England’s Orchestival: embracing classical, electronica, rock

Posted on: June 5, 2014

“Back in the early 90s, Charles Hazlewood was an Oxford graduate learning to conduct baroque music with a chamber orchestra. On weekends, however, the young maestro would swap his conductor’s baton for a glowstick,” writes Alex Denney in Saturday’s (5/31) Guardian (London). “ ‘Even now,’ says Hazlewood, ‘as soon as I hear the opening bars of (808 State’s UK house classic) ‘Pacific State,’ I’m suddenly standing in a field with thousands of people at four in the morning…. I learned a lot about the power of music to unite people at those things.’ Hazlewood hopes to recreate some of that spirit at Orchestival, the world’s only music festival to boast a world-renowned orchestra (in the form of the Philharmonia) performing a greatest-hits set of tunes from the acid house era. Also in the works for the Somerset event—piloted in 2012 as Orchestra in a Field—are … an orchestral mash-up of video game soundtracks called Score! and an ambitious interpretation of Benjamin Britten’s community opera Noye’s Fludde (Noah’s Flood) starring 600 local schoolchildren as the animals.… ‘If I can get people in, they will have a mind-bending, heart-warming experience. I don’t think anyone forgets that first time they heard an orchestra in the flesh, whether that orchestra is playing ‘Ride Of The Valkyries’ or ‘Pacific State.’ ” 

Posted June 5, 2014