Bristol Proms 2015 announces most ambitious and boundary-breaking programme to date

WNS CONFIRMED AS OFFICIAL SPONSOR, CLASSIC FM RETURNS AS PRIMARY MEDIA PARTNER

 
Bristol Proms, known for presenting world-class classical artists in specially-created, informal events which embrace the intimacy and theatrical possibilities of Bristol Old Vic's Theatre, today reveals its full programme. With immersive multi-sensory concert experiences and the ingenious use of technology dominating the line-up, this year's festival offers culturally curious audiences the chance to experience a diverse range of classical music in new ways, blending input from across the arts spectrum, from award winning photography, to tactile beating heart sensors to inspirational poetry.
 
Presented by Universal Music's U-Live, WNS, Classic FM, Dunard Fund and Bristol Old Vic, Bristol Proms is now firmly established in the cultural calendar of Bristol and the UK. Keeping alive the spirited and vivid traditions of the 18th- and 19th-century Proms held at Bristol Old Vic, Bristol Proms brings exciting and pioneering performances to life with ticket prices starting at just £5.
 
Now in its third year, the 2015 festival includes some of classical music's biggest names including Alison Balsom, Daniel Hope, Miloš Karadaglić, Pumeza Matshikiza and Mari and Håkon Samuelsen alongside creative artists like folk musician Jon Boden and experimental musical duo Pilot for what is set to be six days of spellbinding concerts. This year's Proms will feature newly-commissioned music for the first time including, the Fanfare for Bristol and the stirring new compositions inspired by Tallis' Spem in Alium.
 
The confirmed programme for 2015 includes: Pumeza Matshikiza reciting her own poetry and reflecting on her life, passions and music in a rare collaboration with renowned South African photographer Jürgen Schadeberg, and the Sacconi Quartet creating a never before seen immersive audio and visual experience with Heartfelt, where audience members will feel closer to the performers than ever before, through handheld devices mirroring the beat of the musicians' hearts.
 
Jon Boden from top UK folk band Bellowhead will explore new material in Solo Fiddle, whilst Pilot premiere their debut album. Stunning sibling duo Mari and Håkon Samuelsen make their Bristol Proms debut alongside Sinfonia Cymru in a programme that weaves Bach's melodic structures with the intricate patterns of modern minimalists.
 
The week-long festival also features engaging performances from charismatic classical guitarist Miloš Karadaglić as he journeys from Bach to The Beatles, a conversation with great British composer John Rutter in his 70th birthday year, 20 year-old Canadian piano star Jan Lisiecki on his return to the UK and Bristol Proms and a post-pub crawl performance by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

From the first week of July, a ground-breaking digital installation will be placed in Bristol Old Vic's foyer that will invite members of the public to interact, imitate and respond to a silhouette of a dancer as she moves to a recording of a Bach cello suite. Each interaction will be filmed, and then used as inspiration in a projected accompaniment to cellist Peter Gregson and choreographer and dancer Jane Gibson's live performance.
 
Rounding off the week is a multitude of visionary and leading composers as they join forces with The Erebus Ensemble for a spectacular concert featuring Tallis' seminal Spem in Alium (‘Hope in any other').
 
Tom Morris, Artistic Director of Bristol Old Vic said: "A theme emerges in Bristol Proms 2015 ­â€ it is about passion in music. How can the most abstract art form be the most emotional? How can the patterns of vibration in the air around us literally cause us to weep? The programme on each day of this year's Bristol Proms reflects on this theme, from the passionate battle of the Romantics explored by Daniel Hope to the remarkable journey from the purity of Bach to the wild emotionalism of Rachmaninov plotted by Jan Lisiecki.  But how is it that both Bach and Rachmaninov rock us to a state of sublime feeling - and all achieved through the magical and physical vibrations we call music?"
 
The official sponsor of Bristol Proms 2015 has now been confirmed as WNS Global Services, a global leader in business process management that partners with hundreds of major companies and organisations all around the world. WNS is lending its support to Bristol Proms to ensure this unique music festival is the best yet in its three year history and the organisers and promoters of Bristol Proms 2015 are enormously grateful for their generous support.
 
Keshav R. Murugesh, Group CEO, WNS, and Chairman, Nasscom BPM Council, India said: "We are delighted to be the official sponsor of Bristol Proms 2015. Being a global leader in business process management, WNS promises outperformance in clients' businesses when it inks a partnership, because of the exceptional talent that backs the promise! We see such exceptional talent on the Bristol Proms platform too, and we are sure that the talent will outperform and wow the audience."
 
Classic FM is once again the primary media partner for Bristol Proms in 2015. The UK's favourite classical music station will be based in Bristol all week with presenters Tim Lihoreau, John Suchet, Anne-Marie Minhall and John Brunning broadcasting live from Bristol Old Vic. Video interviews with all headline performers and extensive online coverage of the festival will also be posted on ClassicFM.com.

Latest confirmed performances for Bristol Proms 2015 week include:
 
Monday 27th July

  • Violinist and Bristol Proms favourite Daniel Hope, together with his hand-picked ensemble in the stunning Bristol Old Vic Theatre will tell the tale of the fierce rivalry between Tchaikovsky and Brahms.
  • Jon Boden, front-man of contemporary folk legends Bellowhead explores traditional English folk tunes on solo fiddle for the very first time in the unique environment of Bristol Old Vic's Paintshop.

Tuesday 28th July

  • Operatic soprano Pumeza Matshikiza will incorporate the photography of award winning South African photographer Jürgen Schadeberg into her performance in the Theatre, illustrating her inspiring journey as she reflects on her life, her passions and her music with long-time collaborator and musical provocateur, Charles Hazlewood.
     
  • Well-versed composer and musician Benji Bower has collaborated with the velvety vocals of Kathleen Fitzpatrick Milton to form the string and synth-heavy Pilot, who will premiere their debut album in the Paintshop.

Wednesday 29th July

  • The UK's top trumpeter Alison Balsom will perform the music of Franceschini, Bach, Handel, Britten and Stravinsky played on up to twelve instruments, with harpsichord and cello continuo.
  • Highly-acclaimed Norwegian siblings Mari and Håkon Samuelsen bring their spell-binding artistry on violin and cello respectively to the Theatre, performing with the innovative Welsh chamber orchestra Sinfonia Cymru for an explorative musical voyage.

Thursday 30th July

  • Celebrated UK string quartet the Sacconi Quartet will present Heartfelt in the intimate surroundings of the Bristol Old Vic Studio, combining live musical performance with robotics and responsive lighting in a unique collaboration with robotics designers Rusty Squid and interactive lighting designer Ziggy Jacobs-Wyburn. This will create an immersive environment where the audience connect with a performer's heartbeat through light and haptic technology.

Friday 31st July

  • The Bach Dance Showcase will see a live performance from cellist Peter Gregson and dancer Jane Gibson accompanied by a projection of members of the public's interactions with a ground-breaking digital installation, recorded in the Bristol Old Vic's foyer throughout July.

Saturday 1st August

  • As part of the ‘Songs of Hope' Bristol Proms 2015 closing concert spectacular, including a performance of Tallis' Spem in Alium (‘Hope in any other'), an incredible diverse line up of visionary composers will perform original compositions conceived on the subject of hope, unleashed on all sides by a pure acoustic choir of 40 in the form of The Erebus Ensemble.

 
As part of this summer's Bristol Proms outreach programme, five Bristol primary schools with low music provision had their assemblies ambushed by musicians from Sinfonia Cymru. After seeing live classical music up-close for the first time ever, students were invited to write letters to Bristol Proms, asking to send the gift of music to someone important in their life. Bristol Proms, with help from Sinfonia Cymru musicians will deliver as many "gifts of music" as possible that will be filmed by Made in Bristol TV.
 
To celebrate the programme, we are delighted to present a very special documentary screening of The Gift of Music Showcase which will track the journey of the gift of music as it is sent from students to their families and friends across Bristol.
 
Bristol Proms 2015 also includes a unique competition that will see Bristol become the first city in the UK to have its own official fanfare. Launched in March by Alison Balsom at London's Paddington Station, final submissions for the Bristol Proms 2015 Fanfare Competition must be received by June 21, 2015. Launched by Universal Music's U-Live and Bristol Old Vic in 2013, Bristol Proms is a landmark in the classical music calendar, bringing world-class musicians to Bristol Old Vic.
 
The full list of confirmed performances for Bristol Proms 2015 is below and more details of performances and ticket availability can be found at: www.bristolproms.com/proms2015.

 



BRISTOL PROMS 2015

 
Monday 27 July
 
JONATHAN JAMES TALK 1: BEETHOVEN UNWRAPPED
Bristol Proms Associate Jonathan James returns to deliver six talks in the Bristol Old Vic Studio, exploring the beauty and secrets of this year's programme and providing fascinating insights for newcomers and the initiated alike.
 
"Jonathan James has the unique gift to bring a piece of music to life through speaking which is no mean feat. He is informed, animated, illuminating, charming and never patronising. He has the ability to inspire the casual listener as well as to engage and surprise those who think they know the music well." - Costa Pilavachi
Bristol Old Vic Studio: 5.45pm
 
SACCONI QUARTET: BEETHOVEN'S OPUS 131 IN THE DARK
Continuing our tradition of opening Bristol Proms week with a concert performed in darkness, Sacconi Quartet perform Beethoven's dramatic String Quartet No. 14 in C-sharp minor, Opus 131 from memory in the round, the dark and the half-light.
Bristol Old Vic Studio: 6.45pm
 
DANIEL HOPE: TCHAIKOVSKY VS BRAHMS
Bristol Proms favourite Daniel Hope presents the story of the fierce rivalry between iconic 19th-century composers, Tchaikovsky and Brahms. The evening is inspired by and centred around Tchaikovsky's Souvenir de Florence and Brahms' String Quintet No. 2 in G major, Opus 111.
Bristol Old Vic Theatre: 7.30pm
 
JON BODEN: SOLO FIDDLE
In a unique event, exclusive to Bristol Proms, the iconic front-man of Bellowhead ("a joyous bunch of foot-stomping, rocking musicians with an unswerving devotion to English traditional music" - taplas.co.uk) will explore some new material in public for the very first time.
 
Join Jon in the atmospheric Bristol Proms Paintshop to experience traditional music as you've never heard it before.
Bristol Old Vic Paintshop: 9.45pm
 
Tuesday 28 July
 
JONATHAN JAMES TALK 2: A HISTORY OF CLASSICAL MUSIC IN 60MINS
Fascinating insights for newcomers and the initiated.
Bristol Old Vic Studio: 6pm
 
PUMEZA: MY LIFE IN SONG
Pumeza Matshikiza reflects on her life, her passions and her music with long-time collaborator and musical provocateur Charles Hazlewood. Repertoire will include songs from the South African Mysteries, Miriam Mikeba, Bizet, Faure & Puccini.
Bristol Old Vic Theatre: 7.30pm

PILOT ALBUM LAUNCH
At the 2012 Bristol Old Vic Gala, senior music publishers were astonished by the voice of a singer in Bristol Old Vic's Young Company. Here she joins Bristolian composer and musician Benji Bower (Treasure Island, Peter Pan, Jane Eyre) to launch the first album from their band, Pilot. Luscious classical strings meet dark synths with a tinkling of Steve Reich pianos and velvety vocals.
Bristol Old Vic Paintshop: 9.45pm
 
Wednesday 29 July
 
JONATHAN JAMES TALK 3: PATTERNS IN MUSIC
Fascinating insights for newcomers and the initiated.
Bristol Old Vic Studio: 6pm

PURE MINIMALIST BAROQUE: MARI AND HÅKON SAMUELSEN WITH SINFONIA CYMRU
New embraces old as the pure melodic structure of Bach is interwoven with the intricate patterns of Philip Glass and Giovanni Sollima. Accompanied by Sinfonia Cymru (UnButtoned, Bristol Proms 2014), the Norwegian Samuelsen siblings undertake a musical sparring match on violin and cello, with a programme including Barriere's Sonata for Violin and Cello, Fratres by Arvo Pärt and Vivaldi's Concerto for Violin and Cello in B-flat major.
Bristol Old Vic Theatre: 7.30pm
 
LATE NIGHT TRUMPET WITH ALISON BALSOM
The music of Franceschini, Bach, Handel, Britten and Stravinsky played on up to twelve instruments with harpsichord and cello continuo.
Bristol Old Vic Theatre: 9.45pm
 
Thursday 30 July
 
JONATHAN JAMES TALK 4: STRINGS, QUILLS AND HAMMERS: MASTERS OF THE KEYBOARD
Fascinating insights for newcomers and the initiated.
Bristol Old Vic Paintshop: 5pm
 
HEARTFELT: A SACCONI QUARTET DIGITAL PERFORMANCE
Sound, light and touch combine in a fully immersive, interactive performance of Beethoven's String Quartet in A minor, Op. 132.

Heartfelt sees the Sacconi Quartet push the boundaries of chamber music performance in a unique collaboration with robotics designers Rusty Squid and interactive lighting designer Ziggy Jacobs-Wyburn.

Combining live musical performance with robotics and responsive lighting, and using technology developed during Hack the Quartet in Bristol Proms 2013, Heartfelt is a radical re-interpretation of this iconic Beethoven quartet. Enter a space where the boundaries between performer and audience are dissolved; connect with a performer's heartbeat through light and haptic technology.
Bristol Old Vic Studio: 6pm
 
JAN LISIECKI: FROM PURITY TO PASSION
After being filmed from every angle in Bristol Proms 2013, phenomenal Canadian/Polish pianist Jan Lisiecki returns to Bristol Old Vic's intimate auditorium, this time exploring four iconic pieces from the piano repertoire: Bach's Partita No. 2 in C Minor BWV 826, Mozart's Sonata in A major K331, Chopin's Nocturnes Opus 48 and Rachmaninov's Elegie in E-flat minor Opus 3, No. 1. 
 
Prepare to feel your heart explode as Jan plots an emotional journey from the crystalline abstraction of Bach to the dark passion of Rachmaninov. With specially created visuals by Rod Maclachlan (Hauschka, Bristol Proms 2013) and As Described.
 
"The main event [of Bristol Proms 2013] was, in any case, the pianist Jan Lisiecki, pristine in his pedal-work, unflappable in the frenzied bravura of Chopin's Opus 10 and 25 Etudes..." - The Independent
Bristol Old Vic Theatre: 7.30pm
 
THE NIGHT SHIFT
Bristol Old Vic's Paintshop will tonight be transformed into a cabaret club to welcome The Night Shift, London's unique event that brings classical music into a relaxed, contemporary setting. The Paintshop bar will be open throughout the performance, as the musicians of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment share the music of one of England's finest composers (and enthusiastic ale-drinker) Henry Purcell.
 
Watch out for the chance to catch them earlier as they pub crawl towards the Paintshop.
Bristol Old Vic Paintshop: 9.45pm
 
Friday 31 July
 
JONATHAN JAMES TALK 5: THE STORY OF THE GUITAR, FROM MANDOLIN TO STRATOCASTER
Fascinating insights for newcomers and the initiated.
Bristol Old Vic Studio: 6pm
 
MILOŠ KARADAGLIĆ: FROM BACH TO THE BEATLES
An intimate evening with Miloš Karadaglić, "classical guitar phenomenon" (The Sunday Times, 2014). Programme to include J. S. Bach's ‘Chaconne' from Partita No. 2 in D minor BWV 1004, Jobim's The Girl from Ipanema, Velazquez's Besame Mucho, Ben Jor's Mas Que Nada and newly commissioned arrangements of songs by The Beatles.
Bristol Old Vic Theatre: 7.30pm
 
BACH DANCE SHOWCASE
From the first week of July, a ground-breaking digital installation will be placed on Cooper's Gallery in our foyer that will invite members of the public to interact, imitate and respond to a silhouette of a dancer as she moves to a recording of a Bach cello suite.
 
Each interaction will be filmed, and then used as inspiration in a projected accompaniment at the Bach Dance Showcase: a live performance by cellist Peter Gregson and choreographer and dancerJane Gibson. Don't miss this unique opportunity to engage with Bach's iconic classical music in a new way and be part of cutting-edge digital experimentation within live classical music performance.
 
Bach Dance is the first iteration of the brand new "Dance With Me" technology package designed for music venues. It is inspired by the Bach Dance event created for the first Bristol Proms in 2013 and is being developed by technologist Scott Fletcher, with BBC ‘Musician of the Year' Peter Gregson and renowned historical choreographer Jane Gibson.
 
Supported by Arts Council England.
Bristol Old Vic Theatre: 9.45pm
 
Saturday 1 August
 
JOHN RUTTER IN CONVERSATION WITH JOHN SUCHET
In the year of his seventieth birthday, the great British composer and conductor John Rutter will select some of the pieces of music which have most inspired him, and some of his own works which now seem to him the cornerstones and turning points of an extraordinary career in composition.
 
Interviewed and hosted by the renowned musical wit and raconteur John Suchet, and presented in association with Classic FM.
Bristol Old Vic Theatre: 2pm
 
JONATHAN JAMES TALK 6: RICHES OF THE RENAISSANCE
Fascinating insights for newcomers and the initiated.
Bristol Old Vic Studio: 6pm
 
THE GIFT OF MUSIC SHOWCASE
In collaboration with Sinfonia Cymru
As part of this summer's Bristol Proms outreach programme, five Bristol primary schools with low music provision had their assemblies ambushed by musicians from Sinfonia Cymru. After seeing live classical music up-close for the first time ever, students were invited to write letters to Bristol Proms, asking to send the gift of music to someone important in their life. Bristol Proms, with help from Sinfonia Cymru musicians will deliver as many "gifts of music" as possible that will be filmed by Made in Bristol TV.
 
To celebrate the programme, we are delighted to present a very special documentary screening of The Gift of Music Showcase which will track the journey of the gift of music as it is sent from students to their families and friends across Bristol.
 
All participating children and their families will be invited to watch the premiere screening, and enjoy a lively performance from Sinfonia Cymru musicians.
 
Supported by Paragon Music Trust (paragonmusictrust.co.uk) and Universal Music
Bristol Old Vic Theatre: 4pm
 
SONGS OF HOPE: IN 40 VOICES
Thomas Tallis' immortal Spem in Alium is the centre-piece and inspiration of this uniquely-staged concert. Under the direction of Tom Williams, The Erebus Ensemble (Handel's Messiah, 2013, Dido & Aeneas, 2014) will embrace the acoustics of Bristol Old Vic's auditorium to present an unforgettable, surround-sound performance.
 
The evening will also include premiere performances of original pieces by some of today's most visionary composers. These compositions will be specially-written, conceived on the subject of hope and unleashed on all sides by a pure acoustic choir of 40.
Bristol Old Vic Theatre: 7.30pm