Eric Whitacre's rock 'n' roll Christmas music

5 December 2012, 17:35

Channelling the power of rock music and the beauty of Christmas carols, Eric Whitacre shared his visions for 2013 with Jamie Crick.

There are only a handful of classical composers who can boast of attending a U2 concert in the 1980s, and fewer still who use that experience to inspire their compositions. But rockstar-turned-composer Eric Whitacre shared the unlikely inspirations behind his gorgeous music.

"I have this need to have a communal experience for everybody in the room," he said. "I began as a rocker in high school, but I remember going to these amazing arena concerts - U2 in 1987 - and having that kind of experience. 60,000 all singing at the same time, and I would love to find that kind of spirit in the classical world."

Anyone expecting rock-inspired music will be somewhat surprised by Eric's upcoming Christmas concert in London, where he's arranged a new version of Silent Night. He told Jamie Crick about the pressures of re-composing such a well-loved Christmas piece.