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On the Notion of Performing in Concert Halls and Car Parks, Bob Riley and the Manchester Camerata Say 'So Be It'

By Ian Holubiak i.holubiak@classicalite.com on Nov 25, 2014 01:28 PM EST

As Joshua Bell has proven to us already, a venue is merely a concept. In the case of the Manchester Camerata, Bob Riley writes that the orchestra is "constantly challenging" how they engage with audiences. Thus, he concludes, "if that means we perform in a grand concert hall one day, and a car park the next, so be it."

One can imagine that, with any major metropolis like Manchester, there are a plethora of venues and outlets to cater to a notion such as Riley's.

Sure, but the term "venue" needs to be redefined to capture what is between the gridlock and cobblestone.

Earlier this season, Joshua Bell took to Washington, D.C.'s Union Station to perform with some of his YoungArts masterclass alumni among the passersby in the metro.

Too their surprise, an audience grew out from the hype and congregated over a program of Mendelssohn.

Much is the case in Manchester, too. According to The Independent, with a wealth of performance spaces — "clubs and bars, chapels and cathedrals, impressive concert halls and everything in between" — there is a proverbial stage to the city. This includes venues, like Gorilla Bar of the Royal Exchange Theatre, that offer a different kind of listernership for classical.

Riley even cites The Berlin Philharmonic, which recently performed at a train station at peak time. Even the London Contemporary Orchestra gave attendees of performances colored-coded glasses to resonate during Stockhausen's Klang, according to The Guardian.

But the end of the year sees the Camerata taking to the the Gorilla Bar for a program of Bach and Lady Gaga, accompanied by avant-garde accordionist Martynas Levickis.

For now, Bob Riley wants audiences to have foresight into next year. You can read the text here, where Riley talks about Albert Hall.

Settle for the time being on an earlier performance below:

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TagsThe Manchester Camerata, Bob Riley, Joshua Bell, YoungArts Masterclass, Mendelssohn, Gorilla Bar, The Royal Exchange, The Berlin Philharmonic, London Contemporary Orchestra