Innovation and Accessibility at Bristol Proms (28th July – 2nd August). A Preview

01/07/2014

 Innovation and Accessibility at Bristol Proms (28th July – 2nd August). A Preview

Launched last year, the Bristol Proms strike a new path towards the future of classical concerts that combine musical excellence and innovation in performance in an open and accessible way that will appeal to all music lovers.   The Proms will be held in the oldest working theatre in the country, Bristol Old Vic’s Georgian Theatre, which has been a concert hall and playhouse since its opening in 1766, with a hugely popular series of promenade concerts in the 1840s featuring Paganini amongst others.

Following last year’s successful debut, Bristol Proms once again features world class musicians appearing in original performances that have been commissioned and produced especially for the event including:

  •  Bryn Terfel, one of the world’s greatest bass-baritones, talking about his life and passion for music illustrated by performances of a selection of the songs that have landmarked his extraordinary career.
  •  Returning from a stunning performance at last year’s Bristol Proms, Daniel Hope weaves a spoken and musical journey through the Baroque period, leading up to 1766, the year the unique Bristol Old Vic Theatre was built.
  •  International virtuoso and internet pioneer, pianist Valentina Lisitsa will perform songs by Schubert as arranged by Liszt together with the music of Michael Nyman.
  •  Will Gregory, from the award winning band Goldfrapp, and his Moog Ensemble will perform sublime and extraordinary music using the Moog Synthesiser, one of the iconic pieces of late 20th century music technology.

The impressive and diverse Bristol Proms 2014 line-up also includes the Bristol-based chamber choir the Erebus Ensemble, directed by Tom Williams, and the Sacconi Quartet; pianist Ji Liu; violinist Lisa Batiashvili; soprano Pumeza Matshikiza; Charles Hazlewood and his improvisational All Star Collective; chamber orchestras The English Concert (conducted by Robert Howarth) and film, stage and TV composer Benji Bower appearing withsinger Kathleen Fitzpatrick Milton.

 

In a series of talks Jonathan James will provide insights into the music being performed, and there is a different theme for each night of the series: Bach Night; Music in the Shadow of War; Pure Music, Pure Technology; Take Me To Your Chamber, 1700-2050; Musical Encounters and Theatre of Music.

Danceroom Spectroscopy’s collaborators will feature Charles Hazlewood’s All Stars, bringing their interpretative and improvisational skills to Terry Riley’s 40-minute A Rainbow in Curved Air, originally released as an album in the late 1960s. Technology from 250 years ago will be placed at the fore in the final concert of the 2014 Bristol Proms, which brings a semi-staging of Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas, starring South African soprano Pumeza Matshikiza as the North African Queen of Carthage.

Reaching far beyond the historic confines of Bristol Old Vic’s Theatre Royal, Bristol Proms 2013 reached an estimated 8 million people during its week long run.  They give audiences the opportunity to experience classical music in inspiring and imaginative new ways.  The programme includes late-night and studio gigs and allows audiences to see and feel first-hand how the live classical experience will have evolved by 2064.

Tom Morris, Artistic Director of the Bristol Old Vic, feels that initiatives of this kind “give us a sense of what a classical concert might look and feel like in 50 years’ time,” though he insists that “our most resounding discovery at the 2013 Bristol Proms was that the most old-fashioned technology remains the most potent of all:  the atmosphere, the magic that can occur if an audience is free to respond instinctively.”

 

 

For more details access www.bristololdvic.org.uk/bristolproms2014

 

 

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