Tuning the Concert

Gold Arts Award Portfolio

What can a comedian do with an orchestra? July 17, 2010

Filed under: 1C: Reviews — concerttuning @ 8:31 pm
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The comedian, Rainer Hersch conducted and presented the first half of the concert on Sunday 11 July by Philharmonia Britannica.

He used a combination of jokes, re-compositions of well-known classics, and juggling tricks to bring a new life to the concert format. While many of the audience were elderly, they equally warmed to comedian and joined in with enthusiasm.

Who on earth is Rainer Hersch?

Rainer Hersch is a comedian and musician who has performed on every major comedy stage in Britain and abroad.  He has appeared twelve times at the Edinburgh Festival; had numerous comedy-concert series at the South Bank in London; featured in comedy clubs all across Europe and in TV shows around the world.

However, particularly at the beginning of the concert I was so engrossed with the audience participation (in group 3 saying cuc-koo to the accompaniment of the Hornpipe) that I didn’t get a chance to properly listen to the orchestra. The concert encourages a different intensity of listening. The music tended to be short extracts or broken up with dialogue. This is ideal for people new to classical music, but if you didn’t know anything about music, some of the jokes may not make sense, particularly the mickey takes about Mahler’s 1st Symphony.



Amateur orchestras’ audience development puts some professionals to shame

Filed under: 1C: Reviews — concerttuning @ 7:46 pm
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I went to a concert on Sunday 11 July by Philharmonia Britannica, which I heard about through a forwarded email. The concert involved a comedian and as their website explains this is part of a plight to develop audiences. I thought this was very innovative of an amateur orchestra to be thinking that much about their audience. It gives me hope that even smaller scale ensembles with minimal budgets can do things to make concerts accessible to a wide audience.


Different Audiences

PB is starting to explore partnerships with other art forms. Amongst other things we hope that this will appeal to the many music lovers who wouldn’t normally attend a classical concert. We also have plans to work in the field of education and to promote new compositions. Please visit the relevant links below for further details.

Overall, we want to bring the great music of the classical repertoire to as large and diverse an audience as possible.

Exploring New Syntheses

  • We aim to explore the exciting possibilities of combining a classical orchestra with different art forms. Not only could this create fascinating new insights in and of itself, but it may also appeal to those not normally likely to attend a ‘standard’ classical concert.