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Classical meets electronica as BBC Concert Orchestra present works by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood and Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory in first of three concerts


Classical music meets electronica on Wednesday 6 October as the BBC Concert Orchestra present the first of three concerts exploring the evolution of electric instruments and futuristic influences on modern music.

The orchestra present a distinctive programme, featuring music by Will Gregory from Goldfrapp, Jonny Greenwood from Radiohead, and Kraftwerk (arr. by Anne Dudley), among others, in a concert presented by Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker.

Early electronic instruments feature heavily in this otherwordly programme – theremins, Moogs and ondes martenots were all once symbols of music catching up with the machine age, yet still today appear somehow futuristic.

The programme includes the surreal soundtracks from Alfred Hitchcock’s film Spellbound, composed by Miklós Rózsa, as well as Bernard Herrmann’s score for the 1951 sci-fi epic The Day The Earth Stood Still, featuring theremins and a rewired keyboard.

The BBC Concert Orchestra’s Composer-in-Association, Jonny Greenwood, presents his recent work, smear, revealing the tactile way in which he is able to infuse his rock influences with ondes martenot glissandos and tremolos. His relationship with the orchestra has seen them perform many of his recent compositions, including the soundtracks for the 2011 film release, Tran Anh Hung’s Norwegian Wood, and the Ivor Novello Award-winning There Will Be Blood.

Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory provides a sneak preview of his new opera, based upon a reimagining of the Moog synthesiser, in his composition Journeys Into The Sky.

Will’s full opera will be performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra in the second part of the Electronica series, on 31 March and 1 April.

The programme also includes French composer André Jolivet’s Suiet Delphique – a sonic masterpiece featuring woodwind, percussion and the ondes martenot and an electro remodelling of Kraftwerk’s The Model, by critically acclaimed composer Anne Dudley.


The series continues with two further concerts in 2011:

Thursday 31 March & Friday 1 April – The BBC Concert Orchestra premiere Will Gregory’s first opera.

Thursday 9 June – The BBC Concert Orchestra put down their finely crafted classical instruments in exchange for their electronic counter-parts.

BBC Concert Orchestra

The BBC Concert Orchestra is one of the country’s most versatile ensembles. For more than half a century it’s been the house orchestra for BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night Is Music Night, and gives regular broadcasts on BBC Radio 3. Their work can be heard on soundtracks to many BBC TV programmes including The Blue Planet and Walking With Dinosaurs.

The orchestra is a regular at the BBC Proms, Electric Proms and Proms in the Park, and has worked with artists Dame Shirley Bassey, Maxim Vengerov, Kavita Krishnamurti, Pet Shop Boys, Jonny Greenwood, Nigel Kennedy, Bryn Terfel, and Burt Bacharach.

For more information about the BBC Concert Orchestra:

Notes to Editors

Electronica 1 – Wednesday 6 October, 7:30pm
Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre

The performance is recorded for broadcast on Radio 3’s Performance On 3 on Friday 19 November at 7pm


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