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Cowan's Classics with Rob Cowan 7pm - 9pm
Dancefloor Bach Workshop - Peter Gregson + choreographer Jane Gibson
Join cellist Peter Gregson and Jane Gibson who'll be teaching you to move in ways you never thought possible to the surprisingly modern sounds of Bach's famous cello sonatas. Workshop participants will then perform for the public in Dancefloor Bach (see below) at 6pm the same evening.
Tue 30 Jul
£12 (includes entry fee to perform in Dancefloor Bach at 6pm the same evening - see below)
Dancefloor Bach (concert)
Cellist, composer and rule-breaker Peter Gregson has premiered work by composers including Gabriel Prokofiev, Max Richter, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Steve Reich, Howard Goodall and many more; often collaborating with some of the world's leading technologists, including Microsoft Labs, UnitedVisualArtists, Reactify and the MIT Media Lab. Here, Gregson reshapes Bach squarely for today's dancefloor, performing alongside 30 members of the public (see workshop above).
Tue 30 Jul
How is your Bristol Proms concert different to any normal concert?
This will be different to a normal classical concert because dancing won't be relegated to the aisles - it's right there on stage! In collaboration with the fabulous Jane Gibson, we're going to take the first and third of Bach's timeless cello suites and take them off the concert stage, and back to the dance floor - the suites are made up of dances; gigues, sarabandes, minuets, allemandes and more. Working with Jane has been an incredible experience - we all too easily play this music in an indulgent, concert style, and forget the dance that inspired the music in the first place!
Tickets for these concerts are available for as little as £5 to make them as accessible as possible - is elitism a problem for classical music?
I don't think elitism is a problem - just because something's expensive, doesn't make it elitist. I was offered tickets to Kanye West's show at the O2 and they were £75 for the back of the hall. He doesn't get called out for being elitist! What do tickets to a football match cost? That's not seen as elitist. Aligning price with perceived value is tricky, but I think we need to just get on with creating and sharing amazing music with people who love to listen.
Will you be sticking around for any other concerts during the week? Who are you looking forward to seeing?
I'm hoping to get to the Schubert Quintet, and also Max's Four Seasons, but it's a fabulous programme all round - really spoilt for choice!
Is this the way forward for 'classical' concerts? Does the classical music world need to change the way it presents itself?
I love Tom's energy and passion for this festival. I think the classical world needs to remember that being acceptable to everyone means being remarkable to no-one and we mustn't be afraid of sticking our necks out and doing something. If the classical world needs to change anything, it's that we can't accurately measure quality in quantities, in the same way that height isn't measured in speed - there are too many variables to simply align popularity with quality.
What's been the strangest concert you've ever performed?
The strangest concert I've ever performed was as part of a quirky contemporary festival in Holland - it was in a saw room under the stage of a large concert hall in Groningen. I was playing a suite by the fabulous Icelandic composer Daniel Bjarnason, and it was on a tour with The National, Efterklang, Owen Pallet and others... Definitely the cutting edge of contemporary music, that one ;-)