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Aurora Orchestra with Nicola Benedetti...

‘Dreaming, hearing loss and saying goodbye.’ So reads the evocative subtitle for Richard Ayres’ new work, No.52 (Three Pieces about Ludwig van Beethoven), premièred by the Aurora Orchestra behind closed doors at last year’s BBC Proms.

 

Now, Aurora return to The Apex, Bury St Edmunds, to give live audiences their first opportunity to experience this radiant, intensely personal work. Conductor Nicholas Collon told The Guardian; “Digital opportunities are interesting, but I believe wholeheartedly that live performance is the reason we all fell in love with music and is ultimately irreplaceable... we will find a way through this crisis, I’m sure”

 

“The power of this extraordinary thing called music, which has ensnared performers and audience members alike for centuries with its brilliance and beauty, will shine as strongly as ever.”

 

Described by The Times as ‘unbearably poignant, yet also indefatigably stoic’, No. 52 (Three Pieces about Ludwig van Beethoven) is inspired by Ayres’ own personal experience of deafness. Having suffered from hearing loss for the last 20 years, Ayres’ work is an attempt to convey how the soundscapes he imagines in music have been gradually lost to him, as clarity gradually gives way to confusion, “in a vivid evocation of an aural journey into a world of blurred images and incoherence.” (The Guardian).

 

Beethoven’s own voice is heard in his monumental Violin Concerto in D, one of the most famous and loved masterpieces of the violin repertoire, performed here with soloist Nicola Benedetti. Famed Scottish-Italian violinist, Nicola Benedetti won the BBC Young Musician of the Year award at the tender age of 16 and has since won a GRAMMY Award for Best Classical Instrumental Solo in 2020, and Best Female Artist at the 2012 and 2013 Classical BRIT Awards. Having received an MBE in 2013, in recognition of her international music career and work with musical charities, Nicola was appointed a CBE in the 2019 New Year Honours list.

 

Nicholas Collon conducts the concert, which sees Aurora’s famed memorised performance approach – with players performing without sheet music or music stands – applied to a concerto for the first time.

 

“Playing the Beethoven from memory, Aurora created an organic sense of community, dynamism and inspiration.” (New York Times).

 

Aurora Orchestra will play on Saturday 3 July at 7.30pm. Contact The Apex Box Office on 01284 758000 or visit www.theapex.co.uk for more information or to book.

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