One of Britten's most enduring pieces is The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, founded on a theme by Henry Purcell, and originally written as a broadcast educational work, with narration. Nowadays it's most often performed without narration. If words are used it is rarely the original dry-as-a-bone text.
As part of my Guest Directorship of the Cheltenham Music Festival this year, I've been invited to rethink the Young Person's Guide for a concert with Chetham's Symphony Orchestra, who will be coming from the celebrated Chetham's Music School in Manchester.
As with my other family concerts, this will be illustrated in some way... I'm still developing a script that will fit the rapid twists and turns of this dazzlingly inventive music, and still give me time to draw or paint!
Meanwhile, a poster, with parts for colouring in, is being produced to advertise all the family events in Cheltenham this summer: Noye's Fludde, Stravinsky's piano version of his Firebird (with a wonderful young Russian pianist called Nikolai Ponomarev), and other treats too. Here are a couple of suggestions for the poster. I'm waiting to hear what the team in Cheltenham think!
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