On Sunday the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra welcomed Martin Owen, a man who is deservedly renowned as one of Europe’s finest horn players.

His reputation for critically acclaimed performances around the continent made for a highly anticipated afternoon show, and the choice of Richard Strauss’ Horn Concerto No 1 in E Flat was inspired, providing Owen with an ideal piece to demonstrate his skill and flair.

Coolly confident on stage, Owen delivered the piece charmingly, with concise ease.

After the interval the orchestra moved into the final piece, which was an hour-long rendition of Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No 4 in E Flat Major.

This symphony is a joy to listen to, and Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra brought it to life beautifully. The ending was spectacularly uplifting and progressive, with vibrant intensity and fire.

The romanticism of the symphony made for a soothing atmosphere in the Dome, and was met at the end with a rousing, standing ovation for the musicians.

As ever, the show was made complete by the passionate conducting by Stephen Bell, whose precision and talent underpinned the entire performance.

Look out for the orchestra’s New Year’s Eve concert from 2.45pm with conductor Barry Wordsworth leading a programme of polkas, waltzes and marches by the Strauss family.

Four stars