Classical flashmobs: Eight of the best

Sopranos in the supermarket? Buskers at the bank? Watch as thousands of unsuspecting passers by are delighted by the ultimate musical surprise: the classical flashmob.

1. Symphony of a thousand

Getting 950 amateur musicians and 50 members of the German Symphony Orchestra into a Berlin shopping mall without being noticed couldn't have been easy, But shoppers were surprised and delighted with works by Verdi, Wagner and Bizet, conducted by Kent Nagano.

2. The one with the security guard


These Irish musicians brought a fantastically slick flashmob to a square in Dublin. It's all going smoothly until a spoilsport security guard turns up. Is it all over for the craic? Don't worry, the resolution is magical. The lesson? If you can't stop good music, just join in.

3. Handel... in the food court

These unsuspecting diners at a carbohydrate-loaded Canadian food court didn't know it, but they were in for a treat. As they tuck into the lunch, Handel's triumphant Hallelujah chorus strikes up, singer by singer. With great voices, occasional standing on tables, Christmas knitwear, and very fine use of a Casio keyboard, it's enough to make you feel bathed in the glory of the composer's depiction of heaven. And a little hungry.

 

4. Beethoven... at the bank

Beethoven's Ode to Joy as you've never seen it before. The moral here? If you're in Catalonia and see a lone, smartly dressed double bassist, always drop him 20 cents.

 

5. Zimmer... in the shopping centre

It's a new one, and it comes from the talented players of the Leeds Youth Orchestra, who recently took Hans Zimmer to their Trinity Shopping Centre. A rousing performance of the composer's Pirates of the Caribbean ensued for the unsuspecting shoppers. Great stuff. And check out that drummer. Someone give that guy a medal.

 

6. Ravel... at the station

Choosing a piece which allows a full orchestra to amble in seems popular - and that will be one of the reasons why the Copenhagen Philharmonic opted for Ravel's classic for their moment of spontaneity in their city's central railway station. Listen out for the incredibly jazzy entry of the station PA system chord at 1'54".

 

7. Handel... in a supermarket

Handel's Zadok the Priest surprises shoppers in the produce aisles of Morrison's supermarket. Watch for a guest appearance from a pineapple, and of course the unforgettable expressions of surprise and delight from those there to witness it. Okay okay, we made this one ourselves... but with music this good, we simply had to share it. Watch and enjoy.

 

8. Grieg...on a train

In April 2012, Copenhagen Phil (Sjællands Symfoniorkester) surprised the passengers in the Copenhagen Metro by playing Griegs Peer Gynt. 

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