters are welcome. Find out more, including our future plans, on our website: