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Tuesday 3rd October 2006
Orchestra Extravaganza

Listen Up! for an orchestra extravaganza
Listen Up! is a partnership between the Association of British Orchestras, BBC Radio 3, Creative Partnerships and Making Music, which supports and champions the voluntary music sector.  Orchestras of all shapes and sizes, amateur to professional, are in the mix. If you can persuade them, they’ll even perform in your living room.

Across five weeks an estimated 450 Listen Up! events will be taking place in around 275 venues – from concert halls to schools and shopping malls.  The aim is to engage, educate and inspire young people through contemporary and classical music.  All the orchestras involved will be encouraged to experiment with ways of presenting concerts that will draw in new audiences.

Listen Up! 2006 will see musicians from 125 British orchestras on the road to stage more than 450 events in nearly 300 venues, including shopping malls, schools, hospitals, and living rooms across the land ­ as well as in concert halls and on radio.

British composers are at the heart of BBC Radio 3 broadcasts during the festival.  Performances will include five world premieres by Sally Beamish, Jonathan Dove, Deirdre Gribbin, Michael Omer and Joby Talbot. New works devised by school children working with British orchestras and composers will also be broadcast, as well as performances by amateur orchestras.

Off air, an initiative called ‘Open Rehearsal’ gives the public the chance to nominate someone to have a concert played live in their home. Musicians from thirty orchestras will make more than a hundred visits to friends neighbours or relatives unable to attend a concert.  Julian Lloyd Webber will be one of those who tunes up his cello and performs in someone’s front room.

Full details of Listen Up! festival events and broadcasts on BBC Radio 3: www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/listenup

Association of British Orchestras: www.abo.org.uk

Creative Partnerships: www.creative-partnerships.com

Making Music: www.makingmusic.org.uk

Michael Omer, best known for his TV and film compositions, is working with 40 pupils from Redbridge Community School in Southampton and musicians from the London Mozart Players, to produce ‘Mozart in Millbrook’ – a piece that includes a rap – which explores how Mozart would feel if he visited the children’s own inner-city housing estate today. BBC Radio 3 visited the Millbrook estate to explore this project as part of a feature which accompanies the world premiere broadcast of Omer’s own new work entitled ‘The Rages of the Ages’. Omer wrote this having been inspired by the collaboration and it will be performed on 10 October at Turner Sims Concert Hall (broadcast BBC Radio 3, 12 October).

Michael embeds the children’s own musical ideas into a grander context. So it’s still their work but it’s transformed into something amazing. The children are thrilled with themselves.” Margaret Archibald, clarinettist, London Mozart Players.

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