About Asklepios Orchestra

About the orchestra

The Asklepios Orchestra is an amateur orchestra, founded in 1969 by Dr. David Humphreys, a Physician in the Birmingham General Hospital where the orchestra originally rehearsed. However, following refurbishment of the General, our orchestra needed to move and we now rehearse in the Medical School of the University of Birmingham in Edgbaston.

Although the orchestra has a “medical” origin and we are based within the Medical School, we welcome players from anywhere. You do not have to be “medical” or a member of the Medical School or the University to join us.

Where and when do we meet?

We meet on Wednesday evenings 8:0pm to 10:00pm. in the Medical School in Edgbaston. The building is situated next to the old Queen Elizabeth Hospital on Vincent Drive. If you come by car, there is a car park at the front of the School. By public transport, the number 21 bus stops right outside the School and the University Station is 2 minutes away.

What’s in a name?

The title of the orchestra derives from the ancient Greek healer Asklepios (Ἀσκληπιός, Latin form Aesculapius). Asklepios was said to have saved the unborn child of Apollo and became physician of the argonauts. He and his daughter Hygieia were later deified with special responsibility for healing. Various temples were built to Asklepios, perhaps the most famous being at Epidaurus (the statue in the picture comes from there) where a magnificent theatre was also constructed. David Humphreys visited Epidaurus during a holiday and the link between early medicine and entertainment gave him the initial idea for the title of the orchestra. In addition, however, close by Epidaurus is Delphi where the oracle was also associated with music. It seems likely that Asklepios would have visited Delphi, hence a further link between Medicine and Music.

For more information contact Martyn Harris at asklepios@talktalk.net