Royal Scottish National Orchestra: orchestra+
Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Thu 19 Jun
The names Elvis Costello and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra aren’t likely contenders for appearing in the same sentence. Neither are the RSNO and Video Games Live. More regular bedfellows might be the RSNO and Prokofiev, but it would normally be the Sergei of great classical scores that takes pride of place in the symphony orchestra’s programming. It is, however, his grandson, Gabriel Prokofiev who joins the RSNO to fuse hip hop and classical with a unique one-off performance of his Concerto for Turntables and Orchestra. For the second of their series of three orchestra+ performances at Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall, the RSNO will be joined by singer-songwriter Elvis Costello, while the final concert brings full screen, lights, lasers and all the rest of the paraphernalia associated with video games as their orchestral accompaniments are brought to life.
Behind these new developments is the RSNO Chief Executive, Simon Woods, who says: ‘I’m really keen on the idea of an orchestra which plays for the widest possible cross-section of the population. We’ve been struggling with the Summer Proms format for a few years and wanted to do something different to show that an orchestra is not just about being formal and serious, but can be radical and way out.’
Concerto for Turntables and Orchestra has been specially created for the RSNO by Gabriel Prokofiev, who has successfully managed a synergy of classical music aesthetics with contemporary dancefloor electronica, and will certainly push the boundaries of orchestral music. ‘He is a marvellous guy,’ says Woods, ‘and has that great musical heritage, but is very eclectic. He’s connecting us with club culture for the first time.’ Interacting with DJ Beni G, and using techniques of hip hop DJing the full orchestra will provide samples for him to mix and scratch live on stage.
Elvis Costello with the RSNO is at Royal Concert Hall Glasgow, Sat 21 Jun. Video Games Live is also at Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Thu 26 Jun.