He wasn’t able to be there because of coronavirus pandemic travel restrictions.

But Kirill Karabits was most assuredly at Lighthouse Poole in spirit for the latest in Voices from the East series, something very close to his heart.

It was a celebration of music from the former Soviet Union including the chief conductor’s homeland of Ukraine.

Our evening began in that country with Theodore Akimenko, a student of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and a teacher of Igor Stravinsky.

His nocturne Angel was a beautiful introduction to yet another journey of discovery and understanding.

Then on to Armenia with Alexander Arutiunian’s Trumpet Concerto, with a virtuoso performance by one of the BSO’s own, principal trumpet Chris Avison.

His efforts were loudly appreciated by the audience of 300 and proudly by his colleagues.

It is always a treat to see one of the BSO players shine in a solo spot.

Finally to Russia and the King of the East, Tchaikovsky and his Symphony No 2, nicknamed the 'Little Russian' although it features a number Ukranian folk-songs. Tchaikovsky spent many summers in the country.

The energetic Martyn Brabbins did an outstanding job deputising for Karabits and clearly has own special rapport with the players.

Music from the East is especially mystic, mysterious, dramatic, emotional and spellbinding.

Karabits likes to challenge his audiences and until this Voices series, much of the music from some ‘neglected’ conductors had not been heard live in this country. Proving that there is always something new to appreciate and understand and both are so much more important in the times we are in.

And it also shows that one of the most powerful forces in music is homeland.

This was the second socially distanced concert of the autumn season, with limited audience numbers in the Lighthouse but a growing digital audience through live streaming. For more see bsolive.com