“It’s typical of the Aurora Orchestra to have a bright idea, and then carry it through with aplomb… an almost belligerent brilliance.”

Geoff Brown (The Times) on KlezMahler, November 2012

What happens when you combine the UK’s most creative and innovative orchestra with “Britain’s best Klezmer and Balkan music band”? “Electric fizz and pungent colours” was the way The Times described the creative collision of two seemingly disparate musical genres – and that’s what makes Aurora Orchestra stand out from the crowd. The orchestra’s ambition is to combine the very highest quality of musical performance with an exceptional breadth of artistic horizons, a passionate commitment to adventure, and a trailblazing approach to concert music. Want to join us for this journey? Then make sure you book your tickets for Friday 14 March as Aurora launches its new residency at St George’s Bristol to experience this musical adventure for yourself.

Our starting point is Gustav Mahler’s monumental First Symphony, a piece usually performed by about 100 musicians, but on 14 March presented by small chamber forces in a new arrangement by Aurora’s Arranger-in-Residence, Iain Farrington. The result of this pared back version? Geoff Brown of The Times said “intimacy as a result increased; so did radiance, as each line, each rhythm, glinted and danced.”

Mahler loved folk music and was profoundly influenced by his own Jewish heritage, and into his First Symphony he worked passages of Klezmer music – heard most clearly in the symphony’s third movement. And it was this influence which inspired Aurora to explore Mahler’s fascination further by juxtaposing his music with the traditional sounds of eastern Europe. Mahler sets the tone in the first half before the brilliant Klezmer band, She’Koyokh, team up with Aurora’s musicians in the second half to perform new orchestral arrangements of folk tunes from the eastern European tradition.

Speaking of Aurora’s new residency at St George’s, John Harte (Aurora’s Chief Executive) said “One of the orchestra’s founding principles has been the conviction that orchestral music should be accessible, alive and relevant to the broadest possible audience. From the early stages of its development, the orchestra has been committed to taking its London season to regional venues across the UK as well as finding ways to engage new audiences with its work. We are thrilled to be launching this new residency at St George’s Bristol – which will see the orchestra give a number of performances each year – to be working with the wonderful team at the venue and, of course, to have the opportunity to perform in the beautiful acoustic and building that St George’s has to offer. We are looking forward to sharing our creative offerings with audiences in Bristol and to be starting our residency in style with this colour programme in March.”

Aurora Orchestra: Klezmahler

Friday 14 March, 7.30pm