Opinion: orchestras are responding to challenges with innovation

Posted on: August 14, 2015

In Thursday’s (8/13) Guardian (London), conductor Robert Ziegler writes, “This month, I’ll lead the BBC Concert Orchestra at London’s Royal Festival Hall in the first live presentation of the great Jerry Goldsmith’s score for the 1968 Planet of the Apes…. Everywhere, orchestras are broadening their scope: live relays to cinemas, crashing pop festivals such as Latitude, and performing alongside video artists and circus performers. In a very bold move, Manchester’s Hallé Orchestra invited audiences to come along and pay what they thought the concert was worth on their way out. The symphony orchestra is an august and venerable guardian of the greatest classical music of the past three centuries…. Just think of it as the ultimate tribute band. We recreate Bach’s and Mozart’s definitive sound, even using replicas of 18th and 19th century instruments…. In July I conducted the Royal Philharmonic in the premiere of Pete Townshend’s Classic Quadrophenia at the Royal Albert Hall…. The euphoria the audience felt continued on social media for weeks afterwards. Why do rock stars such as Townshend, the Police’s Stewart Copeland or Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood want to use orchestras? Because it gives them a bigger canvas, more colours and new and compelling ways to reach us with their music.”

Posted August 14, 2015