St Albans Symphony Orchestra is planning a romantic start to 2013 by packing their traditional New Year Concert with favourite classics. And with Gershwin’s jazz-influenced An American in Paris included in the programme, it should also be something of a hoot.

Keen to re-create the street sounds of Paris in his music, Gershwin included parts for taxi horns in his 1928 score and personally imported them from France to New York for the first performance.

Under the baton of principal conductor Bjorn Bantock, the orchestra will also be performing Tchaikovsky’s dramatic account of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers in his Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture. The poignant Prelude to the final act of Verdi's tragic opera La Traviata will feature, alongside the much-loved Intermezzo from Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and the popular Invitation to the Dance by Weber.

Borodin's tone poem In the Steppes of Central Asia, depicting an eastern caravan crossing Russia contributes an exotic note to the evening, while Shostakovich’s entertaining Jazz Suite No 2 will provide fun and frivolity without – despite its name – being noticeably ‘jazzy’.

  • St Albans Cathedral, Sumpter Yard, St Albans on Tuesday, January 1 at 7pm. Details: 01727 857422 or 01727 890256,