Mixing up the classical concert in England

Posted on: June 29, 2017

“Taking a classical music non-believer—or at least an inexperienced skeptic—to a traditional classical concert can be hit and miss,” writes Meurig Bowen in Wednesday’s (6/28) Guardian (U.K.). “As someone who has had the privilege of creating concerts and festival programmes for over 20 years, I’m forever trying to work out what it is that people don’t get about classical. … Instead of expecting the person to adapt, perhaps it’s time for the classical music industry to make some adaptations…. And so, on 11 July in Tewkesbury Abbey, an event I’ve called Classical Mixtape will attempt to face head-on all those perceived barriers … It won’t be too expensive—you can choose the price you pay, from £1. It won’t be too long—no piece will last longer than five or six minutes, so if it isn’t your cup of tea, don’t worry, it will soon be over. … Live-tweeting the event will be encouraged. … If something like Classical Mixtape gives [newcomers] confidence and curiosity to take that musical discovery further, then it will have done the second part of its job. And the first part? Simply to give people an entertaining, memorable experience—one that invigorates, consoles or touches to the core.”

Posted June 29, 2017

In photo: British experiments in concert formats and locations include this 2016 BBC Proms Concert, when the Multi-Story Orchestra performed in a former parking structure in London’s Peckham Rye neighborhood. Photograph: Ambra Vernuccio